You Don’t Need to Make Sacrifices to Be Succesful

Photo by [Darlene Alderson]( from [Pexels]( by Darlene Alderson from Pexels

This small reframe has changed everything

“If you think it’s a sacrifice, you shouldn’t do it.” — Tony Robbins

With the rise of the internet and innovative companies called startups, the word “hustle” somehow became mainstream.

Whether it’s all-nighters, 100-hour workweeks promoted by the likes of Elon Musk, or neglecting your health, family, and relationships — everything is fine if you’re ‘hustling’.

I almost felt proud to deny going out with my friends for somehow I thought I was bigger than them. I acted as if I didn’t care.

But behind the scenes, everything was a sacrifice for me. I did want to go out after all.

Going to the gym only 2 days a week instead of 4. Not spending time with my family. Having all my meals at my desk. Sleeping no more than six hours.

I didn’t want to do all those things, but I was doing it. Naturally, the results I produced at work weren’t good at all.

Because here’s the bitter truth though — you don’t need to make sacrifices to accomplish anything — you need to make better, higher choices.

The Sacrifice Fallacy

Most people start their businesses with high hopes of freedom, autonomy, and purpose.

Building a business is not easy. It’s an emotional roller coaster, to say the least. Anyone who says otherwise has never run a business himself.

But there’s a prevalent lie that fools entrepreneurs — to build a business, or be “successful” (whatever that means), you need to sacrifice everything else.

This attitude is more harmful than helpful.

Some people say jobs feel like slavery and quit to start their own thing. But what are the putting themselves through instead? Worshipping hustle, being in the office 24/7, and sleeping under the desk — does that feel like living the life of your dreams?

Not really.

When I started working on my startup, I thought to myself:

  • “I can’t hang out with my college friends anymore”

  • “I can’t attend classes anymore”

  • “I have to code as much as possible and ship the product”

  • “I need to also read, meditate, and exercise every day”

Yes, that is what your life often looks like when you start something new.

But here’s the punchline — the people who succeed, don’t see these things as sacrifices — they see it as priorities.

Prioritize, Don’t Sacrifice

When you think of everything in terms of sacrifices, you build up frustration and become irritable. Consequently, you produce low-quality work.

There were days I hated myself for checking my email for ten minutes and not writing software. But that bottled-up tension and stress never helped me to create something great. More often than not, it was filled with bugs.

This morning, I meditated and exercised. Now I am writing this post. This is what most mornings are like for me. But this time, it’s not filled with resentment of not being able to do something else.

To change yourself and your outlook on work, all you need is a simple reframe.

  • “I can’t go to the movies because I have to work all night” → “I choose to work and not go to the movies to improve my business.”

  • “I can’t watch Netflix because I promised myself to read 30 pages.” → “I choose not to watch Netflix and instead read and invest in myself.”

Small reframes like these make a huge difference.

I’ve made the choice to write and work on my business. There’s no place I’d rather be.

Wth Is Work-Life Balance Anyway

Don’t worry about how you’re going to achieve work-life balance.

The phrase itself is one of the most misleading ones I’ve ever heard.

It implies your work and your life are two separate entities and you must balance your days between these two. Go to work, earn money, take a vacation, spend time with family, repeat.

Going by this definition, the time left after work is when life truly begins. Which is BS.

If you work 8–10 hours a day, you spend sixty percent of your waking life working. Your work is thus your life.

It’s not a zero-sum game that you need to balance every day.

The Only Thing You Need to Worry About

Will you choose freedom or restrictions?

Priorities free you. Sacrifices restrict you.

Successful people don’t sacrifice anything. They are greedy.

They go for things that provide the highest level of satisfaction in the long-run instead of the fleeting joy that comes from distractions.

Choosing to exercise and be healthier for years to come instead of sleeping in every day is not a sacrifice — it’s just common sense!

Start making higher choices in every area of your life. Once you taste real happiness, you’ll not want anything else.

That is when work becomes fun, not an endless barrage of sacrifices.

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Written on September 25, 2020