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Opportunity Cost vs. Capitalize

September 12, 2017

As each year goes by I find myself having more history to consider when making decisions that will impact tomorrow, next week, month year etc.  Despite having always been contemplative by nature this gives me more to consider when presented with each new decision.  Makes me think back to many of the things my first CEO related and his reference too how many of his decisions/ideas were the result of his having more history than I did as a young executive.  This post will not focus on work but may touch on it a bit since so much of my history comes from work and certainly that is where many significant choices have to be made with the most frequency and significance.  While many business decisions can be measured with simple statistics in hindsight, life’s other choices by and far cannot be.

These not so easy to measure decisions are often related to a person’s happiness quotient.  Some of the opportunity costs that set my path the last few years differ significantly from those of my friends and acquaintances.  While many people I know chose to have children and settle down early I have been far slower and while I do not know if this is right or wrong it has come with opportunities and choices.  Those costs are not necessarily negative and choosing one path over another just provides different growth options. Many people choose to buy a nice home, drive a nice car, raise children early in life, spend time helping their communities etc. and some go a different path.

I choose to travel, climb, race, experience things outside of my comfort zone, this resulted in seeing many parts of the world and undertaking challenges some people would not have any interest in.  I finished a book last night that contained a couple chapters on the difference between a Vacation and a Trip.  The primary distinction would be, a Vacation is a Type I fun while a Trip is often a mixture of Types II & III.  For an explanation of the types check out this  Teton Gravity Research article or this one from an REI blog post.  These Type II&III fun are often things I like to share on this blog but I do not see this as showing off but rather hoping to inspire others to do things that they find challenging or fun.  Oddly only a little of the inspiration I have experienced that stimulated me to undertake challenges has come from the internet.  More often the inspiration comes from personal account with the subsequent research coming from the internet as I plan a trip.  A couple of accounts of this include the beginning of my mountaineering career being stimulated by one of the lawyers at the office recounting his trip up Mt. Rainer, after hearing it I decided sure I could do that too, sounds fun.  Follow that with a meeting a few guys on a ice climbing trip who told me about Mt. Denali and that immediately became what I thought then would be an outlandish but exciting goal to attain.

These inspirations are where the question of choice vs. opportunity cost comes from.  When I decided to climb Mt. Denali I started off down the path with training and other climbs to prepare, then some friends decided they wanted to do it and since it would be far more fun with a buddy or two I decided to wait.  During the waiting year I needed to find some other training/challenge which resulted in a trip to Bolivia to attempt Huyana Potosi and a summit of Illimani.  The time and challenge down in Bolivia was awe inspiring and certainly made me rethink other high altitude climbs but I now see that despite my Denali delay being what I thought was a negative I look back now and realize it was worth the delay to get to do something else, i.e. opportunity capitalization rather than cost.

Now I find another choice to make for Denali for next year, try it solo or try some alternative, in order to for my attempt at the highest mountain in North America to be with friends?  This is a happiness quotient question that I cannot quantify.  While these types of opportunity costs are just one small question related to one in the fun parts of life, it also shows how we all make decisions to balance family, career, fun and growth and who knows what the right answer is until you look back and say well that worked out or it did not?  Seems like with the right positive outlook and then hard work to achieve most costs can be converted to opportunity, guess thats the next plan I need to make.

As always will now post a few pictures from last couples months, clearly behind on my posts again but in summary they will start after Bolivia since I think that deserves its own post and I would highly recommend any climber or traveler head down there and head up some stunning peaks.  The time after Bolivia up to now will be home, Rainer, Maine, Cabo, California, and back to Maine.  Guess being this busy is why I have not posted in too long but hope to get back to it soon.

Nice time for a little jog at home

Taste of Dallas with a super villain, Todd David of Cattleack BBQ then one of his creations, the pastrami beef rib. Perhaps best rib I have ever eaten

Few pics up the hill and of the team on the summit of Mt. Rainer

Beach at home in Maine, waves on Monhegan Island, some north country views from riding quads, little post work time

Approaching and summiting Mt. Katahdin up the Helon Taylor  trail forget my Texas flag for my Katahdin summit picture again. I should write another post on my consideration of the the government threats on the designation of national monuments but its a bit of a political conundrum for me, nature vs. small government.

Anza Borrego Dessert hike

Went hop picking in Julian, CA. Homebrew preparation for the fall and some fun in the garden.

Visit to Baja for some quad riding and relaxing time

Some IM training back at house in Maine. This actually looks back at the point where sister was married just up the road from home.





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One Comment
  1. Ernest Garcia permalink

    Great post Justin. I can definitely relate and respect to the fact that I chose a different path a path of owning a home having a family of 3 kids and working hard to support them and the cost of that is not been able to accomplish the many challenges obstacles that you’ve chosen to face. Hopefully in due time I’ll be able to do those things as well in pursuit of growth inside working and outside of work.

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