One of the first things you try to learn when you start playing poker is that the money that you have already put in the pot is not your money any more. If you think of it as your money, you’ll hold on to hands that you should fold.
Similarly, when deciding whether to sell a stock holding at a particular price, you shouldn’t consider what you paid for the stock (except for tax consequences). The right question to ask yourself is: “If I didn’t already own it, would I buy the stock for that price?”
Transaction costs aside, the same is true for selling a house, but the advice is even harder to follow.
Which brings me to cropping. I attended the monthly ImageMakers meeting last night, and cropping came up a lot. When people suggested crops to a presenting artist, the answer was often, “Yes, but then I’d lose this detail that I worked so hard to get into the picture.” It was much easier for the folks in the audience to be objective about improving the image by cropping, because they didn’t have the emotion and effort invested in getting the picture to where it was.
That insight will help me understand my own mindset when cropping. It may make me better at it. But I’m not expecting miracles. Like selling a house for less than you paid for it, it’s hard to let go of past decisions.