I grew up hardcore into motivational videos. To do this day I have every word in this Will Smith motivation compilation video memorized.
I was so into this shit that I even used a Youtube-to-mp3 service to download this Eric Thomas speech and set it as my morning alarm.
Both of these videos are life-changing. I still watch them all the time.
One of the most popular themes in motivational videos is sacrifice. Here's a bit from Eric Thomas':
He mentions that in order to become something greater, you must sacrifice who you are now.
Sacrifice by itself makes a lot of sense. If you want to lose weight, sacrifice eating that candy bar. If you went to have a healthy child, sacrifice alcohol during pregnancy.
But sacrifice just isn't this black and white. Sacrifice isn't always the right answer.
He uses this example about how it's easy for you to get stuff done until your favorite TV show comes on. If you want to get better grades, you need to do your homework instead of watching your favorite show.
This just doesn't seem exactly right. What are you going to do? Do your homework, get good grades, get a job, get rich, then go back and watch your favorite show?
What's life if you can't live it exactly the way you'd like?
The conundrum here is: how can you continue to make progress building the life you want if you don't sacrifice the things that don't provide you value––or even worse, sabotage you.
I think lots of people––myself included––get into the habit of blanket sacrifice. They throw the baby out with the bathwater. While they sacrifice a few hours of hanging out with friends, they're also sacrificing an experience, memories they can't get back with friends they're inevitably going to lose touch with one day.
I think the answer has something to do with self awareness. Do you want to eat that candy bar because you're infatuated with its intricate crunch caramel center? Or because you're anxious and need a quick comfort?
Is what you're about to do what you set out to? Or are you just buckling into a circumstance, convenience, or addiction?
Through self therapy, or meditation on who you are and what you actually want from your life by the end of your life, these decisions become more clear.
By the end of your life will you care about those 3 hours with those 3 friends? That A on that test? That job you could've gotten if you weren't getting high at lunch? That million dollar salary?
That's up to you. It's important that sacrifice is considered. Because what you sacrifice you've sacrificed. And the important things you can't get back.