What are you doing when you are not doing what you know you should be doing? There are always times when we make a decision to avoid things that would make our lives temporarily more difficult but far better long term.

I was thinking about this in a conversation I was having with a business owner who had a great employee in the wrong job. When they weren't avoiding each other, the business owner would verbally attack the employee. He was hoping the employee would quit, but in the meantime, both were miserable. The employee most likely knew that he was unsuitable for the job and the business owner knew that this could not continue. Whether the company had another job for this employee was unclear, but what was apparent was that keeping this person in this position was inhumane.

What are the costs of not dealing with the issue? Obviously, a couple of people are miserable, but the costs bleed into other areas. The business owner's frustrations leaked into his personal life, making him anxious and impatient. The organization needed an effective person in the employee's role or else the positions of others in the company could be in jeopardy.

What if the employer sat down with the employee, acknowledged that he hired a good person for the wrong job, determined whether there was another position in the company that would be a better fit, and if not, provided some support for the employee to find a different job? The discussion would be difficult, but critical.

Some clients avoid looking at their excessive spending because they don't want to confirm what they know to be true. The problem is that not dealing with these things causes more anxiety than confronting the painful habits. Shining the light on problems doesn't solve them, but they no longer reside in the shadows. When we work with over-spenders, we can develop a game plan to arrest it — not quickly or easily, but eventually.

I was talking with a younger client whose 60-year old father died. She said one of the most difficult things about her father's death was how many close friends never brought it up. I am sure that many of those people justified it by saying that they didn't want to make her feel uncomfortable, but it was their own discomfort that they were protecting. She felt that her grief was extended because she had so few people willing to share it with her.

It may be easy to avoid what I am writing about, but what if you made a choice not to?

Spend your life wisely.

Ross Levin is the chief executive and founder of Accredited Investors Wealth Management in Edina.