To get where you want to go, you will have to make sacrifices.
Our society’s growing awakening to the fact that money does not buy happiness must be accompanied with the realization that sacrifices are inevitable in pursuit of real joy. For example, we may need to sacrifice a comfortable salary when we leave a corporate job to chase our goals or dreams.
I came face-to-face with this realization in 2015, when I decided to leave a highly lucrative position as a business development executive at a top consulting firm in the U.S.
What Are You Willing to Sacrifice for Your Dreams?
Great achievement is usually born out of great sacrifice.
– Napoleon Hill
At the time, I had what most would call a dream job: flying around the country, engaging clients over expensive dinners, and attending top sporting events. And yet, I never felt as fulfilled in this high-flying lifestyle as I did when I was mentoring teens or helping friends, family, colleagues, and strangers overcome whatever challenges were causing them suffering.
It was my awakening to this truth that inspired me to leave my successful corporate career and move to India in February 2016, with plans to launch a website called Conscious Motivation and become a professional and personal life coach to clients around the world.
With such radical change came a lot of sacrifices; sacrifices that we all have to make when following our heart into the unknown in pursuit of a life of real fulfillment.
Sacrifices need not be approached with negativity. In fact, if made correctly, it is the sacrifices themselves that will give you the freedom to achieve your goals and dreams.
These sacrifices can be broken down into two categories: material and social.
You must be willing to sacrifice some material comforts to pursue your dreams. When we walk away from a guaranteed monthly income, and face less or no income, we must be open to living with fewer ‘things.’
The most common material sacrifices, for those of us who have these privileges, will come from our choice of home, personal vehicle, and lifestyle. Of them all, however, it’s usually our lifestyles that offer the greatest opportunities to downsize our spending habits, often by cutting back on the amount we spend eating out, drinking or shopping.
We tend to spend a good deal of our money on things we want more than the things we need, and this is especially true with shopping. By associating the acquiring of new things with happiness, we get into a cycle of craving more and more things. We need things to be happy, and this is a fact that is fed to us constantly. But true happiness originates on the inside, by aligning our career and daily life with the passion that lies within our heart.
My first year in India, I did not purchase one article of new clothing. Shopping was a sacrifice I was happy to make to ensure that I was not wasting money I may need in the future to invest in my goals.
And even though I cut my total spending by 90% that year, the ability to live my dream made it the happiest year of my life.
We can adjust the way we approach downsizing. Downsizing is not a negative thing. In time, you will find that with less mortgage or car payments and fewer shopping trips, you will have much greater freedom. And freedom is priceless.
Social sacrifices are often more challenging than material ones. This is largely because material sacrifices are an attachment to the ego, but social sacrifices are often attachments of the heart.
With only 24 hours in the day to focus on our goals, there will come a time when we may need to be selfish and dedicate the majority of our time to the pursuit of our goals.
You will have to make sacrifices, and miss special occasions and trips with friends and family. You will also have to be less available, whether in person, by phone, or online. However, those most adversely affected by your sacrifice — your partner, family, and friends — will also be those most rewarded when you return more fulfilled and content with your life.
Freedom through sacrifice
The joy you will experience in making sacrifices cannot be quantified; it is a gift beyond measure.
Sacrifices free us, financially and socially. They also free us emotionally, as we give ourselves over fully to our dreams and goals. And if you still find yourself hesitating, remember this: it is not about what we have to give up; it is about what we stand to gain.