What did you give up?

For every decision you make in life, there is an alternative. In fact there are thousands of alternatives. But for some reason or another…

What did you give up?For every decision you make in life, there is an alternative. In fact there are thousands of alternatives. But for some reason or another…

For every decision you make in life, there is an alternative. In fact there are thousands of alternatives. But for some reason or another, you chose to make that singular decision. So for every second you follow through on that choice, you can’t be doing something else. Call this opportunity cost 🙂 . Obvious.

Now let’s juxtapose this with another obvious statement: to be successful, you must commit yourself to whatever it is that you want. “Success does not often happen on accident.” You have to want something so badly that you are willing to eat the opportunity costs of other things because for some irrational thought or another — you want “it.” You really want that taste of success.

Those are two pretty clear statements: opportunity costs and drive == success.

Now the part that gets me confused…

Why are people shocked when they don’t get something? They are so surprised that they don’t get what they want when they are not mentally or physically prepared to make sacrifices. Who do they think they are ? So good that they can avoid “hard work.”

I think a lot of people do not understand the concept of opportunity cost and how it works in society.

You see, a finite amount of people can get things. If those “things” are heavily sought by society — wealth, influence, whatever — they become harder to attain. It’s how the world spins. Knowing that, it should be obvious that opportunity cost plays a huge role in deciding who gets what (of course not the only role).

But imagine this novel concept: people who are willing to give up more will get more.


Every single second you spend watching Netflix (nothing against it), there is someone else on this planet using that same moment and chasing your dreams. And they are going to get really fucking close to them, before you do. And if they don’t get it tonight, they’ll get it while you are at a party or playing video games or whatever you are doing.

And you are going to be the one to complain about not getting what you wanted…And they are probably not going to hear you.

This is a pretty negative way of looking at the world. Dog eat dog. Ew.

But the reality is that we live in a competitive society. Meaning people are always working towards their “goals.”

So I think, to summarize this weird rant, I’ve come up with a couple of things that I better subscribe to:

  • Don’t want something unless I really want it. Knowing what I know about opportunity cost, I know that someone else most likely wants the same thing I do. And knowing how a competition works — I need to want it more than them. So I must be prepared to give up more than them to get it. And if I non chalantly just start wanting to get things without being mentally or physically prepared to chase them, I can’t expect to win. And that’s ok — it’s just a different mentality. Because I like winning (not in the Trump way).
  • You don’t have to sacrifice things you actually like. There are so many hours in the day. Not every hour is designed to be on Microsoft Excel. Do things that make you happy, and ideally, those things are working towards your goal or whatever you want to look at as success. At the same time though, understand that if those happy things are distracting you from your goal, you may not ever get to it. That’s ok, just don’t be surprised when someone else gets it.
  • On the same note — spend as much fucking time as you can doing things that you do like. And make your goals around those. If you love eating, eat at the best places in the world (I set my bar high). If you like building companies, build the best ones. Whatever it is, do it 100 or 0.
  • Cut out bullshit — I do a lot everyday. At least what I do is a lot to me. I judge that because I keep getting closer to my evolving goals 🙂 But what I don’t do is bullshit. You don’t have to cut out family and friends time to make the most of your day. You actually don’t have to sleep less (I do). But what you can do is cut out pure distractions. I don’t watch Netflix, I don’t play Candy Crush. Others do, that’s a way that I win.
  • Prepare for sacrifice — For me, this may be the most important. Humble myself so much to know that next time i want something, I better as hell be prepared for sacrifice. I know that if I want something that is hard to attain, I have to be ready to miss 4th of July Parties and do uncomfortable things. And if I don’t want to do that, that is fine. Just know that it will take me longer to get there. Which is fine…Just not as exciting 🙂

In summary — this is a bit extreme — nothing is this black & white. But do things that will make you happy. Make your goals around those things. And you will continue to kick-ass!

you should email me if you read this 🙂 jordangonen1@gmail.com or on twitter @jrdngonen

Tagged in Startup, Entrepreneurship

By jordangonen on July 5, 2016.

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Exported from Medium on February 17, 2018.