Learning to Sacrifice By: Simon Sinek•
Posted on September 22 2011
-There is no decision that we can make that doesn’t come with some sort of balance or sacrifice.
I accept that my social life suffers for me to focus my energy on the movement -- to inspire people to do the things that inspire them.
As momentum grows, as the movement is able to move on its own energy, I will be able to slow down my pace and focus more on my life at home. My sister is the same. As her family grows up and is able to move with its own energy, she will be able to get away, take little vacations and not worry about the kids. It’s all about balance. I’ve learned that, no matter what path we choose, there is sacrifice.
This week, I was in four cities, spoke at five engagements, stayed in four hotels, and took eight flights. That was all between Monday and Friday. But sacrifice is only debilitating or life-sucking if there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Sacrifice is worth it to get the things we want or live the lives we want to live, but those same sacrifices should be relatively short. A few weeks, months or years, but not the majority of our lives.
Any parent who tells their kids that they can’t attend a school play or go to a soccer match because they have to work is kidding themselves. It’s OK to miss a game or two or a performance here and there, but it's not all right to miss the majority of them. Sacrifice is putting up with something we don’t want for the short term because it serves the greater good -- be that social change, as it is in my case, or raising a happy family, as it is in my sister’s case. If the sacrifice has no end or becomes the norm, it’s no longer a sacrifice; it’s a life out of balance. That’s accepting something we don’t want as normal.
This week, I was rushing through an airport on my sixth flight of the week on the way to the fourth city of the week. It was late; I was tired. I thought about missing my flight and just getting on the next flight back home to New York instead. I was rationalizing not showing up for an event. I called a friend of mine just to vent. "F*ck this sh*t," was how I greeted her when she picked up the phone. "It’s not worth it," I went on. "I’m exhausted. I can’t live a life like this. This is no life. I miss my friends, I want to go out on dates. Sh*t, I just want to spend more than two consecutive nights in my own bed." I genuinely didn’t care about "the cause." I was exhausted.