The Opportunity Cost That Shaped My Life: A Personal Journey by Ankush Makharia
July 31, 2023 | by ankushmakharia.com
Life is a constant series of decisions that can significantly impact our journey. At every crossroads, we are faced with choices, and each choice comes with its own opportunity cost. Opportunity cost refers to the benefits we could have gained from an alternative option when we make a decision. Throughout my life, I have encountered various instances where opportunity cost played a pivotal role in shaping my path. In this blog, I will share some of my experiences and reflections on how opportunity cost has influenced my life decisions and ultimately led me to where I am today.
- Pursuing My Passion vs. Conforming to Expectations
Growing up, I had a deep passion for art and creativity. I loved sketching, painting, and graphic designing. However, societal expectations and the pressure to excel academically pushed me towards pursuing a conventional career path. In high school, I faced a crucial choice – follow my passion or conform to societal norms.
The opportunity cost of conforming to expectations was giving up my artistic dreams, while the potential benefits included stability and social approval. Ultimately, I chose to study business administration, and for a while, it seemed like the right decision. However, I always felt a void, as if I had sacrificed a part of myself in exchange for conformity.
- Career Choices: Stability vs. Fulfillment
After completing my business degree, I had several job offers from renowned companies that offered financial stability and job security. However, I also had an opportunity to work with a startup that was working on a project focused on sustainable development and community empowerment.
The opportunity cost of choosing the well-established companies was potentially missing out on personal fulfillment and the chance to make a positive impact on the world. I decided to follow my heart and chose the startup. Though it was riskier and had its fair share of challenges, it opened doors to experiences and connections that changed my perspective on life and work.
- Time Management: Career Advancement vs. Personal Life
As I progressed in my career, I faced the classic dilemma of managing time between work commitments and personal life. Balancing long working hours and personal relationships is always a challenge. The opportunity cost of dedicating more time to my career was potentially sacrificing quality time with loved ones.
I realized that striking the right balance was crucial for my overall well-being. I learned to prioritize tasks, set boundaries, and allocate time for family, friends, and personal growth. While it may have slowed down my career advancement slightly, it enriched my life in more meaningful ways.
- Further Education: Pursuing a Master’s Degree
As I contemplated pursuing higher education, I was faced with yet another opportunity cost scenario. Enrolling in a Master’s program would require a significant financial investment and time commitment. The potential benefits included career advancement and specialized knowledge.
On the other hand, choosing not to pursue a Master’s degree meant avoiding student debt and immediate entry into the workforce. After careful consideration, I decided to pursue a Master’s in Social Entrepreneurship. This decision allowed me to combine my business acumen with my passion for creating a positive impact on society.
- Entrepreneurial Ventures: Risk vs. Potential Rewards
As an advocate for sustainable development, I always dreamed of starting my own venture focused on social and environmental causes. However, starting a business is risky, and the opportunity cost involved leaving a stable job and a predictable income.
Despite the challenges, I took the plunge and founded a social enterprise aimed at providing eco-friendly products to consumers. While the journey was not without hurdles, the fulfillment of pursuing my passion and making a positive impact on the environment made it all worthwhile.
Throughout my life, the concept of opportunity cost has been a guiding force in my decision-making process. Each choice I made, whether it was pursuing my passion, choosing fulfillment over stability, managing time between work and personal life, investing in education, or embarking on entrepreneurial ventures, involved weighing the potential benefits against the sacrifices.
As I reflect on my journey, I realize that every opportunity cost led me closer to aligning my personal values with my professional pursuits. Embracing the idea of opportunity cost has allowed me to take calculated risks, step out of my comfort zone, and create a life that is meaningful and fulfilling.
So, the next time you face a critical decision, remember to consider the opportunity cost involved. Sometimes, the most fulfilling paths are those that require a little sacrifice, but they can lead you to a life that resonates with your passions and purpose.