To Obtain The Ultimate Reward You Will Have To Make The Ultimate Sacrifice
When you think “sacrifice”, what comes to mind? Likely not any fun thoughts, and that would be understandable- because people do not like making sacrifices. If you could have whatever you wanted without having to give anything up, that would be an awesome deal! Unfortunately, that is not how the world works, even our economic system requires you to sacrifice something (money) to get something of equal value.
Sacrifice is the act of giving up something you want to keep especially to get or do something else.
So why is it important that we sacrifice? It is important because some things in life are so valuable that we can only attain them by giving up something else that is important to us.
Let’s Talk Opportunity Cost
Whether you know it or not, life is a series of tradeoffs. As humans, we are capable of thought and can make choices. Any choice we make comes at the sacrifice of something else, this is referred to as opportunity cost.
“What if I do not choose?”. I hate to break it to you, but that’s also a choice. A lot of guys think sacrificing is only an active behavior. This is because when you “actively sacrifice” it hurts. Sacrifice can actually be passive, meaning that sometimes you do not have to do anything to lose something. The reason we are actively able to sacrifice is that we are humans capable of making choices.
The reason we never notice passive sacrifices is because the loss is significantly delayed, and this is really dangerous. Passive sacrifices are technically not “passive”, there just sacrifices you make without realizing it. It’s like having a credit card; you can spend as much as you want now but you’ll have to pay back in the future, usually with interest.
Types of Sacrifices
For the purpose of this article, there are 2 categories of sacrifices:
We are all familiar with active sacrifices; hell, just getting up from bed is an active sacrifice. In this article, I want to focus more on passive sacrifices because I think that is where things can get dangerous due to its delayed nature.
Right now, imagine you were sent 5 years back in time with the knowledge you have today? What would be the things you’d do differently? Who would you be today assuming you actually did those things?
I’m sure the person you could have been is probably better than who you are right now, but that person, for better or worse, is the "passive" sacrifice you made for your current self.
-Why Is It Difficult?
Sacrifices are made much easier when you know the future, but we just don’t have that power.
Why is it hard to make sacrifices? I believe a reason it is difficult to make sacrifices is that we are just not built for it on a biological level. Our ancestors did not live long especially with all the threats and dangers that existed in the past. They had to take while the taking was good because there was a high possibility that they might not survive the next day.
Sacrifices are difficult because there is always an uncertainty about the future. The best-case scenario would be a guaranteed reward after minimal sacrifice, and the worst would be no reward after sacrificing the most.
What Are The Right Sacrifices For You
First of all, it is important to have a target or a goal. This needs to be a goal that validates your efforts because nothing makes a man more resentful than feeling that you have wasted your time. You need a goal that you believe in; whether you are successful or not, you know you gained something from that experience.
Do not view sacrifice as a loss, but as an opportunity cost. We only get 24 hours in a day; how we use it is up to each of us. When you have a goal that you truly believe in, you are willing to learn what you need to do to make that dream a reality.
What it comes down to is replacing an activity that does not bring your dream closer, with one that does. This requires you to learn what activities will help.
A philosopher and mathematician famous for creating “Process Philosophy”; an attempt to reconcile the diverse intuitions found in human experience into a coherent holistic scheme, Alfred North Whitehead, once said: “The purpose of thinking is to let your thoughts die instead of you”.
For those of you who play chess- before you make a move you consider every possible move available and their respective consequences. You avoid moves that would cost you and make moves that you believe would help you win. Each move you chose not to make is a required sacrifice. You need to think deeply about the possible sacrifices you need to make for your goal, otherwise, it is “checkmate”.
The Liming Thought
“What if I fail?”
Whether you admit it or not, this is a thought you have had at some point and that’s understandable. Like I mentioned earlier, a major reason people do not sacrifice for the future is that the future is never guaranteed. Uncertainty of the future plays a massive role in a person’s ability to delay gratification, but we all know that if you cannot delay gratification, you will never succeed.
There was a study done in 2012, in relation to the Marshmallow Experiment that showed that people's choices are moderated by beliefs about environmental stability. The link to the full article is here.
Here are some tips that can give you an edge:
Set milestones that are relatively quick to accomplish and rewarding .
Keep learning and expanding your comfort zone, the more knowledge you. accrue the better you can think and consider possibilities.
Envision the person you could be and use that as motivation.
Envision the person you don’t want to become and use that as motivation.