I want you to be everything you dreamed you could be.
I want you to have everything you ever wanted.
I want you to achieve every single goal you have set for yourself this year.
Truly and sincerely, I do. I want your blessings to be overflowing.
But do you?
I know that seems like a stupid question but it got your attention didn’t it? We say we want a lot of things but many times it turns out that they are just wishes. A wish turns into a genuine want when we are willing to put some action behind it.
That requires a decision.
Every decision has a consequence and there is always a ying to the yang. We just have to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons.
This past year, I decided I wanted to add another 2% of my income to my retirement accounts. I really, really, REALLY wanted it and I did it! (Yeah me!) I wanted it enough that I put the effort into finding more income and slashing some luxuries. I was willing to pitch an article, schedule more classes, and scrutinize my spending and cut back in certain areas (i.e. driving by the restaurant and eating leftovers out of the fridge).
I also wished that I could lose 50 lbs. In theory, I wanted to lose it but I really only put in enough effort in to lose 15. So, based on my actions, I really only wanted to lose 15.
I am aware that even when we want something enough to put in the effort it doesn’t always happen. However, at least for me, a good portion of the time if something doesn’t happen it was because I didn’t put in the effort or sacrifice what was required.
What Do You Truly Want?
What is the trade-off for you? Are you willing to do it, even if it isn’t easy, to get what you want?
Do you want to open your own business? Are you willing to work long hours to establish it in the beginning? Are you willing to do the research to get started? Are you willing to start it as a side gig while doing your regular job? Are you willing to take a risk?
Do you want to find the love of your life? Are you willing to put yourself out there? Are you willing to be vulnerable? Are you willing to wait till you find someone worthy of you? Are you willing to look beyond the cute factor? Are you willing to be open to those that you are meeting?
Do you want to switch careers? Have you done the research on what would be needed? Are you willing to start from the bottom? Are you willing to adjust your budget if you need to take a pay loss? Are you willing to invest in some more education if need be?
Do you want to lose weight? Are you willing to change your eating habits? Are you willing to get up out or your chair or your bed and go exercise? Are you willing to give up a tv show or half an hour of sleep for a new lifestyle?
Do you want to cultivate better relationships? Are you willing to be supportive of others? Are you willing to put your phone down while having a conversation? Are you willing to give before you get? Are you willing to find the time that it takes?
Do you want an education? Are you willing to prioritize it? Have you researched the options available to you? Are you willing to put in time and effort to fund it? Are you willing to do the class work?
Do you want to get out of debt? Are you willing to face the reality of your situation? Are you willing to earn more and spend less? Can you put more time into a side gig? Are you willing to deny yourself some things in the short run to be better in the long run?
What’s Your Timeline?
Success literature will tell you that any good goal has a date attached to it.
Success literature will also tell you to keep working towards your goal until you reach it, that you should never give up.
This is, again, another chance to determine if you really want something. What if you only achieve a partial goal? Are you willing to put more effort in to see it through to completion? Is half done good enough? Or maybe you look at the effort and sacrifices and decide that the end result is not worth that effort and you change your mindset completely by it.
There really is no wrong answer…just decisions. Every decision has a consequence and the next question becomes can you live with that consequence.
There is No Nirvana
As we work on our own self-improvement, our own renaissance, we need to be aware that those trade-offs always exist. There is never a perfect scenario.When you make decisions there are always trade-offs. The question is, which ones can you endure? Click To Tweet
Even when you love what you do or who you are, there are trade-offs. Sometimes it’s money. Sometimes it’s time. Sometimes it’s drudgery. Those can have different meanings to different people and everyone has a different threshold.
I know a pilot, a captain at a well-known airline with a good amount of seniority- about 2/3 of the way through his career. If you do the research, he has what many people consider a dream job. He gets paid a fabulous salary with great benefits, significant bonuses, and works about 80 hours (air time) per month. What could be the downside to that?
Well, in the first decade of his career he barely made only slightly over minimum wage and had to work multiple jobs to support his family, he still has to work the majority of weekends and holidays so he is working while his family is playing, and he can’t make any mistakes or the plane crashes (job over). However, he was/is willing to put up with the tradeoffs to do what he does.
While the compensation package is enviable, I personally would never want a job where if I made a mistake, people die. To me, the tradeoff isn’t worth it.
This is true for every situation in life, not just careers. If you find the love of your life, there will be habits and quirks to tolerate, inconveniences to withstand, and compromises to be made. If you want to be a size three for the rest of your life you may never get the opportunity to eat a donut again.
There are always tradeoffs. You just have to figure out which ones you can endure.
So tell me: What do you really want to be successful at? And what are you willing to sacrifice to make it happen?