Stop Sacrificing Things So ‘You Can Be Successful’
“Oh man, it’s so hard to succeed in life. You need to sacrifice so much for it!”
That’s something you often hear. I agree with the first part. It’s very hard to achieve a worthy goal in life. We all know that good things don’t come easy.
But if you feel like you need to make a sacrifice to be successful, why even go after it? Is it really worth it? When I was still beginning my journey in self-improvement, I thought it was ALL about making sacrifices. I thought stuff like:
- “If I want to succeed, I have to push myself to read everyday”
- “I have to stop going out with friends every weekend”
- “I have to force myself away from that bag of chips, and eat carrots instead”
- “I have to stop spending money on things that don’t benefit my growth”
Do you see what I was doing with these statements? It’s as if I was punishing and depriving myself, JUST to succeed.
Naturally, this mindset would create resentment and frustration over time. This is why people who “sacrifice” to strictly follow diets often end up eating more than they used to, and those who live very frugally for weeks end up overspending in a sudden shopping spree.
When you think of success in terms of sacrifice, you won’t find the happiness that is meant to accompany your goals.
It’s About Your Mindset
My mindset is simple: I’m not going to do it if I think it’s a sacrifice.
When I do something, I do it by choice. When I work hard, I do so because it’s my choice and no one forced me to do it. I choose to work hard because I enjoy the process of my work. Likewise:
- You’re not sacrificing your time and other hobbies. You’re learning more by reading every day.
- You’re not sacrificing that bag of chips. You’re making yourself feel great and clean of toxic elements by eating well.
- You’re not sacrificing fun. You’re giving yourself more time and resources to spend on things that really matter to you.
Of course, everybody needs time off. I’m a believer that rest actually increases our productivity. But that’s a different matter. What I’m talking about here is the importance of how we look at work.
It’s a matter of prioritizing your life. It’s about focusing on the things you can get out of living well; not at what you might have MISSED by succumbing to your impulse cravings.
If you change your outlook from “I’m sacrificing something” to “I’m choosing something,” you’ll find that you’re actually happier as you reach for your goals.
With this mindset, you can avoid the trap of building frustration and resentment that will ultimately fail and bring you back to where you started.
Consistency is the key for improvement. If you keep on falling into the cycle of being frustrated with your goals and starting back all over again, you won’t get very far.
Forget About Work-Life Balance
The idea that work and life are separate things often leads to misconceptions. It blurs the reality we should confront, and it prevents us from making the right decisions.
Let’s face it; your work is practically your life. Don’t believe me? Think about this:
- Your work takes a significant amount of time, probably 8–9 hours (sometimes even up to 10 or 12) of your day.
- You spend a good chunk of your time at work and going to work.
- Even when you’re not at work, you’re likely thinking about that client presentation you need to make or those notes you need to review.
- In other words: Your work IS your life.
This is precisely why you can’t spend your time working on something that you’re not passionate about. Otherwise, it would be a huge waste of your life.
So how can you prevent wasting your life? Choose a career that fits your strengths, goals and lifestyle. You want to go to work everyday, feeling like a million bucks, knowing that every moment you spend is a moment chosen — not sacrificed. You want a job that doesn’t feel like a job.
“But how do I get a job that doesn’t feel like a job?”
Try this: Prioritize learning over pleasure.
Again, this is not easy. But with the right mindset, you will find yourself doing this out of choice and not out of sacrifice.
I’ve talked about Price’s Law, where success can be achieved by being very good at what you do, bringing in high value and earning well from your strengths.
This is about becoming part of a powerful and important minority in your field of interest. Compare the value of this decision to skipping drinks or weekend getaways, and you’ll find that this isn’t a sacrifice — it’s a well-thought choice. So choose well.