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The Best Things in Life Aren’t Free (But They’re Worth It)

The pithy saying “the best things in life are free,” while no doubt well-intentioned, is completely false. It’s a little more accurate to suggest that the best things in life can’t be bought, but that claim can also be quickly refuted when you try to craft a scenario in which a seemingly “free” moment occurs. Not a single penny was spent on preparation or experience.

And this is where these proverbs reveal a deeply real truth – that the best things in life are not things, In fact, findings from behavioral economics show that we get more pleasure from spending money on experiences than on things. Furthermore, the intangible memories of these experiences increase our enjoyment over time, while the value of most tangible items diminishes.

So here are three reasons why the best things in life can be quite expensive, although totally worth it.

First, if nothing else, the best things in life usually require you to trade your most scarce, and therefore most valuable, commodity—your time. How much is your time worth? A rough estimate can be to determine how much you are paid hourly, so if you are not paid hourly, calculate your annual income to $2,080 (40 hours per week for 52 weeks in a year Divide by ). So, how much did it actually cost you to get it done southern charm, (I know someone is asking themselves right now, “Before or after taxes?” 😊)

But not all hours are equal, are they? That extra hour of sleep on Saturday morning? date night? Sunday evening? The moment you send your first child off to college? How about your youngest child? you get the idea. Our time is more valuable than we think; It ends quickly, and there is also a fair amount of “surge pricing” in our time.

Second, while there is a very real value we can attach to your time, there is another economic factor at work here as well: the trade-offs we make with our time – our opportunity cost. Since time, unlike money, is a “zero-sum” commodity, when we choose to do one thing, we cannot do another. So, in addition to the value of your time and whatever surge pricing you apply, its value is further increased by the fact that you can’t spend that time doing anything else.

Here’s a strange example: Daniil Medvedev is a really good men’s tennis player, currently ranked number three in the world. According to an estimate, he has earned $7,411,834 so far in 2023, in prize money alone, and at least $10 million in endorsements for the year. According to our calculations above, his hourly rate is approximately $8,370. per hour.

During the recent broadcast of the US Open, where Medvedev was the runner-up, it was announced that he is a big online gamer – and in addition he has logged over 3,000 hours playing one particular game, Rainbow Six Siege. So, in short, Medvedev has “spent” his $25 million time playing a video game.

And I can’t help but wonder: What else could a guy who makes $17.4 million a year do with his time besides play video games? Uh, about anything? No judgment here, Daniel, but that’s a very high opportunity cost, my friend.

Ultimately, time is not the only non-financial resources We spend regularly, and perhaps not even the most valuable. How about your influence and your energy?

How much energy did you spend crafting that sarcastic text or email response? Frustrated in traffic? Are you coming up with the perfect song and caption for your most recent Instagram post? Are you troubled by others’ perception of you?

Are you aligning your energy expenditure proportionally with your priorities in life? Or are the most important people (and your most important work) getting whatever is left when your energy tank is at about E?

Besides, what about you? Investment In your personal energy? A good night’s sleep, nutrient-dense whole foods, a serious exercise regimen – these cost real time and real money, and if you’re not making that investment, it’s entirely possible that you’re not going to give your best. Are unable to. Any. It also goes without saying that you’re not maximizing your earning potential because it’s very hard to do your best work when you’re not investing enough of your energy.

Yet your influence may be the most valuable of all the resources you have—and unsafe, Your influence is dependent on your reputation, and as has never been more evident in the age of social media and 24-hour news cycles, it takes a lifetime to build a reputation and a millisecond to destroy one. . What are you doing to grow your influence—and what are you doing to protect it?

Actually, the best things in life are far from free. Both financially and otherwise, they are surprisingly expensive, but we must not forget that they are the best things in life-And it’s totally worth it.

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