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I heard a quote this year that changed my whole life. It was a quote I could have overlooked. One that I might have ignored or glanced over in younger days. When I read this quote, it all changed for me. It felt like the Universe had come to give me an offer. One I could not refuse, and would no longer neglect.
"If you don't sacrifice for your dream, then your dream will become your sacrifice." ~Unknown
After hearing this quote, I had a choice to make. Whether this choice would be easy or hard, depended on me. If I chose to cling to my distractions, then the choice would be hard. If I decided that nothing was worth the cost of my dream, then the choice would be easy. I've heard that more people regret the things they did not do than things they did. Wishing that they had gone for their goals. Ashamed, they gave in to their fears. I did not want to be one of them, and you don't have to be either. Know that, no matter what age you are, you still have time to decide.
A life you never had
Think of the things that have held you back in your life? Are there things you have been doing too much? Is there anything you think that you could do a lot more? What would you give to be closer to your dreams? What would you let go of today to have all you wanted tomorrow? Perhaps you have a noble cause. Are you living your life for another? Is the vision that you have for yourself matching up with the work you put in? Know that for everything you do, a price must be paid. To live a life you've never had, you must do things you've never done.
"There is no decision that we can make that doesn't come with some sort of balance or sacrifice." ~Simon Sinek
Avoiding pain will only serve to bring you more in the end. Either we go through pain now, or we encounter it later. No one escapes themselves, and the weight of their decisions. If we think that we can, we're only kidding ourselves. Is there a lifestyle worth living more than the one you have now? What wouldn't you do to build a fortune for you and your family? I had to think very hard about these questions. I had to know what I was willing to let go of.
Digging a hole
The first things to go for me were very hard. They were things I never thought I'd be without. Because I did not let go of the fear of losing a comfortable life, I ended up sacrificing what I held most dear. My relationship with my wife was no more. My habits and hobbies prevented me from healing our problems. My safe and secure job was no more. My lust for luxury had left me with the loss of the life that I loved. My fear of failure was feeding me a false sense of reality. I did not do what it took for my dreams, so life determined I was due for a lesson.
A good friend told me "the teacher is always quiet during the test." I look back and realize I was not prepared. I wasn't prepared for the price of my admission to greatness. I wasn't prepared for the cost of my delinquent decisions. I had denied my purpose in pursuit of the wrong passions. The longer I went without letting them go, I was digging a hole for my dream.
You may have had it rough, and I don't know your story. All I know is that your story is not over. If you are reading this, believe that your life is not over. The chance to make things right for you is also not over. The time to win your fight is not yet over. No one said it would be easy, but you don't really want easy. Think for a second, and imagine that your whole life was easy. Does it sound like a life that would inspire a troubled soul?
We want things easy because we think that's how life should be. It is our expectation that disappoint can cause suffering. If only we knew the vast rewards of a difficult journey. Think of your heroes, and ask yourself why you admire them. Do you respect them because their path in life was easy? Or do you commend them for pressing on when times got tough? When I understood this, I knew I had nothing to fear.
What you want most
The price of pleasure will demand the cost of pain. Count yourself lucky if you can decide which to go through first. You can go for pain today, and delay your gratification. You would be placing yourself in a very low percentile. I've read that 1,700 millionaires are made each day in America alone. Knowing that this is less than one percent of the population puts things in perspective. Let no one fool you into believing this road will be easy. Yet, don't fool yourself into thinking that it has to be hard.
What will your story be, my friend? What will you sacrifice for your dream? They say that discipline is choosing between what you want now, and what you want most. For my dream, I chose to be hungry on a whole new level. I went without food for over a month, and would have done it again. It has given me more than I ever knew I had. Will you do what it takes today to have the life you want tomorrow? Having a gritty story can be a great gift. Your journey can be a jumpstart for the life of another. Heroes are born when they're victorious on the battlefield. Having a warrior's spirit will pay you in peace. Only you can decide what it's worth in the end.
“The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.” ~Gaylord Nelson
Find me on Twitter and Instagram: @jromeshaw
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