Remember the times when you thought you could do it all? Maybe you were a sports fanatic and believed you could juggle every seasonal sport with academics and a part time job? Or you believed you could pack your day with social engagement after social engagement- leaving little time to yourself?
I’ve learned throughout my life that there are times that I have to make sacrifices. Not just for the benefit of my family, but often to the betterment of myself. When you choose to place focus on one aspect of your life, another area needs to be placed on the sidelines.
When my wife and I were first dating, we had 5 paying jobs between us. You may think that’s crazy- yet I believe the reason why we did that is we didn’t want to fill up the time in any other way than being productive through work. While we got to know each other better, we evaluated the cost of time against building our relationship. After our first year together, 5 became 2 very quickly.
Did I miss deejaying weddings, dances, birthday parties and other functions? Certainly. It was a great chance to please people through the power of music, motivation and delivering high quality entertainment show after show. The added bonus were all the memories I have with my partner Mike who now lives thousands of miles away. What made it easy to leave back then was my future goals. I knew that most music parties occur on the weekends- so I would often be away from my house for most of Friday night, all day and night on Saturdays and occasionally early Sundays too.
It’s not that I needed the money- I wanted to be around my wife more. She did the same with her extra work at her two other part-time jobs. I currently make sacrifices during the week when it comes to a full sleep schedule by working overnights- but my wife and I discussed early in our marriage when we were ready to adopt children what the best situation would be to have these children growing and thriving in a healthy manner. Sending them to babysitters in the afternoons after school wasn’t in the cards- so I moved my priorities from a regular 9 to 5 job into one that I’ve come to love, enjoy and actually allows me to be more creative than at any other point in my life.
I’m careful about the bowling league(s) I chose to participate in and plan far in advance the tournaments I also do during the season. My wife and I make individual sacrifices for the benefit of our children- their therapy, their emotional stability and being there for them in times of need matters more to me than anything in the world. Could I be further along in some of my natural abilities and passions? Probably- but I believe that everything happens in my life at the right time for the right reasons.
So I ask you to look at your life and see if there are times you could make a sacrifice for not just your own individual benefit- but also the benefit it could give others close to you in your lives. It can be a sacrifice of time, of money, of an activity you normally love to do- if only to extend yourself to another one in their time of need.
We only have a finite amount of time on this earth. I remember a key line I’ve heard for years through a Zig Ziglar seminar goes something like this. “You can have everything in life you want if you are willing to help everyone else get what they want.” Be willing to put something on the backburner if it’s for the greater good overall. If the passion and interest are strong enough, the ability to accomplish that goal will be there a month, a year or further on down the line.
Whatever you chose to do with your free time, be sure to maintain a balance between giving your all and also taking the time to relax and rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit. I for one want to see you all lead healthy, productive lives- but be willing to pay the price in terms of sacrifice.