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How Much Did That Cost You?

“You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.”

David Allen


Opportunity Cost is what you are giving up in order to do what you are doing.  For example, if I watch college football for 12 hours on a given Saturday, I have given up 12 hours of my weekend.  It will cost me a workout, dinner with my wife, watching my kids’ sporting events, not accomplishing the “Honey-Do” list, and any number of other things.

In Mental Toughness, Opportunity Cost is a very effective tool to assist in making wise and profitable decisions.  If you realize that every choice you make will cost you something, you are more apt to take a few seconds to evaluate that choice.

I love college football (Alabama, specifically – Roll Tide!), but I limit myself to watching one or two games a week.  I check the schedule and create a “Fan Plan”, choosing to watch only those games that are most important to me.  On occasion, no games will be watched.  Last year, my nephew’s wedding was held at the exact same time as the Alabama – Michigan game.  Going to the wedding had an opportunity cost of watching the opening game of the season.  I calculated the cost of the missed game, and the game was less valuable to me than attending the wedding.

I use the Opportunity Cost filter for every choice I make, e.g. eating junk food, when to bed down for the night, and financial or business decisions.  Ask yourself this question, the next time you are about to shove an Oreo in your mouth, or plunk down on the couch to vegetate for the night, “What will it cost me to do this instead of something else?”

Remember, the road you don’t travel might be the better, faster, or a more scenic route with no traffic jams or speed traps. Take a minute and evaluate the choices you make.  You can truly do anything, but the thing you spend time doing will keep you from doing everything else.

Boo Yah!

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