What are Sacrifices?

Thinking about the long-term is essential for overall happiness. I have a client who’s 87 years old and still talks to me about what she wants to accomplish in the future – I love it!

I truly believe everything we do is for happiness. Even if you’re a saint and act completely altruistically.

I also think achieving is a huge key to happiness. Whether it’s losing 300 pounds or 30 pounds, actually losing the weight, and achieving the goal, is well worth the effort in the happiness pay off it brings.

To achieve things we must not only focus on today but also not lose sight of the goal. That means we must make decisions with the long term in mind.

As we spoke about yesterday, asking yourself the question, “What benefits my future self?” helps to focus us. But even still, that requires discipline.

And a key to discipline is the ability to make sacrifices.

So in math form: Achievement is a key to happiness. Discipline is a key to achievement. And sacrifices are the key to discipline.

Making decisions with the long term in mind often implies sacrifice or what feels like sacrifice or deprivation.

Like moderation though, “sacrifice” is a misunderstood word. Many people think sacrifice >means deprivation or giving something up.

What sacrifice really means is giving up something of a lower nature in the present to receive something of a higher nature in the future.

It’s easy to live only for today and shrug off the long term consequences. We’re so freaking good at rationalizing and justifying poor choices.

But if we know achieving goals will make us happier and sacrifices are a key component of that why don’t we indulge more in trying to achieve?

My overall argument isn’t that it’s not fun to give in and listen to your short term self. I’m not saying eating pizza and ice cream isn’t fun.

What I’m saying is working towards your goals – as painful as it might seem – as uncomfortable as it might seem in the moment – is way more fun!

And that requires sacrifices which isn’t anything but the equivalent of passing up what might feel like a thousand dollars today for a million dollars in the (not so) distant future.


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