This life lesson relates to my previous blog post #84 Fly an Airplane.
Anything truly worth doing in life, is worth sacrificing something else to make it happen. This is the most important lesson I have learned from my bucket list journeys.
That 14-month period was one of the most challenging times in my life. There was simply not enough time in the day or energy in my body to complete all the things that I desired. As a result, something had to give. Sacrifices had to be made. I realised this within the first few months, around the time of my first solo.
I had to look at my life and ask, what can wait? What don’t I need right now? As much as I loved to go out drinking with my friends and co-workers, it was the first thing that I knew could wait. There would always be plenty of times to go to the pub. The pub wasn’t going anywhere.
I also had to make sacrifices in other activities that were dearer to my heart, namely surfing. Surfing was the main reason that I moved halfway across the world, to the small town of New Plymouth, and now I had to give it up. On the weekends, I used to drive down the coast searching for waves. This switched to driving inland and flying planes.
When I did have the odd chance to get back out on my shortboard I would get destroyed by the waves and would be exhausted. It took all the fun out of it. I also needed money to fund my Top Gun pipe dream, so I ended up selling my board to pay for some lessons. I was so sad to sell it, but it was the sacrifice that I had to make at the time.
Unfortunately, I have come across many people in my life that have yet to learn this lesson. Sacrifices are viewed as something bad, that should be avoided at all costs, instead of a solution to the dilemma in front of them. What they don’t understand is that they are sacrificing something either way. Give up something you already have or give up your dreams. What would you do?
Most people chose to give up their dreams because maintaining what they currently have is more important. In psychology, this is called the Inconsistency-Avoidance Tendency.
It can be as easy as sacrificing a few hours of sleep so that you can climb to a mountain top for sunrise. Or it can be sacrificing a few years of proper sleep to rear a child. I can relate to the first example, but not the second. I am purely basing this on my encounters with new parents. They love to tell you how little sleep they have got since their baby was born. I am making light of their situation, but in all seriousness, I admire their sacrifice. I imagine there are a few new parents out there right now, who are selling their surfboards to help provide for their children.
I repeat – Anything truly worth doing in life, is worth sacrificing something else to make it happen!
Achieving your dreams is a process, and part of the process involves sacrifice. If you have ambitious goals in life, now is the time to start getting familiar with sacrifice, as I have. I make sacrifices each year to align my path with the goals that I want to achieve. Sometimes they are small, but sometimes they are big. Regardless, they are all worth it.
What have you sacrificed and what did it help you achieve? Let me know in the comments below.
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Dave has been on a mission, since 2010, to cross off the 100 items on his bucket list. The stories of his adventures are complimented by life lessons learned along the way and his travel tips are unique to his experiences.