Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Inspiration Wall: January 2010

On Sacrifice and Achievement

I am grateful for those who continually strive for improvement in their selected fields of choice, attaining great heights of achievement. They are a source of inspiration and reveal what we are all capable of.

Those who attain great heights generally have a passion for what they do. I once had the pleasure of attending an afternoon of full contact kickboxing fights. I was there because my son was fighting and wanted to support him. As a father, I am very proud of his and his sisters’ achievements in the martial arts, and life in general. As I was watching the bouts, I began to think about the amount of training hours that go into the physical and mental preparation for a few rounds of fighting or sometimes less. My son’s bout ended in the second round by knock out (he won).

That evening at home I had the opportunity to watch Cirque De Soleil which started me thinking again of how much time and effort goes into being able to perform the incredible feats. So, are these people any different from you and I? Not at all. They simply have a passion for what they do and are willing to do—and give up—anything to do it.

James Allen, in his book As A Man Thinketh, states “They who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; they who would achieve much must sacrifice much; they who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.”

The question arises: If we are doing what we truly love, are we really sacrificing anything? Most I know would give their eye teeth to be doing what they love for a living. Does it mean sacrificing the normal life most people lead? What is the normal life? We all devote our lives to something. Many of us to meaningless jobs we don’t enjoy, feeling trapped and stressed. To me this is sacrifice. Sacrificing what you would love to earn your living at for something less. When we earn our living by expressing and achieving what we were designed to do, this is prosperity, abundant living, not sacrifice. Does society dictate what sacrifice means? Should we accept less than we desire just to attain what society says is normal, even when it means misery, stress and hopelessness? This is not success. This is not achievement. We can never be truly happy or successful trying to achieve someone else’s or society’s vision of what is normal or best for us.

To achieve much, and experience meaningful abundance and prosperity, we must pursue our own desires—not sacrifice them for what society tries to dictate we should be, do, or have.

I have a motivational note on my wall here that reminds me “Other people’s values will bring you other people’s results. But your values bring fulfillment and joy. Always remember it is more noble to imperfectly pursue your own vision than to perfectly pursue the vision of another.”—I don’t remember who said this but they are wise words to follow.

It is never too late or impossible to realize your true intentions. Just start where you are and each day begin to perform some action—no matter how small—that leads toward your desired life.