A Few Thoughts on Opportunity Cost

Right now I’m in the middle of a bunch of projects- car upgrades, garage reorganization, office makeover and a store expansion. There’s no question that these projects are taking time, resources and causing me more than my fair share of headaches. So the question floating around in my head lately is “Why?” Why am I doing all this stuff?

Clearly it’s because I must believe that after finishing these undertakings I will, ultimately, be better off than I was before. And then I started thinking about opportunity cost….

Obviously any money I put into my car (or any project) is unavailable for other uses. But what about intangibles? While my car is being overhauled I can’t drive it. What is the opportunity cost of three months of enjoyment? If a mathematical formula could be created, would it show that there is a net benefit with regard to my endeavors? Or is it possible that, when factoring things like utility, pleasure, peace of mind and finances I am actually running a deficit and I don’t even know it.

I do know this: On several occasions I have thought “I shouldn’t have done this- I should have left good enough alone.” But hope generally carried me through. I believe people are very good at creating the reality they want. Perhaps a mathematical analysis would be insufficient; how do you account for the illusion of desired outcome? Cognitive dissonance always wins in situations like these.

What could have been will always remain unknown.