The title of this post will be familiar to those who have worked with me. That’s because it’s the description I would give to a journal entry where I was adjusting a particular balance by a few cents, in order to bring the balance into agreement with reality. Some of you are now saying to yourself, “Just a couple posts ago, he talked about paying attention to detail and now he is saying he would arbitrarily adjust a balance giving only ‘Adjust to ‘Penny’ as his reason. Isn’t he contradicting himself?”
I am not contradicting myself, but I know you’ll need a reason why I’m not. And you will need to put that reason through your own thinking process in order to decide whether I have convinced you or not.
As an aside: please note the importance of reasoning – the identification and integration of the material provided by the senses – to this process. Even if you have no interest in this apparent contradiction of mine, I guarantee you there will be times in your life when you must decide whether someone you are relying on can be trusted- i.e. that he is not contradicting himself. If you don’t submit the decision to a proper process of reasoning, you will be doing yourself a huge disservice. That’s because the decision you eventually make will not be addressing all the relevant factors relating to the person’s honesty and consistency.
It should come as no surprise then that my reason for making ‘Adjust to Penny’ adjustments is due to a process of reason in and of itself. In fact, both ‘Attention to Detail’ and ‘Adjust to Penny’ must always be submitted to a proper process of reason if doing either one of them is going to further your life.
As an example of how paying attention to detail could seriously harm your life, consider how numbingly time-consuming attending to the detail of reading and absorbing every government-mandated privacy notice you receive would be. Such activity would waste your time while providing no value. Virtually all government-mandated notifications are worthless because they do not and cannot address the specific situations they are supposedly addressing. Because there is no ‘process of reason’ involved with each situation there is no value associated with understanding these notices.
The reason why I do ‘Adjust to Penny’ adjustments is because attempting to find the specific reason behind the error that needs adjustment will waste my time and provide no value. Often the reason why it wastes my time is because I already know the general reason for the error. The best example of this is how Quicken handles investments. Quicken tends to round investment transactions in a manner that is different from how the investments are handled in brokerage statements. The differences are never much, but having checked these differences out over the years, I have learned that it is simply quicker and easier to adjust the books to the statement instead of wasting time finding them.
Hopefully, I have convinced you why both ‘Attention to Detail’ and ‘Adjust to Penny’ can be valid actions to take in the right context. But even more, I hope I have convinced you of how important it is to apply reason to everything you do.