Most people view sacrifice as purely altruistic, a selfless act. This one dimensional view is a bit misleading. Real sacrifice is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as: An act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.
This doesn’t diminish the intention of sacrifice, it just reframes it. Some call it the “Law of Sacrifice”. Clearly it’s not just about giving something up but gaining something in return. What we are actually doing is acting in way that gives more importance and priority to what we value most in life.
Unfortunately, the Law of Sacrifice can be painful and uncomfortable. We live in a “have it all” and “have it right now” society. No place is this more evident than in the diet world. We’re led to believe that we can lose 20 pounds in 10 days without giving up foods we love. Well, maybe if I cut off my leg.
The path of least resistance or taking the easy way certainly has its merits. But as the saying goes, anything worth having is worth working for.
Recently I experienced this concept first hand. I was a couple of months into studying for my HR exam and had barely made a dent in the nearly 2,000 pages of material. Everything got in the way. Client work, business planning, family functions, hanging out with friends, workout time, reading for pleasure, simply relaxing on the weekends. Something had to give, and quickly.
Honestly, I was tempted to quit. How much would I have to give up to pass the test? And would the sacrifice be worth it?
I wanted this certification pretty badly. So, out went reading for pleasure, hanging with friends, relaxing on the weekends, and most painfully, out went my workout and strategic business planning. Drastic, I know. But there are only 24 hours in a day and many of those hours were needed to study.
So how did it turn out? Recently I took the test and passed. Looking back, did miss going to events with my friends? Yes. Did I miss just relaxing on the weekend? Of course. Am I behind on my 2016 planning? Yes. Was it hard getting back into my workout routine? OH MY GOSH, YES…and OW!!
But was it worth it? I won’t lie–it was high-five, dance of joy, I’m going to Disney World kind of moment. There’s a certain kind of personal gratification that comes when achievement is result of head’s down hard work and sacrifice.
So the question is, what are YOU willing to sacrifice to achieve your goals and dreams?