As many of you perhaps already know, this week is considered Holy Week for Christians around the world in reverence for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Yes, I believe in that ultimate sacrifice, however what I want to focus on is that very word “sacrifice” in particular to manifesting your dreams.
For the past few days, I’ve been thinking about Jesus’ sacrifice and all I kept thinking was “Wow. That was the ultimate sacrifice and look at all that He had to endure to accomplish His mission and purpose.” I thought to myself, “How many of us would be willing to make some ultimate sacrifices to achieve our life’s purpose or accomplish our dreams?”
Now I know that the sacrifices that we’ll make are minute in comparison to what Jesus endured, but I still want to ask you – what you are you willing to sacrifice in order to achieve your dreams?
The one thing I’ve learn in my journey of success and the many years that I have already put in to realizing my dreams is that in order to really go where I want to go, I have had to make some hard decisions and tough sacrifices.
For example, I always knew that I wanted to become an entrepreneur and also be financially stable, which was one of the first things I made sacrifices for very early on in my previous career in the music industry. While others around me were going on vacations, buying luxury purses and wearing $1,000 shoes, I decided to forgo all of that by saving at least 10% of my income, paying my credit card balance in full every month (I only kept 2 cards and I never spent more than I could pay back), forfeit family vacations and use that money to invest into my business.
I can go on and on about the sacrifices that I have made and continue to make. When others want to go out for dinner and cocktails or book lavish vacations, I tend to sacrifice those things for now because I know that I can experience the pain of discipline now or the pain of regret later. The pain of discipline weighs ounces but the pain of regret weighs tons. And once time is gone it is something that we can never get back.
What I have found fascinating is that people around me would tell me how much they yearned for a better life, get out of debt, or to live as their own bosses but yet fail to make the sacrifices that it would take to do so. If you want to take a few months off from work and give your entrepreneurial endeavor a chance then you are going to have to save money. Which means that you may have to pack your lunch to work for a while, you may not be able to go to every brunch or dinner with your girls, you may have to hold off on that vacation, you may want to sacrifice buying that expensive bag on your credit card. Or let’s say that you want to write your book and you have a busy schedule – well you may have to wake up a little earlier or go to bed a little later to work on your book. Or on the weekends when you want to relax, you may have to sacrifice time in order to achieve your dreams.
Perhaps you may want to become more serious about your acting career. Well instead of paying $500 for a girl’s trip, you may want to invest that money into some acting classes to further develop your talent.
The dream could be to buy that new house, but your credit score needs some improvement. Then you may have to sacrifice impulsive spending or paying $50 to get your nails done every other week and start doing your own manicures.
We live in such an instant gratification and microwaveable society where we want to experience the benefits of success but we do not want to commit to the process. I do not know what your dream or goal may be but I know for sure that you are going to have to make some sacrifices for it. Whether the sacrifice may be your time or money and sometimes even your prideful attitude to humble yourself enough to ask for help; I want to encourage you to make those sacrifices now while you can. They are so worth it! Yes it will hurt and yes it may not be fun but picture you achieving those goals. Picture how it will feel to be at your book launch party or traveling the world as celebrity make-up artist or decorating your dream home.
Take a moment to imagine how that would feel.
Remember that the rewards of the lack of discipline are immediate but the rewards of discipline and sacrifice are often delayed. Think of where you can stretch a little farther to make those necessary sacrifices to accomplish your dreams and I encourage you to get started now!
Maria I. Melendez