I hear it all the time, people talking about all the things they have to sacrifice to accomplish what they want in life. You have to give up so much to have children, or you have to forego so many things to have a successful career. You sacrifice freedom and promiscuity to get married, or you give up your weekends if you want to do charitable work. So on and so forth. I find it difficult, neigh, impossible, to empathize with these people. I don’t get it. If you feel like you’re giving up so much, why do that thing in the first place? I’ve had trouble understanding why I don’t feel the same way. Why does my life never feel like I’ve lost anything when I take another step to accomplish something? Why do the endless hours not weigh on me? Why don’t I feel any less fulfilled by being monogamous? Well, I’ve found myself an answer to this dilemma, and I’d like to share it with you.
Here’s the deal: sacrifice is all in your head. It’s entirely about mindset. The reason people feel like they constantly have to give things up is because they have a misguided understanding of life. Life is not a bunch of separate moving pieces and parts that need to come together. There isn’t a finite amount of space that can only fit so much. Getting rid of the tremendously damaging notion of sacrifice from your life is all about perspective, not about managing an unmanageable reality. Don’t get it? Let me explain.
Let’s say you have to give up $20 to get $40. Technically speaking, you sacrificed $20 to get that $40, but would you ever think of it that way? Probably not. You’d say, “Hey, I made $20!” That is how you need to think about life. All the different parts of your life are not separate currencies traded in exchange for each other. They are one currency, and spending some to make more isn’t sacrifice; it’s making more money. This is how I view everything I do in my life.
If I’m not making more “money” as the result of an action or decision, then I simply don’t do it. Why have kids if you’re constantly going to fret about everything you’re giving up? You’re losing value, not gaining it. Why get married if you’d rather be with many different partners? Life isn’t about letting go of things to move forward, or giving up certain things to get others. No, it’s about having the self-awareness to know how much value you place on things. Everything needs to be counted using the same measurement, and you’ll never have to sacrifice anything.
I’ve dispensed with the notion of sacrifice in my life. In fact, I can’t remember a time when I ever felt like I was giving anything up to do or get something else. You should probably do the same.