The Opportunity Cost of Success

If you’ve ever taken an economics class in college or been in the business world for any length of time, you’ve heard the term opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is the price you pay for an activity measured by what else you can’t do. In other words, if you choose A, you don’t get to do B. If you buy a candy bar then you don’t have a dollar for something else.

This concept smacked me in the face when I read an interview with Mark Victor Hansen, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul. In the interview Hansen stated that he believes we should get up about 15 to 30 minutes earlier each day to mediate, ruminate and plan our day. I believe in this concept and have wondered why more of us don’t put it into practice.

The answer is simple, opportunity cost. In order to get up earlier, we have to go to bed earlier (if we want the same amount of sleep). The opportunity cost of getting up to pray and meditate is too high.

I don’t think it’s limited to meditation either. I think many of us are merely interested in success, but the opportunity cost being successful is too big. So, I’ll ask you the same question I’ve been asking myself, “What am I willing to give up in order to have what I want”? Success isn’t free; it has an opportunity cost.