If I could only use one word to describe why we’ve been successful in becoming financially free, it would be the word, sacrifice. It’s seen as negative in our modern world, but you can’t be successful without it. What do you think about when you hear the word sacrifice? I used to think of it as negative (I guess it could be pretty negative if you thought of human sacrifice). Sacrifice is giving up something now to be able to gain something greater in the future.
The truth is successful people sacrifice a lot and they may even enjoy it (oh that’s sick). Sacrifice, of course, is not the only reason that people are successful. Just because you put in the effort doesn’t mean you are going to beat Usain Bolt in a 100-meter sprint. You have to have the stuff as well. Sacrifice is foundational to success. The sacrifice gets you 90% of the way there. The other 10% is stuff. Imagine Usain Bolt having the stuff but not training. He wouldn’t have been world champion if he wasn’t willing to put in all the years of effort to compete at the elite level. If you have stuff oozing out your nostrils, but no sacrifice is near you, you won’t be celebrating success anytime soon. It will be woulda, coulda, shoulda.
I had been going to the gym for a couple of months. I hadn’t been to a “retail gym” before and was just part of a sports team and had a home gym when I was younger. I started going because a friend encouraged me to go, it was cheap and I was feeling tired from being unfit. This was in Fiji where the gym was cheap to attend. After a month or so, I thought I was making improvements and started to pose in front of the mirror. I hadn’t done that in years (there wasn’t anything worth looking at). Compared to some of the other guys at the gym, I looked totally puny. I somewhat bemoaned the idea that I was not some walking Greek statue of bronze. I then realized that I’m not willing to do what it takes to look the part. I mean the dedication it takes to love yourself so much to sculpt your body into those shapes is huge. I faced the fact that there was not enough motivation to push through the pain (literally) to make the gain. I wasn’t willing to make any sacrifices of time or energy to get that far.
It’s good to know what you really want to achieve otherwise you could be swinging from one flight of fancy to another. You won’t accomplish anything if you can’t focus. I’ve started quite a few “businesses” in my time. None of them were wildly successful and some were downright doozies. I would focus on a business idea for a time and then realize how stupid the idea was or I figured out that it wasn’t something I wanted to do. At some stage, though you have to take something through to fruition to see it as successful. Starting is easyish, completing it is takes more effort. Failures are part of your journey. A lot of people would be too discouraged to redirect their energy after a failure and just give up.
Anyone who is famous for something has had sacrifice as the foundation for that success. You look at Tiger Woods on the golf course (his decisions off it haven’t been too hot). He wasn’t an overnight success, but it was years of hard work and focus to become the best. He sacrificed time that other mortals did not or would not. Warren Buffet is one of the richest men in the world because he sacrificed time investigating the companies he wanted to invest in. Those who are successful have sacrificed much to get there. This is the difference between them and others. They were willing to do the difficult things, to do what others would not to gain what they considered the most important things.
“What has that got to do with me getting rich?” Because I have heard of those get rich quick gurus that say, “you only have to look the part and you will get it all”. Don’t be fooled by those guys selling you that garbage. It just does not happen that way as much as people will try to tell you. Some of them work their butt cheeks off spinning their yarns to whoever will listen. Successful people sacrifice. Are you willing to make sacrifices to achieve your financial freedom?
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