Removal Cost August 2019 • 1 minute

You can tell how much you value something by the harm it would do by being removed. It’s a clarifying way to think about the importance and value of something. Some things, like people we love, have an infinite removal cost. There are no substitutes, your life simply gets worse in their absence. There are other things, that we confuse for good. Social media is a good example. I have yet to meet someone who removed Facebook from their phone and felt worse after. So the removal cost is actually positive: a good proxy for something you should remove.

I think that people overestimate the removal cost of bad relationships. As in, they believe it will be worse to end them than not. I think people underestimate the removal cost of family relationships. Once harmed or destroyed, your life may be permanently worse than before. I’d argue that we should seek to 1. Become aware of the removal cost of the things in our life and 2. Seek to spend more time protecting the things that would impact us the most if removed.