MAY 23, 2021
“The opportunity cost of an unlived dream is not only that dream, but also the dreams the dream was meant to inspire.”—Ryan Lilly
In my Economics class this week, I studied the topic of opportunity cost.
We have limited resources, but our wants are unlimited. Therefore, we must choose what we want to do with a resource. Our governments decide whether they should build a highway or a national park. We determine if we’re going to buy a new house or stay in an apartment. Many times, I have to choose whether I want to eat a pizza or a burger.
It is simple. Whatever we do, there is an opportunity cost attached to it: the opportunity of doing something else with a resource. After the class, I thought over this concept, read a little more about it, and understood that it not only applies to economic decisions but also applies to our personal development and time management.
I knew I had to share it with you.
How Does Opportunity Cost Apply to our Lives?
You are reading this post right now. What else do you think you could be doing at this time?
Here’s a sample list: You could be…
- Watching a show on Netflix.
- Studying for an upcoming test.
- Planning for a road trip.
- Sitting with Elon Musk planning Martian colonization.
- Sipping coffee in the grey backyard of your house at the Moon.
You get the idea. You could literally be doing almost an unimaginable number of things at this precise moment. But here you are, reading this specific blog post out of the billions on the internet.
Time is your most precious resource. When you decide to do something at this moment, you are paying the opportunity cost of not doing a trillion other things.
When you use your time, you pay the biggest opportunity cost.
Economies change with time. Nations change with time. People change with time. The world changes with time.
When the pandemic started, the economy of many nations changed. People lost jobs, stock indexes collapsed, and the healthcare system tumbled under the sudden load. The way we worked changed. For more than a year now, I have been studying virtually. I completed a whole school grade through my computer, and now I am doing the same for my second one. Time creates significant change, but time itself doesn’t change its identity. It continues to move ahead, second by second. What matters is what we do in those seconds.
And if we spend our time doing things we don’t love, being with people who don’t support us, not caring for ourselves, and living meaninglessly, we don’t create any value. We come into this world as a creature and leave it as one. We become a tourist who spends a few days in a country and comes back. But here, we become a tourist in our own country and our own world.
We then pay the biggest opportunity cost of all: the cost of not being our true self and utilizing our fullest potential. That’s when we desire to become successful, without realizing that all we need to do is right next to us, waiting to be recognized.
What does it take to be successful?
Hypothetically speaking, if you could do all the things in the world at the same time, would you love doing it?
Take time to think over this question. It’s important.
Again, keep in mind that I am talking about doing everything in the world. Being a president, a mom, a dad, a bartender, a farmer, a teacher, a student, a coder, a marketer, all in a single moment.
Would you like it?
The truth is, no one would. Even if we could do all of those things at once, if they don’t align with us and mean something to us, we won’t be fulfilled, happy and successful.
Then what does it take to be successful?
Make sure that the impact you want to create and the work you want to do is the opportunity you use your time for, not the opportunity cost.
There is nothing more to success than this because if you strategically devote your resource to doing something you love, you will achieve success, learn more, and grow more.
But, when you choose to do something you love instead of something easy and common, you will face challenges.
On this journey of fulfilling your purpose and doing what you love, you will pay an even greater opportunity cost.
You are not only paying the cost of doing a zillion other things, but you are also paying the opportunity cost of having comfort, security, certainty, the commonly agreed-upon life cycle, and a guaranteed financial income (if your passion lies outside of a defined job).
But in place of that, you are getting the opportunity of growing, learning, following your passion, creating an impact, facing challenges and discomfort, having fulfillment, and becoming successful.
This is what it takes to be successful. This is the opportunity cost you have to pay if you want to build the highway of success instead of a factory of dissatisfaction and meaninglessness on the only land you have: TIME.
I have decided to build the highway of success. I have chosen to pay the cost of comfort and certainty to follow and fulfill my purpose and create an impact. I have decided to make my passion the opportunity of my time and not its cost.
What have you chosen? Will your passion be the opportunity you create through your time or the cost? Are you willing to do what it takes to be successful?
Take charge of your time and make the best of it.
Partnering in your Success, Happiness, and Growth,