3/31/10

Cutting Back and Giving up

I have been good at a lot of things and bad at a lot things too.  I was always a champion for the edict "If you fail, try try again", "never give up never surrender", and all similar ideas. As I have gotten older I have found this philosophy to be misguided and naive.  Youths have a lot of time on their hands; no kids, no jobs, and not much responsibility. Which allows them to take this philosophy to an extreme, but for the people living life in the real world there is so much more to consider.

Opportunity Cost is a popular economics term, which describes what you have to give up in order to get or do something. If your goal is to learn guitar by playing for one hour a day, then you are giving up one hour a day of something else. As an adult, opportunity cost has driven my life.  I am constantly weighing each decision I make and it's potential worth.  This lifestyle has led me to extricate many activities that I previously held dear and now find trivial.  People often feel like failures and losers if they give up on even the simplest of things,but its often the smartest thing you can do.  I like to think of it as freeing up resources.

My entire life I dreamed of being a rock star.  I wanted to learn to play every instrument on the planet.  I learned the tuba, the bass guitar, and the drum set.  My final hope was to learn to play the guitar.  I tried for months to get good, and didn't give up.  I trudged through miserable hour after miserable hour and you know what.  I was still insanely terrible.  After over a year of trying to learn guitar and I had hardly made any progress. I thought about the time I spent trying to hone this craft and decided to quit, give up, and be defeated.  I immediately felt much better.  It freed up a lot of time, and most of all I stopped doing something that frustrated and upset me pretty consistently.  I spent my extra time hanging out with the kids and doing school work, and I have never regretted it.  I still play the guitar occasionally and I'm still terrible at it, but now I enjoy it.

Modern life has become an assault on the senses, time, and body. Most people are struggling to keep up with everyday demands; fast paced careers, children, hobbies, and more. We bury ourselves in activities. How often do you feel stressed,  overwhelmed, and feel the need to dive on the couch and never get off. There is absolutely nothing wrong with giving up and admitting defeat.  Often the activities we enjoy least are the most time consuming, because we don't like doing them.  Not every difficult activity is worth giving up on, but some are.

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1 Response to Cutting Back and Giving up

April 12, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Recently, I've given up sleep to write, read, play guitar. I can't play guitar at night, though, but It's still taken from the sleep time. I'm pretty good at organization.

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