What kind of trade-offs have you been making so far in your life? Have you thought about it? Have you developed guidelines to help you decide what to strive for and what to give up in return? Let’s look at five trade-offs that may help you to develop your own guidelines.
1> I am willing to give up financial security today for potential tomorrow
Physician and writer George Crane said, “There is no future in any job. The future lies in the man who holds the job.” I have always believed that to be true, and as a result, I have always been willing to bet on myself so much so that I have, at times, accepted financial risks and pay cuts to pursue the call of God on my life.
Why was I willing to take a pay cut when moving forward and growing into my destiny? Because I value opportunity and obedience more than security in life. I believe that the only job security we have is our individual commitment to continual personal development.
2> I am willing to give up immediate gratification for personal growth
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. In the book “The Compound Effect” the author writes about the battle most people experience when it comes to weighing instant gratification against doing what’s best for us. The author states, “We understand that scarfing Pop-Tarts won’t slenderize our waistlines. We realize that logging three hours a night watching Dancing With the Stars and NCIS leaves us with three fewer hours to read a good book or listen to a terrific audio. We ‘get’ that merely purchasing great running shoes doesn’t make us marathon-ready. We’re a ‘rational species – at least that’s what we tell ourselves. So why are we so irrationally enslaved by so many bad habits? It’s because our need for immediate gratification can turn us into the most reactive, non-thinking animals around.”
When it comes to growth and success in life, immediate gratification is almost always the enemy of growth. We can choose to please ourselves and plateau, or we can delay our gratification and grow. It’s our choice.
3> I am willing to give up the fast life for the good life
We live in a culture that idolizes movie and music stars, drools over opulent mansions, idealizes travel, and plays the lottery in hopes of someday getting the chance to live the fast life it so admires and emulates. But most of that is an illusion. It’s like the airbrushed image of a model on the front of a magazine. It’s not real.
That’s just one of the reasons you need to choose to forgo the fast life in favour of the good life. What is the good life? In the book “Repacking Your Bags,” the authors offer a formula for the good life. They say it is, “Living in the place you belong, with the people you love, doing the right work, on purpose.” That’s a pretty good description. I would also add that missionary Albert Schweitzer said: “The great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.” To keep myself from getting”used up,” I try to create greater capacity in myself by continuing to learn and to grow. Therefore, there will be greater margin in my life, time and space to continue to grow.
If you want to create capacity and margin in your life, it would be good to consider doing the following things:
- Delegate so you are working smarter and not just harder
- Do what you do best and drop the rest
- Get control of your calendar; otherwise other people will
- Do what you love because it will give you energy
- Work with people you like so your energy isn’t depleted
If you do those things while doing the right work with purpose in the right place with people you love, you will be living the good life.
More next time…