Tag Archive | Opportunity Cost

Learning Optimization

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

Passing all the notes I take through the 80/20 filter [<link; medium read] was a really good idea.

Are you actually reading the 80 notes?

Not really. There’s too many notes, so I mostly go through the 20 ones.

“What if you eliminated the 80 entirely?”

What if some day I discover some gems among them?

For that to happen, you’d have to actually go through them, which you admitted you do not.

I may someday.

‘I may someday’ is a flimsy foundation to base your decisions on. That sounds more like FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) speaking.

My point is, saving all those 80 notes comes with an opportunity cost.

All that time you spend saving them.
All that time you spend rereading them (if you ever do) in the hope you may discover some gems among them.

All that time could be better spent saving more 20 notes.

Sounds so obvious now that you mentioned it.

The Universe of Possibility is hiding in plain sight my dear.

Joy Of Missing Out

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I get rid of the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)?”

“Ask yourself:

What 20 percent of things in your life are responsible for 80 percent of your success and happiness?

Focus exclusively on those, and design your life around them.

Time is limited. 
Everything you do has an opportunity cost
Everything you do from the 80 category steals precious time away from the 20 category.

Keep that in mind always as you replace FOMO with JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out).

On Pleasure

If you’re not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, say “no”. […]

When you say no to most things, you leave room in your life to really throw yourself completely into that rare thing that makes you say “HELL YEAH!”

(Derek Sivers)

Focus on that which lights your soul on fire. (Brian Johnson)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“I don’t like it.”

“Pleasures can be cultivated. You can grow to like it.”

“I don’t want to grow to like it.

An important aspect of my Art is cultivating the right pleasures.

“Which are those?”

“Those aligned with my Vision for my Masterpiece Life. I choose to focus exclusively on those.”

“Aren’t you missing on the simple pleasures of life?”

“On the contrary. Simplicity is one of my central values.

Another important aspect of my Art is cultivating simple pleasures.

For instance I only drink water. If you do it mindfully and gratefully, the simple act of drinking water is a joy.

The idea is, I’m very selective about my pleasures.

Some pleasures add to your life.
Some pleasures neither add nor detract.
Some pleasures detract from your life.

From my perspective,
if one wants to live a great life, it’s important to eliminate the third;
If however one wants to live an extraordinary life, it’s important to eliminate the second kind as well.

The second kind, while seemingly unimpactful, come with a subtle opportunity cost: they take away time and energy from the full expression of the first.”

On turning passive-knowledge into active-knowledge

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How do you turn passive-knowledge into active-knowledge?”

“Let’s take Opportunity Cost as an example.

By understanding what the concept means, you turn it into passive-knowledge. You shelf it away, add it to your knowledge collection, rarely to be seen again, until you encounter it again.

One way to turn it into active-knowledge is by thinking about it. We could call this deliberate priming. You’ve thus made it more readily available. It’s like you temporarily shelf it on the front row where you can see it all the time.

For instance, it can serve as a reminder of the hidden cost behind EVERYTHING we do, most notably as relates to the most precious of resources: time [<link; short length].

Another way to turn it into active-knowledge is by turning it into a mental model, a tool. You’ve thus given it immediate practical application.

For instance, you can use it for evaluation, to determine the value of an activity.

Ask yourself always,

What is the opportunity cost?

To amplify the effect,
bring to mind the Macro level,
the finitude of life, that there is an end,
your Values and your Purpose,
and then bring to mind the deeply meaningful things you could be doing, or you could have done instead.

The more specific and vivid the better.

FEEL it.”

“So you’re contrasting it with the things that are most meaningful to you, on the background of the Macro level.”

“Yes. Contrasting is another mental model.

Combining mental models is an Art/Game [<link; short] in itself.”

Contrasting 3

There are two types of time: alive time and dead time. (Robert Greene)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

Use opportunity cost as a Tool.


“Make it a habit to always ask yourself:

Did I waste time?

If yes, think of the deeply meaningful things you could have done in that time frame. Those things that make you feel radiantly and vibrantly alive.

That’s the opportunity cost.

In practical terms, you can make a small selection of them, and recite them like a mantra. Choose only the most powerful, 80/20 style. By uttering them one after another, it will amplify their effect.

Feel those things that are most meaningful to you.
Feel the contrast between that deeply alive time and the dead time.

Then anchor this feeling to the wasteful activity.

Turn any and all wasteful activities into a reminder of what’s truly important.

Opportunity Cost: Time

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Opportunity Cost is a very useful model from Economics. There’s a hidden cost to everything we do. The cost can be monetary (money spent on one thing is no longer available for something else), but it equally applies to any other resource, most notably, time.

Time is the most valuable resource because it is nonrenewable.

Time wasted is time no longer available for doing the things that are truly meaningful, that make you feel vibrantly alive. Opportunity Cost.”

“Makes me think of a quote by Robert Greene:

There’s only two types of time: dead time and alive time.

“I love Robert Greene’s vivid distinction. 
The expression ‘killing time’ is so accurate.

Dead time never returns.”

“But neither does alive time.”

“The difference is, alive time enriches you.

Both dead and alive time compound.

Little by little by little they add up. The effect is invisible at a smaller time frame, in the same way a tiny little drop of water feels insignificant. But at a larger time frame, those tiny little drops can carve mountains.

The difference is, one adds to your life, the other takes away.”