It’s no secret, success requires sacrifice. But what would you sacrifice to realize your dream?
Life serves us a finite amount of time and other resources and, no matter what you want to do with your life, you have to work within the confines of those limited resources to make those things happen.
What sacrifices successful people make depends on them. However, there are certain universal ones. They’re things that must be, or at least often are, given up in almost every case while on the path to success.
Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it.
Here are five sacrifices successful people make to accomplish their goals and realize their vision:
1. Minor and major interests
You, like everyone else in the world, probably like many different things. Personally, I love incredible fantasy stories, whether that be through a book, movie, T.V. show, or video game. For that reason, my pursuit is storytelling.
However, I also love martial arts, religious history, learning and acquiring new knowledge, drawing, and a dozen other things.
One of the most difficult truths that successful people realize early on is that, to accomplish great success, certain interests need to be abandoned. It doesn’t mean you no longer like those things, just that you can no longer spend time on them if you want to realize your goals as they (hopefully, at least…) pertain to your primary interest.
In other words, you have to give up the things you really like in exchange for what you love.
It’s common to hear successful people say they sleep just four to five hours a day. One notable example is Tony Robbins.
And, while the science of sleep contradicts claims that most people can function at 100% on this little sleep, many successful people seemingly make it work.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a successful person that didn’t at least forgo some sleep each day on their way to building their dreams. The road to success is long, and a few extra hours daily might be more valuable than a little extra performance.
It’s not uncommon to hear successful people sacrifice special occasions with family and friends for several years while building their dreams.
Imagine you’re flying a plane to get to success. That plane is your vehicle, your business, career, or creative endeavor, and it has a certain amount of fuel (your limited resource). If your plane is too heavy– too much baggage– it will never get to its destination.
So, what do you do? You lighten the load. You won’t survive if you don’t, so the inessentials just have to go. And, unfortunately, birthdays and special events are one of the easiest of those inessentials to give up (temporarily, at least).
One of my favorite examples of sacrifice in uber-successful people comes from Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group and one of the founding sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank, because it illustrates an exceptional point about one of the more intangible sacrifices that all successful people make.
In an interview with Success magazine, Corcoran told the story of the time she had to swallow her pride and get a day job to keep the business afloat:
One year, when interest rates were 18 percent, I had huge overhead and was in debt for $400,000. I was sweating big time; no one was buying real estate and I had 400 agents to support. I swallowed my pride and got a day job running the sales office of a new condominium complex. My bosses loved me, but I despised not being the boss. I left The Corcoran Group in the trusted hands of my business partner, Esther Kaplan, who continued to run it daily. Six months later, I’d earned $100,000 in salary to pay down the debt and cover a chunk of overhead. I quickly forgot about my embarrassment; that fast move actually saved my business.
Successful people realize that success because they’re willing to make the appropriate sacrifices to realize their dream. Sometimes, that means getting a day job. Other times, it means dealing with humbling financial difficulties.
Whatever the case, they know what they want and understand that sacrifices have to be made if they want to realize their vision. And they make those sacrifices willingly, as hard as it may be.