One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t stop home for a quick visit more often when my kids were young and my wife was stuck at home minding them. Because I was so tied up in managing and growing my business, I missed family meals, vacations and days off. If you are a leader serious about your organization, you have probably made this sacrifice too, as has your family.
There is a price to pay for every action we take. Your desire to perform at your highest-level means that you are going to have to sacrifice something in order to achieve your dreams. Most of us go through life without considering the cost of our drive to accomplish our goals. However, every time we chose to put effort into something it means that that energy cannot be put into something else.
Consider for example a leader who spends those extra hours before and after work to achieve the success they desire for their organization. Those extra hours at work are hours that they are not spending with their family or their friends. Those hours are time that is never going to be spent on leisure, or travel, hobbies or exercise. Time spent in pursuit of a goal has a cost not only for the leader but it is also a sacrifice for their friends and family who are supporting them.
The athletes who are spending time at the gym perfecting their sports are missing out on time with their friends at the restaurant or park. They have chosen to spend time studying, or working out as a result they are sacrificing their time that might be spent studying, or travelling to work out and get closer to their dream fitness or skill level. Their family might have sacrificed thousands of dollars for them to achieve their performance goals.
A sales professional who is travelling to hit targets for the company that provides the family with extra money to live their dream lifestyle, is missing out on birthday parties, and leisure time which is being spent in an automobile or airport lounge. Yet the sacrifice is not only theirs but also anyone who has put in time, energy or effort to get them to this stage in life, including the customers who are meeting with them.
When we have clarity about what we want and what we believe we are called to do, we also need to be clear about what we are going to need to sacrifice in order to achieve the plan we have laid out before ourselves. We must recognize that when we are spending time living our dream and working to achieve our goals, no matter what they are, there is a cost - the cost of what we cannot do as well as the cost of what we are doing. We need to understand what sacrifices are involved and who is making the sacrifice.
This also brings us to the point that if there is a cost to what we are doing, are we justified in using that time and energy for improving our performance?
Consider the fact that the time we spend watching the latest series on Amazon Prime or Netflix or Disney is time we will not have to pursue our passions and achieve our goals, to make the world a better place through our work or actions. We have a choice on how we spend our time and our energy and the question always remains; “Did we spend it in the best possible way?”
Think about the time you spend as an athlete in the gym, the leader in the office, in a relationship, or perhaps as a salesman on the road. Are you really extending the necessary effort to achieving your goals? Remember this is what you have been striving for and working hard at. Are you focused or are you just wasting time? Are you honestly giving this task the required energy and focus? Are you attentive and present in your work?
I challenge you this week to consider what you are sacrificing and what others are sacrificing for your success. Is your sacrifice worth all that effort?
Dave Fuller MBA is an Award Winning Certified Professional Business Coach and the author of the book Profit Yourself Healthy. Sacrificing too much? Dave would love to hear. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org