“THIS is a total waste of my time…”

Ever feel that way about a task, like what you’re doing SERIOUSLY isn’t worth your energy?

Ever feel that way about a person?

I struggled with this for a long time because while I believe all people DO matter in a spiritual sense, I couldn’t see a way to reconcile that view with what the market wants: a way to calculate actual, measurable value.

Then I found it.

I discovered what I believe to be the simplest and most effective way to find measurable value even in those tasks and people that would typically be seen only as a liability.

It’s a concept I call “Opportunity Profit,” and I’d like to share it with you.

We use the term “Opportunity Cost” to describe the price of giving up options in one area in order to pursue gain in another. But what about those actions we pursue where there appears to be only a cost, but no reward?

What about those mountains we climb that will NEVER get us any recognition or bring us any prize? What about those people we choose to love and serve who don’t have the capacity to love us back in the same way, or serve us in return in ways that matter to us?

This is where the concept of what I call “Opportunity Profit“ comes into play.

Opportunity Profit is what you get when you pursue something that has no measurable value in-and-of-itself, except the benefit of you becoming the kind of person who does it. 

It’s caring for a sick person as they die, not because it looks good on social media, but because it’s good for your soul and the right thing to do.
It’s choosing to serve a cause with no real hope of success simply because it is right, just and true, or because it resonates deeply within you as something you have to do.

These are things for which a purely economic model of the world has no place.

These are things the rational mind might see as a waste that should be eliminated if we want to maximize our return on investment.

But not everything in life (at least not for those of us who claim to be human) is about pure return on investment.
Some things we do because they make us better as individuals and make our species stronger as a whole.

I would say we do this because of the image of God in us, a reflection of a Creator who cares about the World He made. Yet, you don’t have to believe in God to see that sometimes goodness is its own reward because of the change it makes in US.

Opportunity Profit means maybe that venture will NEVER be as profitable as you wanted, but doing it for a while anyway will make you a better person along the way.  

Opportunity Profit means maybe that cause will NEVER succeed in the “big picture” of life, but in the story of YOUR life it will be a chapter you’re proud to share.

Opportunity Profit means maybe that person will NEVER become who you wish they would, but every time you choose to love them anyway is a step you take towards the person you were made to be.

The world is full of ways to calculate cost and benefit financially. Maybe, though, there are higher returns that can’t be measured in dollars, and the people who help us get them are truly valuable after all.

So, what do you think? Have you seen the concept of “Opportunity Profit” play out in your own life?

What would you add or take away?

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