We have a choice. We can go through life or we can grow through life. We are currently looking at what we must be willing to give up so that we can grow up. Obviously some things are established and not negotiable. However, we need to determine which things we are willing to give up as we grow up. We saw yesterday …
1> I am willing to give up financial security today for potential tomorrow
2> I am willing to give up immediate gratification for personal growth
3> I am willing to give up the fast life for the good life
4> I am willing give up security for significance
Most people I know their goal in life is to be secure. Emotional security, physical security, and financial security. But it is never wise to measure progress and growth according to the level of security one is experiencing. It is wiser to measure it by significance. And that requires growth. You’ll never get anywhere interesting by always doing the safe thing.
Most people are capable of making a living. That’s the safe thing. The significance thing is making a difference. The great men and women of history were not great because of what they earned and owned, but rather for what they gave up and gave their lives to accomplish. Every trade-off is a challenge to become what and who we really are. Done correctly, we can create opportunities to help others become who they really are. That is significant!
Most people try to take too many things with them as they journey through life. They want to keep adding without giving anything up. It doesn’t work. You can’t do everything; there is only so much time in a day. At some point, you reach your limit. Besides, we need to always remember that if nothing changes, nothing changes!
A lot can be learned about trade-offs from a checkers game. As someone once said: Surrender one to take two; don’t make two moves at one time; move up, not down; and when you reach the top. You have the freedom to move as you like.
If you want to reach your potential, be ready to make trade-offs. As author James Allen said, “He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would accomplish much must sacrifice much.”
So, write your own personal list of trade-off principles. Use the four I have written about to spark ideas:
- I am willing to give up financial security today for potential tomorrow
- I am willing to give up immediate gratification for personal growth
- I am willing to give up the fast life for the good life
- I am willing give up security for significance
Think about worthwhile trade-offs you have made in the past that you believe will continue to be good ideas for the future. Also consider what might be needed for you to reach your potential along with what you might need to give up to fulfill it.
Remember, it is just as important for you to know what you are not willing to give up as it is to identify what you are willing to give up. Think through the things that are non-negotiable in your life and list them. Then for each, identify its greatest potential threat and what safety measures you need to put into place to protect it.
What trade-off do you need to make right now that you have been unwilling to make? Most people settle in and learn to live with a limitation or barrier that can be removed by making a trade. What is the next thing you need to trade for? And what must you give up to get it?