Henry Thoreau once said, The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. The first time I heard this quote it stopped me in my tracks. I was forced to consider that the price I was paying for some of my choices was too great. What would you say about your life? When is the price the right price?

The price is right when the outcome of your time spent brings you joy, happiness, and a sense of purpose.

Achieving a goal, chasing a dream, or nurturing important relationships is time well spent.

I recently watched a movie called “Mama Mia, Here we Go Again” and the main character Sophie chases her deceased mother’s dream of opening a restaurant in Greece. Sophie is young, courageous, vulnerable, and pregnant. With the help of family and friends, she perseveres in the face of challenge and fulfills not only her mother’s dream, but now her own dream too.

Just like life, everything doesn’t go according to plan. She almost gave up. The price almost became too high, as the challenges mounted, and the joy diminished. What she didn’t realize until the end was that her dream became the dream for many, and everyone pulled together to see it through. The price was right.

When does the price become too high?

The price becomes too high when bitterness, settling, and regret become any part of the equation, conversation, or reality. When bitterness takes over in our lives, we lose our joy. We allow the same things to play over and over again in our minds, and often for years. We hold tightly to a negative experience, often from childhood, and it shapes and alters our entire life.

My father always wanted to play high school football and become a pilot. He was an only child and his mother thought both were too dangerous. So, he made the choice not pursue his dream. He is 81 years old, and the bitterness, sadness, and/or disappointment is still present because he talks about it even now.

Dave Willis, author of The Seven Laws of Love says that “Bitterness and love can’t live together in the same heart. Each day, we must decide which one gets to stay.”

What can you let go of today? What can you forgive?

The price also becomes too high when we settle. We take the easy road instead of the one less traveled. We arrive somewhere, but not where we saw ourselves. We let our current circumstances define our lives. We choose to live someone else’s life instead of our own. We have become prisoners in our own lives instead of pioneers of our future. We no longer believe we can achieve a goal or a dream. We put up barriers, both real and imagined that move our dreams from possibility to the sidelines. Or we think, plan, think, plan, and never take any real steps towards realizing a future that we vividly realize in our dreams.

Settling is a choice you don’t have to make. Accept where you are today and choose a different tomorrow.

What small step can you take each day that moves you from settling to success?

Quite simply, bitterness and settling eventually lead to regret. Regret for a life not lived with purpose, a choice not made, forgiveness withheld, or relationships lost just to name a few.

Regret is the pain we feel when the price we pay is too high.

What is the price you are paying for your choices?

Today, I am consciously choosing to think about and do those things that bring joy, happiness, and internal peace. The saying that time seems to pass more quickly the older you get is true.

Experiencing joy and happiness every day is choice. Don’t wait, let go and choose your best life.

How do you want to live today? Tomorrow?


Wanda Ortwine
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