Motivation: the opportunity cost of planning vs. dreaming

Eleanor Roosevelt said “It takes the same amount of time to plan as it does to wish and dream” and I say that when you have doubts or think you may fail, you are wasting that time you could be using to work on succeeding. Hit the jump to read a few more thoughts I have about adopting a winner’s attitude.

In economics, there is a concept known as “opportunity cost” which refers to the foregone benefit of an alternative choice not taken. For example, it’s 11:00pm at night and I have a choice of studying a little longer to do all the reading I need for class the next day, or getting another hour of sleep so that the next day I am not drained. The opportunity cost there is I lose out on sleep, but I am tired all day in class, or I am well-rested, but I have an extra hour of homework to do the next day, and that extra hour of sleep gives me the energy to use the extra hour to study what I fell behind in.

Expanding on that analogy, there are a lot of times I am doubting myself or worrying that I may fail. However, assuming that I am completely in control of my life (this is true), and that failure and success have an equal probability of occurring, then it is a waste of time to adopt the attitude that my goals are unrealistic or I may not make it. It is an even bigger waste for those days that I spend thinking this project may not work, especially from listening to those who doubt my ability to succeed.

The stubborn and most determined people were the ones who found their success. The stubbornness comes from ignoring criticism from people who dismissed them, because most of those critics never had it in them to try; and the determination comes from refusing to fail, in which failure is anything below complete success.

So instead of whining or complaining to draw attention when I feel doubtful and fearful of failure, I ask myself what is it that makes me think could affect my success, and what should I do to make sure that doesn’t happen or deal with it if it does happen? Instead of thinking I might fail, I think about ways to ensure success.

There is no opportunity cost that comes from purging all doubts, anxieties, and worries, unless you actually enjoy being idle and allowing other people to control your life and choices. There is, however, an opportunity cost that arises from not being active in fighting thoughts that invite failure.


2 responses to “Motivation: the opportunity cost of planning vs. dreaming

  1. Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Very good post Johnny!

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