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Everything You Want, Comes With A Price Tag

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Sheryl Crow has a line in a song that I love: "It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you have."

We live in a society that always wants more. A better job, a nicer car, a bigger house, a bigger paycheque, a great title, and so on. However, each of these wants comes with a price.

In my Stress Solutions webinar and workshop, I talk about a "wants inventory" activity, in which you write down in a column what you think you want. You can do this for both your personal and your professional lives. Then in another column, you put a price beside each want. I don't mean dollars and cents, necessarily. Every "want" carries a price tag that often has nothing to do with money.

My daughter, Victoria, has wanted a dog for as long as I can remember. We constantly tell her that our lifestyle is not conducive to a dog. I explain to her that there's a cost to having a dog, but she refuses to look at any negatives.

Tucker is my dad's dog, and a while ago Tucker stayed with us for a week. If I were writing Victoria's "wants inventory," I would put many comments in the "price" column. A dog needs to be walked, can't spend the day alone, needs to be cleaned up after, played with, bathed, and so on.

As an adult, I was able to see the cost that came with a dog but Victoria couldn't. Until we were dog-sitting, that is. Having now experienced those costs first-hand, she realizes that she is unwilling to pay the price to have a dog. Problem solved.

Maybe your issues are not so simple.

You want to own your own house? Mortgages are typically more expensive than rent. Plus, there are taxes, utilities, insurance, maintenance fees and home improvement costs to ensure your investment grows. Then there's the lack of flexibility with your job, being tied to a property and the danger of a falling real estate economy.

You want a better paying job? You will be working longer hours, taking work home, carrying a smartphone, and not having the flexibility of taking your vacation or going on school outings when you want to.

You want your own office? You will be putting yourself out of the conversation loop. You'll feel like you don't belong and you will probably often be lonely during the day.

Want that supervisor's job? Your friends will become your employees and there will be no more shared lunches, complaining about the boss or whining about the company. Also consider that one day you might have to let one of them go.

Everything has a price. You have to decide if you're willing to pay it.

Once you've completed your "wants inventory" and you've completed it truthfully, pass it on to someone who has what it is that you want. She will likely be able to add to the list -- things you hadn't even thought of. Just like we did with Victoria, our experience taught us that things are almost never as easy to come by as they appear. Your "wants inventory" can help you become prepared to make a logical, rather than an emotional, decision.