The cost of opportunity
When I say the cost of opportunity, you may ask, don’t you mean opportunity cost? Or you may say that they both mean the same thing. Well, contrary to that thinking, they are two very different things, so let me explain.
Opportunity cost is the value of the next best thing you give up whenever you make a decision. It is “the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen”. So, if I choose to study medicine instead of law, then the opportunity cost is that I cannot become a lawyer as long as I am pursuing medicine.
We all pay the opportunity cost on a daily basis whether we want to or not. It could also be quite unintentional that we do.
On the other hand, the cost of opportunity is something that is very intentional and is the real price that has to be paid for success. There are many people who choose to study medicine, but not all are willing to pay the cost for that opportunity. The sleepless nights, the discipline of spending hours reading and studying, the boldness to face cadaver’s to perform procedures, the tenacity to hang on for more years than other courses do to complete the training, the delayed gratification of getting an initially well paying job and so forth.
Opportunity cost is mandatory and foundational, but the cost of opportunity is optional but leads to completion. No one ever plans to live in a foundation no matter how much it cost.
Opportunity cost will get you through the door, but the cost of opportunity determines if you will remain within the house. If you think you have paid a high enough price in opportunity cost, then think again because there is a cost for the opportunity you have now.