“My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” ~ Steve Jobs ~
How do you spend your precious time? Cost is experienced in many ways…financial, physical, time, emotional, theological, space or opportunity. There are very few things in life that do not have both a cost and benefit. You will not realize or understand what all of those costs and benefits are because you will not see the connection of your activities and the eventual result. You do not have the brain power and knowledge to imagine the connections and the unforeseen consequences. On top of that, the decisions you make today may change the results of the decisions you made yesterday.
We need to find a personal cost balance point where we are able to move forward while thinking about the cost. This point is in the middle between: 1. Doing things without considering the cost and 2. Worrying about cost so much that you are stifled into inactivity. You will find your personal cost balance point through goal setting and rational thinking. You evaluate what you are willing to pay in funds, time, effort…. for the things you wish to obtain or achieve. This is called a cost/benefit analysis. You do not realize how many times you do one of these every day and how good you may be at this complex operation.
I’ll give you an example of cost/benefit analysis. You are about to run out of gas away from home. There is an intersection in front of you with a gas station on each corner. You think that you just pull into a station and fill up. It is that simple, but infinitely more complex. You look at which station is easiest to get into and out of. You look at the cost of the fuel and if there is a cost for credit card use. You decide how you will pay for it and maybe how much you can afford. You determine if the price is reasonable versus others you have seen recently. You evaluate which station looks the nicest and well-kept. You do a quick safety evaluation of the area and people present. You look to see how busy the station is and if there is space on the side of the pump your car needs. You look at the brand of gas and decide if it meets your standards. You considered the weather situation and if the facility gives you protection from the current elements. You assess the other services and products you will want, if they will be available and at what cost. You consider the opinions of the others in your car even though you may not ask for them. You confirm to yourself your good judgement on selecting the right octane selected. That may seem like a lot, but even this list does not cover it all and it is just for the benefit of driving down the road. If this is East LA, it’s different than in Duluth or Miami and January is different than June.
Cost/benefit is a part of our daily lives. It is good to think about it without the analysis keeping you from making a decision. That is when you run out of gas because you ran out of precious time.