Why I Don’t Play the Piano and Speak Chinese

Here’s an obvious but important concept for you: everything we do is at the expense of something else that we can’t do.

Economists call this the “opportunity cost.”

If you go to the movies one night, that means you can’t also go to the theater. Or you can’t go work out. Or work on your business. Or stay home and cook for the week.

Of course, you could go to the movies one night, and then do other things the next day, but there is eventually a limit to the number of activities you can do.

If you buy a house, that means your down payment can’t be used for something else. And vice-versa.

There’s always an opportunity cost to what you can do with your time and resources.

That’s why I think it’s important to narrow down your focus on what’s most important.

For example, I love music and spend a lot of my free time going to concerts, playing my guitar, or listening to music at home. I would also like to play the piano. But, I know that learning to play the piano would take at least one hour of my time every day. And because I love music so much, I’d probably spend even more time on it.

I’ve decided that the best way I can enjoy music is the way I’m doing it now (with my occasional guitar playing), rather than taking on a new instrument.

The same goes for languages. I have already learned several languages, and won’t try to learn another one. Just maintaining the ones I have learned is enough. It would be great to learn Chinese, but I have decided that my time is better spent elsewhere!

This brings me to the concept of the “balanced life.”

When you start your online business, you have to stop trying to have a perfectly balanced life. How you spend your time during this early stage is very important.

You should exercise regularly to stay in shape, but don’t train for a marathon.

Simplify your diet, so it’s easy to prepare a lot of food for the week.

Don’t take up new hobbies that will take up a lot of your time.

And be careful about traveling, if it throws off your routine.

Of course, when you’ve achieved some of your goals, you can perhaps think about setting new ones.

But there’s something to appreciate about the intensity of working on one large goal at a time.

Frederic