The opportunity cost of decisions

If you have taken an economics class the “opportunity cost” (OC) might sound familiar to you. If not, in simple words it is the cost of not choosing something because of another choice that was made. For example, you have ten dollars with which you can either go to the nearest bakery to have a good meal or you can go to the dollar store and buy enough groceries for the week. The OC of choosing the bakery would be the amount you could save on food for the week by going to the groceries. The OC of choosing the groceries would be missing out on the yummy meal in the bakery with a nice ambience and probably meeting new people which is tough to be evaluated in nominal value alone.

Every decision we make has a concurrent OC to it, be it decisions at work or in our relationships. Why is it that it is so easy for few of us to say good bye while for few others the very thought of it is stressful. Over the years I met many people of which few I couldn’t wait to say bye, few I chose over another, and few I have taken along. No matter what the situation is I have always been able to weight the OC to help me make a decision. How is one to weigh the OC when the subjects in context are people? Think of how you would make a decision as to which equity you want to invest in. There are a lot of factors that we consider, from the historic patterns to the potential spike in the select equity’s price. Similarly, one can evaluate the OC of making a decision about a person by taking into account events from the past, change in circumstances, and the potential repetition of certain events.

This is applicable to work as well. From my experience in shared services I have noticed that a lot of our employees have proven to be more productive and efficient when asked to individually contribute with a well defined work list and timeline rather than when asked to work with groups or in teams. This efficiency does not come from just working alone but from the creative freedom they experience by not being influenced by anothers ideas or dominance.

Having said that, if it is so easy to make decisions based on the outcomes of the OC evaluations, why is it that most of us still live in so much regret and discontent. Probably because we judge ourselves more than anyone else would. We doubt our capabilities and limit ourselves from exploring the extent of our caliber. Although, we have companionship and confidants, aren’t we all isolated in some or the other way? In thoughts if not skin. At what point do we then stop depending on others and start living for ourselves. How much longer before we realize that the opportunity cost of not doing what we really want to and believe in is way greater than following the proven norms.

Most of us fail to make decisions that we really want to, instead choose to do what is right. Often our perception of what is right is influenced by somebody’s opinion and suggestions. Although, we live in times where there is easy accessibility to infinite amount of resources to help us do whatever we want to, yet we are unable to make decisions without having to consult. On the surface we are very independent and self sustainable though deep within we have grown to become parasitic. So spoiled by help readily available we have stopped making decisions by our own and end up landing in an ocean of regrets,self pity, and melancholy. However, it is never too late to stop being so dependent and to take the first step towards being true to ourselves. Yes, there will be a lot of questions but the answers will flow naturally.  It is never too late to stop judging ourselves and start complimenting our flaws. There is nothing unique about what seems to be right yet there can always be something unique and right about what seems to be wrong.

One of these days try making a decision by weighing out the opportunity cost of what you truly believe in. One of these days try living with no regret and make a bold move. One of these days try applying a little economics to your life.


#decisions, #economics, #influence, #life, #opportunitycost

The Loud Silence


That unexplained void

A pathless journey

Directionless destination

Perfectly blurred vision

A crowded serenity

The expected serendipity

Failure in succeeding 

Joy in loss

Broken bonds

Bonded wounds

A melancholic smile

And the loud silence

Perhaps, what else is life made of?


#anecdotes, #life, #melancholy, #poetry

Letter From A Daughter


Dear Mom,

It has been a while now that we have been separated from each other, a while now that you and dad have gone to a place far away from my reach. I feel your presence at times when I sit at the yard and feel the breeze blow by. I do not believe in God or in the idea of heaven, but, I hope that both your souls are together and where ever you reside – you reside with happiness and joy.

How unfair is it for you both to leave me alone, how bitter I felt at the sight of all those who walked by their parents, but, then as though you tried to remind me of your presence, you would send someone to tell me how I look just like you, and I smile. I smile thinking about all the times I hated looking like you and I smile at how you loved clicking pictures with me.

How unfair is it for the world to let go of a beautiful woman like you, so charming that even dad could not help but fall for you. Mom, do you still think about how dad hated you for smoking on his bus, and how you rebelled at him for using his personal radio while driving? your presence so captivating, although, 25 years by age apart, dad and you built a beautiful home together.

I am sorry for not taking a day off from work, perhaps, I would have taken you to the hospital in time, perhaps, I would have held your hands while you went into an eternal sleep.

How could anyone love someone so much? how was it so easy for dad to not leave our house while it was burning down. I was so angry on myself for not being strong enough to carry him on my back from the fire to light – from death to life.

Mom, did you really send those crows home a day before the fire? Was it true like dad said – that the crows were there to take him to you, would you send crows to me too when I am ready?

After the accident I was able to recover a box, a box full of memories, a box full of yours and dads love. How blessed am I to grow up to parents so passionately in love with each other, so much so that even death cannot do them apart. Mom, I want to thank you to marry dad, he has set a standard so high – there can never be another like him.

Mom, it took me yours and dads death to realize that death is so final, there is no negotiation and there is no second chance. I feel foolish for all the times I choose to stay away from you and dad, for all the times I left home. Coming back to you and dad was the best decision I made. I am sorry mom that I never told you how much I love you, I never told you how honored I feel to be your daughter and I never got a chance to hug you goodbye.

As I stood watching our house burn down to ashes, I realized life was never going to be the same anymore – for you and dad were gone, and I stood in an abyss, until he came along and held my hand. He takes good care of me mom, he even helped me plan the funerals. It took me your death to realize that the world has so much kindness and empathy.

Finally, mom I want you to know that I have been strong, I have taken care of everything that you left incomplete, I am not crying in a corner or leading a melancholic life, instead, I am going to graduate school. I have learned to become a more sensitive and matured woman. I want to become a woman graceful like you and compassionate like dad. And every time I sit at the yard and I feel the breeze blow by, I know that you and dad have found a happy place and once again – I smile.

Your Loving Daughter,



I met Vanessa in graduate school, there was something about her that always intrigued me. I was very judgmental about the person I saw on the surface, until one day, when I got an opportunity to converse with her and learn about the unfortunate death of her parents. She lost her mother due to an illness and within few months in a fire accident, which she survived – she lost her home and her father. Vanessa mentioned to me about how she was able to recover a box which had letters and notes which her parents wrote for each other. It was such a humbling experience to talk to her and I feel honored that she allowed me to write her story.

If not anything, people like Vanessa and her parents, remind us of joy in little things, of gratitude and of loving madly and truly.

#daughter, #death, #emotions, #father, #life, #love, #mother, #parents