I’m by no means an Oprah fan. I liked when she guest starred on 30 Rock. I think she’s good at what she does. However, I just don’t understand how she can be on every cover of ever magazine that is already named after her. Surely, there has to be someone else that could be on it at some point. I mean, she could give Stedman at least one cover shoot, right?
Those feelings aside, I suppose if I ever saw her in public, I’d react like any normal person would: I would bow down and kiss her feet. Then, after I realized she’s not still randomly giving out cars, I’d tell her that something she once said has annoyed me for years.
It’s true. For probably over a decade I’ve been trying to prove Oprah wrong. I read something she had said and I didn’t want to believe it, and for years I’ve been trying to prove that she was wrong about it.
“You can have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.”
When I read that, I was in my early the twenties, if not my late teens. You know how that goes. People know everything at that age. (Or did you not take an ethics class in college like me?) I thought that there was a way to have everything I wanted at the same time; it was just a matter of patience and strategy.
Turns out that ten years later, I have to side with the O. Not that I’m signing up for her book club or anything. But she was right. Our lives cannot fit in every single aspect that we want all at once. You have to make choices. The hotel of your life only gives you so many rooms for rent, and sooner or later they fill up. Mary and Joseph know what I’m talking about.
It’s the lesson of opportunity cost. Opportunity cost simply is this question: What are you willing to give up to gain something else? Life is full of opportunity cost situations. Even daily.
Do you want to go to the movies tonight? Then, you will not be able to clean your house. Do you want to save money for a new TV? Then you can’t go to the concert.
Opportunity cost is an issue we have to deal with in every area of our lives. It’s the reason that we can have it all; we just can’t have it all at once.
Sure, sometimes we can have a lot of good going for us. A successful career and a successful marriage. A successful social life and a successful pursuit of our dreams. You can get a lot of good stuff going at once when you utilize time management and wisdom. At some point you’ll come across something else that sounds good, too, but you won’t be able to add it without dropping something else. That’s when the opportunity cost question comes into play. That’s when you have to ask yourself, “Is this worth it?”
This post is not meant to bum anyone out. I know the opportunity cost concept is not the sexiest concept on E!’s Top 100 Sexiest Concepts. It’s still something we have to think about.
The good news is that it’s ok if you’re not doing everything. If you’re not burnt out at the end of every week, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t hustling and working hard. It could mean that you have thought it through and made the right decisions on what to focus on in your life.
Still, I know I get frustrated sometimes from trying to do too much, and I wonder why it’s not working for me. And it all comes back to freakin’ Oprah, man.
You can have it all; you just can’t have it all at once.