What will you sacrifice today for your future tomorrow?
What are you willing to sacrifice to achieve your goals or to become successful? Many of us sit and wait for success to land in our laps or nicely packaged with a bow on top without doing an iota of work! How is that possible? Many of us may be doing what we call work and putting time and effort into activities that we feel will bring us success, but it isn't happening fast enough. Who or what really determines how soon you realise success?
When I think of sacrifice, I think of giving up something for the greater good, larger benefit, long-term gain or a better return on investment.
Depending on your size and depth of your goals or dreams, some success may be short term while others may be long term. Some may be exact; while others, you never know when success will reach your door. As an example, if you decide that success for you is pursuing a degree, you know that by the end of three or four years, once you do what you need to do - that is, study and pass your exams - you will have that degree. If your success goal is to work at a bank or specific institution at the end of completing that degree, then the variables that come into play are now out of your control. Many graduates have attained their degree or even a master's, thinking that they are assured success because of it. This is so far from the truth. There are no guarantees and many think of themselves as failures or they have wasted their time, effort and money.
This also happens to entrepreneurs who pursue a business idea, passion or hobby, who make the necessary sacrifices to attain success. But what does success look like really? What we need to realise is that it takes baby steps, and along the way, you may enjoy the giant leaps and back to baby steps to reach success. You have to celebrate each step as success. If you don't, then ingratitude sets in, and believe me, that type of attitude works against you in moving forward and appreciating what is to come. All that you go through, success or challenges, are all preparing you for something better, something greater, which just requires your patience and faith.
Some lose, some win
When I think of sacrifice in a historical or even religious sense, I see the loss of lives as being necessary for the greater good of the majority. Some people have to die for others to live. Some people have to be left behind for others to have prosperity. What sort of grit and armour do we need to have in order to really understand what sacrifice means? I have come up with a list that I am sure is not exhaustive. Feel free to look within yourself and add to it:
In order to make sacrifices:
n You must believe in what you are doing even though others don't agree with you;
n You must be willing to do whatever it takes even if it is something that makes you uncomfortable;
n You must be willing to face adversity, negativity and even isolation from friends, family and loved ones;
n You must be willing to stand alone if it comes to it;
n You must be willing to accept criticism from others who do not understand your vision;
n You must be willing to question yourself and determine if your dream is bigger than your fears.
For some of us, we are afraid of being successful, so we do nothing nor add value and make no sacrifices in order to stay where we are, but secretly wish we did something differently. What a torturous state to be in! I hope that isn't you! What are you really afraid of? Confront yourself with this question and ask if our heroes or slave ancestors or even Jesus and His disciples did not get over their fears and make the sacrifices, where would we be today?
What sacrifice are you willing to make in order to make the future of your children better? We are the beneficiaries of the past. As parents, we need to be careful what we say and show our children. We pass our fears on to them. I don't consider myself a forecaster or predictor, but one thing I see happening is children today being more enterprising, more adventurous, more willing to take risks, willing to try new things and be uncomfortable, willing to fit into that profile list above. Don't stop them, support and encourage them for I see leaders in the making. Leaders of a new age that we need to accept and give room to, and even learn from.
So if you have been making sacrifices in your own way, and for some reason you think it is all in vain, don't despair, the benefit may not be for you in this life, but for those in the next.
n Corine La Font is a speaker, author, coach and self-publishing consultant. She is also an award-winning publishing resource in the 2013 Small Business Book Awards. Get a copy of her book at http://amzn.to/TFHQka, Subscribe to her magazine at http://bit.ly/1IDj7pQ tune in to her radio programme at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/helpdeskja and check out her website at http://www.helpdeskja.com She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.