You can’t have your cake and eat it too

One quote that’s stood out for me in recent years has been from Ray Dalio’s book Principals which states “if you work hard and creatively, you can have just about anything you want, but not everything you want.” I think that quote sums up my life in a nutshell.

I was talking to one of my friends, Austin, recently and we were assesing where we both were in life and where we wanted to end up in the future. Right now my friend Austin drives a luxury car, works less than 30 hours a week, has most of his meals either catered or delivered to him, never pays a cent towards rent, has all the consoles and games he’d ever want, and to top it all off he has a loving girlfriend who routinely “shows him love”.

Comparing that to my life I drive a decade old car, work about 40-50 hours a week, barely ever get food delivered to me and eat leftovers when I do, pay a couple thousand in rent, have one console with a couple games, and a loving right hand who routinely “shows me love”.

Our lives are indeed very different, but sometimes I look back and ask myself if I made the right decisions. I went to college for a major I was passionate about, got my degree, and worked in one of my dream professions. Now I’ve willing taken on responsibilities for things as an investment in my life and career but have brought little to no immediate reward. I got all the important things I was aiming for, but not everything I was aiming for.

“You can’t have your cake and eat it too,” I guess. Most of my goals are done through necessary means but sometimes there are unintended consequences to accomplishing the goals. I bought a piece of property but didn’t think about all the costs associated to it like lawn mowing costs, natural disaster insurance, refinancing costs. My main goal was accomplished but at the price of a lacked sense of responsibility. I ate my cake (bought the property) but lost the feeling of having my cake (the freedom to use that money on other oppurtunities and the mental freedom of not focusing on bills.

Unintentional consequences are real for bad decisions and even if you have a hint of them happening, you need to make the decision as if the worst scenario was happening. From tere you must ask yourself “Is the end result of my objective more important than those things going on? We never completely know that going forward

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