Sacrifices: Making Room for What You Want

Sacrifice (like discipline) is one of those concepts that seems unappealing at first. We don’t like to “give up” anything – especially not for the fleeting hope that it might be replaced with something better at an undetermined time in the future. Where’s the fun in that?
Most of us yearn for the familiar and comfortable, even if it’s dissatisfying. It seems less scary to stay safely ensconced in our routines. We avoid taking the actions we know we must take to be successful, because it seems easier not to. We sit in a vegetative state in front of the television so we don’t have to think about how unhappy we are. And with each year that passes, we sink further into resignation.
I’m not going to ask you to give up the activities you love, such as watching television.
What I am going to do is ask you to consider what you would rather sacrifice. Either way, you are sacrificing SOMETHING. You are sacrificing your dreams as you hide your head in the sand, or you are sacrificing a portion of leisure time for a bigger goal.

Our perception of sacrifice is usually what makes it seem so unappealing. What can make it easier is a neat little trick I learned years ago: focus on what you are GAINING, not on what you are LOSING. It’s all about your perception!
If you think you have to be miserable now in order to be successful later, that’s exactly how you’ll end up feeling. If, on the other hand, you make a decision to feel happy about the changes you are making in your life, you will focus naturally on the benefits rather than the inconveniences.
I’ve been polite and I’ve always shown up. Somebody asked me if I had any advice for young people entering the business. I said, “Yeah, show up.”
– Tom T. Hall
The “inconveniences” DON’T have to be massive, by the way. Let’s use the television example again. You don’t have to sacrifice all of your television-watching in order to achieve your goals.

If you have a few favorite shows, by all means watch them! Recharging your mental and physical batteries with some downtime is just as important as working efficiently on your goals.
Again, the important thing is balance. Be willing to sacrifice what you don’t need for something you really want. Rather than focusing on what you’re giving up, focus on what you are gaining in the long run.
See success as something you need to incorporate into your life. If your life is already crammed full of unproductive activities and unsuccessful outcomes, you need to do a little housecleaning before success can effectively squeeze through your door.
(Note: cleaning up your physical surroundings can also be effective in helping you let go of unproductive activities! Clutter (mental or physical) is a horrible drain on your energy. Get rid of what no longer serves you and you’ll be amazed at how much lighter and motivated you feel.)

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