We call our decision making process finding our "east west equilibrium" (EWE). Mom is from China. Dad is from the USA. Communication is a challenge in every marriage, but add extreme cultural differences, language barriers, stereotypical gender differences, and polar opposite personality types and...well...let's just say our marriage should have come with a warning label.
But we got two things going for us. We share the same values, and we both love sharing our unique perspectives in order to make better decisions.
Sharing the same values is like sharing the same flight path. Sometimes we get blown off course, but we keep adjusting back toward our shared destination. Our values are a mix of what we feel to be the best of the East and West. Each week we try to instill these values in our two girls through Sangha...our weekly family discussion on how to live life better. It is undoubtedly the best use of our time every week.
Decisions are our “thing”. Economists tend to be like that. It's what we are trained to do... thinking through where to put our scarce time and resources. Over the years we noticed that working together allowed us to discover ideas and initiatives that were far and away better than those we could reach on our own.
Collaboration takes considerably more time and can be risky. Sometimes we would delegate responsibilities...which makes decision making a lot easier. But only by taking the time to really think (and feel) from the others perspective could we reach that EWE where the magic happened.
On the surface...finding the EWE is a simple concept. By opening our minds to other perspectives we are able to improve our mental map of reality. Only by having an accurate map of reality can we find our way through life without the unnecessary suffering caused by poor decisions.
What's revolutionary is the recognition at just how different people can be and that these differences are the source of better decisions through collaboration. Its a humbling realization that gets deeper each passing year.
Everything we write on WEquil is part of our quest for finding the EWE. That's how we came up with the name WEquil. its a combination of "We" and Equilibrium. Our hope is that by sharing our perspectives we can connect and learn from others that share similar values.
EWE in Action
Finding the EWE starts with good data.
When we talk about data we mean information. Sometimes data is clean...neatly packed in spreadsheets where we can use statistics and machine learning models to produce forecasts. Sometimes data is dirty...buried in a book that should have been an essay, podcasts overloaded with hyperbole, and conversations that inevitably reflect everyone's biases and unique experiences.
There is so much bad data today...the real challenge is differentiating the good from the bad. We both share a passion for finding that signal in the noise.
In short, WEquil is where share the fruits of our east west equilibrium...our mental model for turning data into value for our family, personal finances, and preparing our kids for the future. We welcome your thoughts (more data!). Feel free to connect with us through our "About" page.
Joseph and Lihong McPhail