Making a choice can be hard. When we choose to do one thing, we give up the opportunity of doing a myriad of other things. There is always a cost when we make a choice. That cost, whether we realize it or not, is the opportunity cost. An opportunity cost is whatever we gave up to do what we are doing, specifically the best alternative.
A classic example of opportunity cost is the notion of a free lunch. In economics, it is said there is no such thing as a free lunch. This is because if we are invited to eat for free at lunchtime, the reality is we gave up some other opportunity to do that. Maybe it was eating with our family or friends and enjoying their fellowship. Maybe it was going to the gym and exercising. The point is that any decision, any choice – even one that appears to be free – comes at a cost. That cost is the forgone alternative.
It is this opportunity cost – not often acknowledged on a conscious level – that can cause individuals to be reluctant in making choices. Many people would rather revel in the ability to do “whatever they want” rather than commit to doing one specific thing. It is this misguided notion of complete freedom which, ironically, creates a state of enslavement.
How can we become enslaved by freedom?
Confronted by seemingly limitless choices we often become trapped spending our lives considering what we might do. We become frozen by possibility rather than liberated by it. You see, possibilities are only as good as our ability to act on them.
How can we impel ourselves to make choices when we are trapped by many possibilities to choose from? First, we should consider what our passions are. Second, we should take a look at the practical implications of where our passions might lead us. Third, having considered both passion and what direction it takes us in, we should make a plan and get to work.
Spending our lives simply considering what to do, instead of doing something, leaves us trapped by possibility rather than liberated by it.
Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at CYInterview.com. For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.
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