Life is All About Opportunity Costs

Definition from a Microeconomics Textbook: The loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.

Definition from Me: The short-term loss you intentionally take to win in the long-run.

Examples of Daily Opportunity Cost Decisions We Make:

  • Do I choose the pain of potentially upsetting the person I need to coach, or do I choose the pain of letting this go and letting their bad attitude become a major source of toxicity for our organization?
  • Do I choose the pain of reflecting on, learning from, and talking about my experiences or do I choose the pain of eventually having an emotional meltdown because I never dealt with my issues?
  • Do I choose the pain of potentially being criticized because I shared my idea, or do I choose the pain of feeling like I have lived an insignificant life because I kept all my ideas to myself?
  • Do I choose the pain of going into debt because I bought a car I couldn’t really afford or do I choose the pain of saving up cash and buying a car without a loan?

A few of my favorite quotes on opportunity cost to remind me to make the correct choice: 

  • “Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else.” – Dave Ramsey
  • “Pay the price today so later you can pay any price.”  – Grant Cardone
  • “Sacrifice for what you want or what you want will become the sacrifice.” – Brad Lea
  • “We must all suffer from one of two pains: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” – Jim Rohn
  • “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over.” – John Wooden
  • “Dig your well before you’re thirsty.” – Harvey McKay
  • “Easy choices, hard life.  Hard choices, easy life.” – Jerzy Gregorik

Response Question: Which opportunity cost quote is your favorite?


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