Life is about trade-offs. After all, you can’t spend money like a drunken sailor and simultaneously build a substantial nest egg, nor can you stuff your face with junk food and expect to lose weight. (At least I haven’t found a way.) This principle applies to most choices in life. The fact is when you opt to do one thing, you’ve chosen to forgo another — without even knowing it. So, what are you willing to give up to get what you want?
What Are You Willing to Sacrifice to Get What You Want?
Here’s a list of choices that you make every day. Are you aware of the trade-offs that you’re making? After all, you can’t be in two places at the same time. (Even though the following list is depicted as an either-or choice, your actual behavior lies somewhere in between.)
Self-esteem. Do you try to make yourself proud or seek the acceptance of others?
Outlook. Do you believe anything’s possible or feel like you’re doomed from the start?
Desires. Do you invest for the future or seek instant gratification?
Integrity. Do you do what’s right or what’s easy?
Personal responsibility. Do you fend for yourself or depend on others for support?
Risk appetite. Do you explore new opportunities or let your fears stop you?
Embrace change. Do you challenge the status quo or rest on your laurels?
Priorities. Do you make family time or “me time” your priority?
Gratitude. Do you appreciate the wonderful things in your life or take things for granted?
Work. Do you strive for excellence or opt for perfection?
Goal setting. Do you create stretch goals or lower the bar so that it’s easy to clear?
Success mindset. Do you pursue success one small step at a time or chase get-rich-quick schemes?
Work ethic. Do you work hard or do just enough to get by?
Winning strategy. Do you create win-win relationships or try to win at all costs?
Personal development. Do you invest in your personal growth or expect others to spoon-feed you?
Personal growth. Do you welcome negative feedback or view critique as a slap in the face?
Generosity. Do you act selflessly or selfishly?
Relationships. Do you possess quality, in-depth relationships or pursue casual friendships?
Open-minded. Do you consider yourself receptive to new ideas or are you closed-minded?
Frame of mind. Do you live for today or are you a prisoner of your past?
Rewards. Do you recognize when enough is enough or continually seek more?
Values. Do you abide by your principles or compromise your personal standards?
It is important to note that every choice you make will affect you today as well as tomorrow — but the long-term impact may not always be clear. In fact, even though you may benefit today, your choice may come back to bite you one day.
Your life is determined by the sum of the choices that you make.
Make Good Choices…Your Life Depends on It
So, what are you willing to give up to get what you want? There’s no correct answer to that question — what’s right for one person may not be right for you. That said, everything worthwhile in life requires an element of sacrifice. You might deny yourself something you’ve always wanted so that you can save for your future. You might have to work long hours to further your career even though you’d rather spend time with your family. Or you might pass up a second helping of cake because you know it’s not good for you. (Oh no!) The point being, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
While most choices that you make may be small — and don’t attract a lot of attention — over time, the cumulative impact of those choices is significant. Make good choices and judge your successes by the sacrifices made to achieve them.
Check out Frank’s latest book, The Path to a Meaningful Life.
What Would You Give Up to Get What You Want?
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