Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone
- Joni Mitchell
People like to say: “It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.”
It’s an oldie but a goodie. Hard to argue with it.
But there’s another key part of wanting something.
Namely: It’s knowing what you must give up to get it.
I always want to know the real cost of what I’m getting.
That means the cost of the acquisition itself, and also identifying what you have to give up to get it.
Another way of looking at it is acknowledging that when you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else.
Whether the transaction involves your time, your money, your energy, or whatever, there’s no “yes” without a “no.”
But while we always see the yes, we rarely take the time to identify the no.
There’s that other expression: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
That’s saying: A sure bet is twice as valuable as a high-paying risk.
But I like to think it’s also saying: ‘Why not take another look at that bird in your hand. It’s pretty cute and soft and kind. Why give that up? What do you need two birds for so badly that you’d give up on this great bird right here in your hand?’
Don’t ever say yes to something without thinking it all the way through.
Now let’s all build a time machine and go back to 2004 and not trade Alfonso Soriano for A-Rod.