If I asked you to make a list of all your heartfelt desires, aspirations and dreams, your pen would slip happily on the paper without any form of resistance. You want a better health. You want a healthier relationship. You want to travel the world. And why not?! You want a bigger home, and if possible, a new car or career.
But if I asked you to list what you are willing to sacrifice to manifest these dreams and desires into reality, it may be more difficult for you to get started. If you look at most of the subjects which can be found on self development blogs, you will surely come across this theme: Change of Life.
Everyone talks about change; people want to live in a better economy, have better schools for their children, to be in better physical shape and be richer but, curiously, no one wants to take the first step toward making a change.
Everyone is on hold. Everyone wants to see the results from change, but no one is willing to pay the price. Especially when the sacrifices require a change or a removal of some of our deeply established and comfortable habits. Humans have a natural resistance to change. We hang on to our way of doing things, even if it produces more suffering long-term. Even though change is the fundamental nature of reality.
What does sacrifice mean to you?
When we hear the word “sacrifice” we mostly imagine an action totally forced upon us, or giving body and soul for the benefit of another person. In reality, a sacrifice is not only a totally altruistic act, it should also be viewed as a kind of investment; abandoning one thing for another of greater value.
Advertisers tend to rely on this eternal law of sacrifice: “Lose your extra pounds without changing of diet, become rich without having to work hard, etc.” Are you not bombarded with advertising that says you can grow your muscles without raising a dumbbell?
These messages reinforce the idea that we can reap rewards without making any sacrifices and the fantasy of getting everything we want without having to pay anything is extremely attractive. However, this is a false assumption so present in our lives that we forget the number one rule (that we should memorize) – One only gets what one is prepared to pay, is prepare for, or has work for.
It reminds me of the expression I use often: “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.”
Sure, certain things come for free in your life. But have you not noticed that if you receive something for free at one time or another, there is a strong likelihood that the luck won’t be used to the best of its capacity? Take the example of the people who win the lottery and waste their fortune in about two years.
To a certain extent, what prevents most people from achieving happiness is thinking they can have it both ways. You want to study full time again but you don’t want to live on a reduced income while you study. The payback from studying, longer term could be far greater than not studying but are you prepared to make this trade off?
In many cases, you will pay much less and will get much more by taking the road of sacrifices and the art of making sacrifices lies in identifying what is most valuable to you. Take stock of your life, and see how many times you have been able to reap enormous rewards without having to make any sacrifice. Rarely if ever!
Start to embrace uncertainty
Have faith in an abundant nature and a creator universe and focus on what you can change in your life, and not on what is outside of your control. If we try to change too many things, our primitive brain is so overwhelmed by fear that it becomes difficult to feel safe and confident and make any progress at all.
Finally, remember one thing: you will live in resentment and stagnation if you do not see through the cultural fog which hides the law of sacrifice. In the end, if you want to be free, fulfilled, and make the life of your dreams a reality, you have to ask yourself this simple question:
“What am I willing to sacrifice to change my life?”