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Success and Sacrifice

Anything is possible, but is it worth the sacrifice?

Many times when I ask this question, people respond with a heartfelt "yes."  We seem to be programmed to feel that we should be willing to do anything to reach our goals and be successful.  We point to those that have achieved great things to show that the sacrifices they made to reach that level of success prove that if we simply work hard, we too can be that successful.  

The other day I was watching a football game when the announcer congratulated the starting quarterback on the birth of a child.  The child was born just before kickoff and the quarterback heard as he was in the locker room preparing for the game.  This is supposed to show how great of a person this individual was for sticking with his team, no matter what.  Since my daughter was born six months ago, I couldn't help but feeling bad for his family.  I thought to myself that this is horrible.  Missing the birth of your child to play a game would be unacceptable to me.  Thinking about the money he was making, most would say it was worth it.  

Sports are filled with stories such as these.  Baseball players for years were taking all sorts of steroids in order to "succeed." Coaches will drag their family all across the country if an opportunity to coach a "better" team arises.  Coaches have even been known to ignore their own health in order to spend more time trying to win.  Sports are littered with stories of individuals doing anything they can to succeed but eventually fall from their status.  All of these individuals were willing to make these sacrifices to get ahead.  

A few years ago, there was a great deal of political scandal that was reported in Cleveland Ohio.  One of the guilty individuals claimed that they "did it for their family."  Most people were outraged but in today's society we feel that success is the most important thing in the world and we need to be willing to sacrifice in order to achieve.  If this individual never got caught, they would continue to be hailed as a great success.  

When I speak to younger audiences I see this mindset first hand.  They point to celebrities as people they look up to and want to be just like.  These are the same celebrities that are often bankrupt, divorced and addicted to drugs.  I always encourage them to look harder.  If your definition of success includes being happy, would you be happy being bankrupt, divorced over and over again, and addicted to drugs?

There are a lot of people that I have met over the years that I felt were successful.  But the more I learned of them and their sacrifices I would usually find that they sacrificed others for their own success.  They often tell me how they barely know their children because they spent so much time working.  Or their spouse left them because they never spent time with them.  I have learned to view success much differently over the past few years.  Success is not the person that sacrifices everything in life to achieve a singular goal.  Success is the person that disregards what we typically feel is success in order to truly do what is right. 

By looking at and using systems to achieve your goals, you will be much more likely to see the full picture.  In order to be a bodybuilder, the system means hours and hours in the gym, which may mean that you aren't able to work, spend time with your family or hang out with friends.  You will understand the sacrifice before setting out on your journey.  It may still be worth it for you, but make sure you understand that great success almost always means great sacrifice.