I believe the older you get the more you realize that mysteries are truly mysteries: unexplained happenings that occur with regularity. Some of your earlier thoughts about this subject were probably answered with simple phrases: a shortcut turns out to be the longest distance between two points. A strange reaction to a surprise development fits the expression no good deed goes unpunished. Being passed over for the top job you were "groomed" for is simply the Peter Principal personified.
There are two things I haven't been able to quantify with a useful phrase or understand, although I try every day to figure these out. The first is simple, but unresolved: What happens to one sock when socks are being washed. In a load of 12 pair at least one, if not two or three pairs, will be missing half of the pair. This one phenomena alone keeps 3/4 of the sock factories open. I dare you to come up with an answer!
The second item is the unquestionable practice of taking a 30 year fixed loan instead of almost anything else and announcing you are being conservative in your loan selection. I might believe that if I didn't deal with real conservatives every day. The one point that defines a conservative existence is the determination to not waste a thing: thus conserving what others will waste. Not only doesn't a 30 year fixed conserve anything, it wastes money on additional interest caused by the excess of years to pay off the mortgage loan.
It also takes away the opportunity to put the mortgage payments to better use. If one takes a 30 year fixed instead of a 10 year fixed it would take away 20 years of being able to use the house payment for alternative uses. If a borrower takes a 30 year over a 15 year it would deprive the borrower of 15 years of alternative uses, and so on.
At this point I would generally run some scenarios and let everyone see the amount of money either being saved or squandered. I really don't think that is necessary today, as everyone has been studying their mortgage situation since the industry created record low rates.
Going in a different direction with your mortgage is using mind over matter; or, even better, accepting greed and rejecting fear. It seems simple, but it could be more difficult than you think trying to accept a new way of action. If you can make it happen the financial rewards are amazing.
Opportunity knocks! Can you answer?