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Negotiating in Vietnam is a strange, strange thing

First off, quick refresher - what is negotiation?

Good negotiation is about discovering things you value a low amount that the other party values a high amount, finding things they value a low amount that you value highly, and exchanging. I wrote about this in "How to Avoid Exchange-Based Relationships" -

A lot of people don’t understand good negotiating. They think it’s about getting the best price – no, no, no. Good negotiation is about figuring out what you can offer that’s worth more to the other person than you, and what they can offer that’s worth more to you than them.

However...

it’s okay to have pure exchanges sometimes, like if you’re just buying something once. But if you can transcend that, move it beyond the exchange and into looking out for each other, that can be a beautiful thing.

Exchanging your time for money

On Alan's Journey

We only have so much time available to us in this life, and what do we do with it? We waste it, exchanging our time for money from meaningless jobs, and then we spend that money on meaningless 'stuff'.

Occasionally we spend money on a holiday, trying to exchange the money for more time. But then we have to return to exchanging more time for more money so we can repeat the same meaningless cycle.

How's that working out for you? I can tell you that it's not working out very well for me.

It doesn't make much sense to me that we engage in this behaviour, but we do it because everyone else does. We do it because it's what we're expected to do. We do it because it's safe.

There's not many of us who spend our time wisely, doing things that are meaningful. Most of us just waste our time, and then before we know it, the years have gone by and we wonder where all that time went. We're running out of time, and we have little to show for it.

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