Issue #26 November 12, 2019
|Nov 12||Public post|
Happy Tuesday! In America yesterday (for those in our international community), we celebrated the national holiday “Veterans Day” where we take time to reflect on all the brave men and women throughout our 243-year history who voluntarily (or via drafted duty) have defended our borders and put their lives on the line to defend our notion of freedom (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness). We honor the survivors and active military on this day as well as those who paid the ultimate price by sacrificing their life for the greater good along the way.
I chose to focus today on the concept of sacrifice for this reason because I think that it is the most critical (nuanced and often misunderstood) ingredient to all achievement and wealth creation.
“Life is a song - sing it. Life is a game - play it. Life is a challenge - meet it. Life is a dream - realize it. Life is a sacrifice - offer it. Life is love - enjoy it. ~Sai Baba
Sacrifice is not inherently dilutive
Sacrifice is often seen as a purely dilutive exercise where someone gives up something that they value (thus experiencing a reduction in accumulated value). There is no greater example of this in the human experience than trading one’s life on a battlefield (maybe even in a conflict that you don’t fully support).
However, sacrifice in a fully self-aware individual or the willingness to sacrifice is based upon the sound understanding of sacrifice’s accretive nature to the meaning and experience of life.
Simply put another way, sacrifice is not merely giving something of value away, but rather, it is the exercise of trading something of a lesser value for something of a greater value that is truly personal to you and the life you wish to live and experience.
I believe that when the Veterans stood in NFL stadiums around the country this weekend for a moment of recognition that they knew two things internally as they went through that brief experience. First, they knew they were different than the balance of the other 80,000 people in the stands, and secondly, they knew that none of us non-veterans would ever fully grasp “why” they are different.
Similarly, in other domains of life or professional pursuit, those of us who achieve 1% and above level results in life and have discarded (sacrificed) many of the “normal” comforts of adult life in the pursuit of extra-ordinary financial wealth, physical performance, relationship solidarity/longevity, etc. The joy is in the doing. The fulfillment comes from the knowledge of your strange-to-others choices to see things differently and to weigh the value of activities more myopically.
Sacrifice is true clarity of what you really want in this life and the simplification of all the other “noise” that really doesn’t resonate with who you are and who you are evolving to be during this short stint on this tiny rock in the universe.
Sacrifice is your free will exercised in the most profound way.
Sacrifice is wisdom!
I hope you feel more confident than ever in the decisions/sacrifices you make today that aren’t understood (and may never be) by the rest of those around you, as you pursue your version of “wealth” and “happiness” freely.
Thank you for reading. ~Chris
Some extra credit: “The Law of Sacrifice”
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