November 9 – Sacrificing

November 9. “They who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; they who would achieve much, must sacrifice much.” (James Allen)

How much am I willing to wager? How much of my own skin am I willing to put into the game? These are questions that get at the core of what is in this quote. To achieve, to succeed, I must be willing to take chances, but more importantly, I must be willing to sacrifice.

Sacrifice is all about delayed gratification. If I set aside now, if I deny myself of something that I want immediately, and instead use those resources to build a brighter future, then I am making the right sacrifices. I have seen this played out in my life in countless ways. To achieve something truly great, I must be willing to give up what I have today.

There is no better example of this in my life than raising children. My wife and I could have decided to have any number of children. We could have chosen to stop at 1, 2 or even 3 children. Instead we have 4. Having 4 children means there are sacrifices in life. Over the years we made the conscious decision to do without certain possessions, vacations and the like. We did so because we knew that raising these 4 amazing children was the most important job of our lives. Nothing else that we could have done or owned would have been as important, rewarding or satisfying as seeing these 4 people blossom into the wonderful adults they are today.

Everyone makes choices based on their own circumstances, and in no way am I saying that people who have fewer children (or even no children) have sacrificed less in their lives than we have. I don’t live their lives or walk in their shoes, so I cannot and would not comment on them. I can speak only about the life that my wife and I chose.

Getting ahead means taking risks, and it means sacrificing something I have today for something better tomorrow. The more that I am willing to sacrifice, the more that I am willing to put it all on the line, the more that I will benefit in the future. Now, there are no guarantees. After all, it is called risk for a reason. It is possible that I can lay it on the line and lose. Whether and how much I am willing to sacrifice is a decision I don’t take lightly. There have been times, outside of the raising of children, where I have chosen to keep things close to the vest. In those cases I wasn’t willing to sacrifice what I had for a different future.

Today my reflection is on sacrifice. In what areas in my life am I willing to make sacrifices in order to form a brighter future?

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