Opportunity Cost

Who Discovered Time

Christopher Columbus discovered America. Only that he didn’t. People already lived on America. Columbus merely reported back to the rest of world. Once people had seen, they got on radar.

Time defined by opportunity is a new concept. Sahlins wrote a fantastic book on the idea – you can put a stone age infant in the modern world and she will thrive. Also, the stone age people searched for food for about 3 hours per day.

Then what they did for the rest of time? Did they check email or went on endless debate. Nope. They enjoyed the life, did rest and were happy.

Time Travel

James Gleick wrote a book on time travel – of course it is fictitious. But you were presented with the idea that you can go back or forward in time. And you can see time as an axes like left, right or up and down.

How do you spend your time – probably like a resource. Once, you decide to spend time you make the choice to what to not spend time on. This is opportunity cost – a fairly new concept. Imagine a buffet and you can eat only what you can fit int. Then you need to think what to put in because it is taking space from something else. That’s opportunity cost.


Seth’s favourite book is ‘Replay’ by Ken Grimwood . The premise is that someone gets thrown back in time involuntarily. After 10 years, she is thrown back again to relive the actions. It’s a disturbing thing to imagine.

If you change anything, the future changes drastically. Also, when you realize that there is unlimited time, you get bored.

On that note, Qantas airways introduced a 19 hour flight. And you might think, you won’t get that day back. Oh, well, you don’t get any day back.

The Last Policeman

Ben Winters wrote a fantastic book, ‘The Last Policeman‘. The premise is that a large asteroid is going to hit Earth. And there is no way anyone can do anything about it. In one year, it will hit and everyone dies.

Word gets out. Some people go crazy – do murders, go on endless sex. Some kill themselves because they can’t fathom this.

And few go on work like nothing. The usual. Because the world might end in 1 year. And chances are all they have is 1 year to live anyway.

The question is now – are you going to spend your time or pass the time or waste the time. You choose opportunity cost.

Twins Paradox

Two identical twins are born. When they get to 18, one is sent to fast spaceship for 2 years. When she comes back, she is 30 years old. Who is doing better?

Is getting more done, clearing more emails, racing through the buffet line – is that how you should spend your time.

Are you binge watching on Netflix – clearly you are passing on time. What do you get by passing on the opportunity of time. Time is the only thing you can control. Even when you are in prison, you control how you engage your time.

There are endless rabbit holes on social network and many ideas to spread – you have a choice.

If you have yesterday to do over like in Replay, what would you change. And remember, you do have tomorrow for that do over.


  • How to carve out time for doing what you love while doing a day job?

Zig Zaglar gave this idea – have you ever met someone who said,’so busy that they forget to eat lunch’.

Nope, right. The trick is to make something as you do it everyday and not an optional thing. The rest of your life is carved out of your time. You do the most important thing to you everyday. It’s powerful how you can choose time.

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