The older I get, especially the more I involve myself with business and with daily capitalist living, the more I hear the term opportunity cost.
It’s best explained with an example: It doesn’t make sense to spend three hours shopping for groceries, standing about in the kitchen, and making a sandwich because it will always be cheaper and more efficient to buy a sandwich at Subway. Especially if you could be out there generating $20/hr for your time, and the sandwich only costs $7.
So why am I always somewhat dissatisfied with the sandwich from Subway?
Not because it’s not good (they are artists, after all), nor because the quality is poor, nor because I could make a better sandwich at home. The source of the discontent is, according to Barry Schwartz – choice. I had too many wonderful options to choose from. If I had no choice but to shop for groceries and make myself a simple sandwich based on limited supplies at my local corner grocery store, I would actually be more content with my choice. I wouldn’t be standing at Subway for 15 minutes deciding between Turkey + Bacon and Ham + Cheese.