Having It All Together … Right!
You can probably think back and remember someone who seemed to always have it together. They were involved in everything and always seemed to excel at everything they did. They never slowed down; they served on committees, organized events, raised 55 children and spent quality time with each of them, worked two full-time jobs, volunteered at the local shelter, raised money to fight some disease, wrote 100 books, and has the happiest spouse in the world. They seem to have it all and have it all together.
In reality, there are parts of their lives that are neglected. I exaggerated the description above intentionally because that’s what we often do when we think about those high achieving types. We draw a picture of what we think someone is like and we enhance it. We make them bigger than they are. Then we compare ourselves to them, imaging that they have everything in life and it’s perfect while our lives are hollow shells full of meaningless events and a cesspool of problems. It’s unfair!
Reality is Not Perfection
It’s also unreal. The truth is that people who seem to have it together are not living perfect lives. They may be accomplishing more than we are right now, but that’s not because they have it all together. It’s not because they are necessarily more talented than we are; in fact, often they may be less talented. And they have problems too, they just don’t share them around as much as some others do.
But what they really have that helps them succeed is an good understanding and effective application of the Law of Sacrifice. You must give up to go up. You have to let go of some things in order to have other better things.
That’s a scary prospect for many of us and perhaps even a little depressing. When we think about sacrifice or giving up, we picture big things. We can become a CEO but our family life is non-existent. Again, it’s that penchant for exaggeration. And it’s also good old resistance finding other reasons to keep us from making any changes.
Simplicity in Sacrifice
Sacrifice is actually pretty simple. You actually look at giving up lesser things in order to get greater things. You sacrifice a couple hours of television time every day in order to read a personal growth book. You sacrifice a few free evenings each week to work on a master’s degree. When you learn to sacrifice, what you are really doing is simply learning to
Say No to the Good So You Can Say Yes to the Best
My father excelled in the credit union business during his career. He was President and CEO of several credit unions over the span of many years and also was a high demand consultant to credit unions nationwide for many years after that. To get there, he had to spend long hours working, gave up evenings to earn a GED and then a degree. Yet, he was never an absentee husband or father. He coached Drum Corps and Little League. He took us on trips. He went to dance recitals for my sister. He had to sacrifice to reach the level he achieved, but the sacrifices were to give up lesser things to get those greater things. He did not give up one great thing to achieve another.
Yes, you have to sacrifice to get where you want to go. But the good news is that the choice is yours.
- What little things are you willing to give up to reach your goals?
- What systems can you put into place to make sure you don’t give up the wrong things?