Sacrifice and success

There is a wonderful little book that I have read several times. Today is one of those times. The book is As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. The book is only 60 pages but is filled with wonderful insights into the relationship between what we think and what we achieve.

This morning I was reminded, “He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.” As I read this line I was reminded of something John Maxwell says: If we want to go up we must be willing to give up.

Many people want to achieve more in life whether it is related to family, business or their own personal growth. The problem is some are not willing to sacrifice to achieve what they want in life. They want to be able to continue doing what they’ve always done and yet experience new things.

In order to achieve more in life we must be willing to sacrifice a few things. It may be an unhealthy relationship. A very successful business man once told me he was in a partnership with another man who did not share his ethical and moral views. Although it cost him money to get out of that partnership and start over, his future success in his new business was well worth it. The unhealthy relationship may be a personal one. At times each of us learn that we are in a relationship with someone who does not wish the best for us. The sooner we break that relationship the quicker we’ll enjoy a more fulfilling and rewarding life.

The president of a university learned his wife had a serious medical condition. As it worsened she needed more attention. He resigned his prestigious position to care for his wife around the clock. He understood the most important thing in his life was his wife of many years, and he was willing to sacrifice his career to care for her.

Of course, not every sacrifice has to be so great. To lose weight we have to sacrifice eating certain foods, or at least as much of them, and sacrifice some time to exercise. To grow intellectually we must sacrifice some free time we might do other things to read and spend time with people who will stretch our thinking. To save for retirement some need to sacrifice their compulsion to spend and borrow money.

Regardless of what we want to achieve in life, it will require that we be willing to sacrifice whatever is standing in the way. The higher our aspirations the more we must be willing to give up.

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