What Are You Willing To Give Up?

Darn it. It’s true:

You can have anything you want in life, but you can’t have it all at once.

(Argh! Why God, why??)

So much of life demands that we master the art of sacrifice, compromise, and letting go. But the good news is it’s not all gloom and doom. Because if we’re doing things correctly, our sacrifices will feel so right even when they feel so hard.

I watched this short motivational video the other day:

One of the many lines that stuck out for me was: What are you going to give up to get where you want to go?

Are you willing to trade in your lucrative high-stress job in order to make more time for your loved ones? Are you willing to spend a few hours before heading off to your day job to work on the side business you’re so passionate about? Are you willing to let go of your pride and anger in order to experience the freedom of forgiveness? Are you willing to speak your truth (or shut your mouth) when the time is right? Will you give up some TV time so that you can stay active and be healthy? Will you give up shopping or fancy vacationing in order to pay off your debt? Are willing to complete your cobweb project, even if parts of it feel like torture?

These are some tough choices.

Giving up precious things (for the sake of even more precious things) is a scary process. What if you make you wrong decision? What if the sacrifices make you miserable? What if it’s not worth it in the end?

Man. Those are some major what ifs.

But I’m learning that if I want a balanced and beautiful life, I’ve got to be brave enough to give all those what ifs the big old middle finger. I’ve got to be courageous enough to take action, make a change, and just do something. And then I’ve got to have the flexibility and fortitude to come up with a different plan if my first one isn’t working out.

Your Turn: What are you willing to give up to get where you want to go? What has been the toughest sacrifice?

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13 Responses to What Are You Willing To Give Up?

  1. Allie says:

    Every choice you make has consequences (good and bad), and every second of every day you’re making choices. They all pile on top of each other, and it doesn’t take long before you become the product of your choices. Awareness and the owning of this fact is, to me, really what this is about. I think I prefer to focus on what I’m gaining, rather than giving up (not to say that I refuse to recognize that some decisions preclude certain other things from coming to fruition) – although I can see this being a good flipside type kick in the pants to turn off the TV and be more productive with one’s time!

    So what am I willing to give up? Well, I’ve already given up my country and the possibility of a reasonable commute and affordable multiple-thousand square foot, 2 car-garaged place that comes with it… but I think recently my internal debate has been the opposite of what you’ve listed above— I want to give up the cushy 9-5 where I can fully decide my days off for something that really pushes me and will probably mean less time at home/less flexibility with time off. It sounds scary and horrible, but I know that my own personal definition of happiness and success entails being challenged professionally and pushing myself to find out what I’m capable of!

    • Kimberly Eclipse says:

      Hi Allie! You’re absolutely right — it’s definitely a good idea to focus more on what you’re gaining than what you’re giving up. This can keep you sane, focused, and positive. But the times I have to ask myself what I’m willing to give up are instances when I don’t want to give up anything, when I want the prize without the hard work, or when I’m feeling too afraid to take a big risk in the name of a big goal. In such cases, yes, I do need a swift kick in the butt! I need to suck it up, do the work, and make it happen!

      Your personal definition of happiness sounds really challenging yet rewarding. While some of our needs, wants, and luxuries we’re willing to sacrifice may be different, I have much respect for anyone who knows what she wants and goes for it. I can also see that you’ve made really conscious choices, and in the end, that’s the best any of us can do.

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  3. Sheryl says:

    Different things, in different places. I’ve mentioned before that as a family, Bunny and I vote to give up money (high paying jobs) in favour of time (reasonable hours) and being able to spend that time together.

    Financially, I’ve sacrificed a lot while moving towards being debt-free. Debt keeps me up at night and makes me sick. I want it gone. This has meant no vacations outside of the occasional camping trip since I got out of high school, it’s meant that I’ve put off learning to drive and getting a car in favour of cheap public transit.

    The biggest sacrifice for me was when Bunny wanted to go back to school instead of just finding a better, more flexible job in his field, because our top two priorities were in direct oppposition. I had to delay a lot of the things I wanted financially (an eventual vacation, debt elimination beyond the minimums) in order for that to happen. Which hurt like a bitch, and I’m still sometimes a brat about it, but all in all it was the decision that gets us closest to where we want to be.

    • Kimberly Eclipse says:

      Whoa, those were definitely some tough choices you made. I think the hardest thing about being in a marriage where you’re both consciously trying to help the other person reach big goals is knowing which sacrifices to make and when. We’ll always have options, and there will be good ones and great ones. Sometimes the great ones have a “two steps forward, one step back” feel to them, which is so frustrating yet necessary.

      I hope that at some point the focus will switch to some of your personal goals.:) Brian supported me through grad school, and now we’re focusing on his goals. I’ll be making some big sacrifices this year for the sake of his dreams and wishes, which I’m happy to do. And I guess that’s part of the beauty of marriage — yes, there are sacrifices to make, but 2 heads together can make big dreams a reality.

      • Sheryl says:

        There have definitely been a lot of discussions on how we’ll even things out and there’s a definite agreement that we’ll put some of my priorities first next. There are a probably three big priorities of mine that are definitely somewhat disruptive (accelerated debt repayment, being a SAHM for a few years at least and going back to school) that we’ve discussed and are going to be implemented at some point.

        It’s definitely important to me that we both make sacrifices for each other, in a way that feels fair to both of us. Knowing that right now we’re prioritizing his career over my goals is a lot easier when I know the ways that he’s prioritized me in the past and how we plan on supporting my dreams in the future.

        There’s actually something very exciting, though, about doing what needs to be done for Bunny to succeed and then watching it happen. It starts to feel like my success too.

        • Kimberly Eclipse says:

          Awesome! I think it’s crucial for both partners to feel like their personal goals are of equal importance no matter what they are. And it’s wonderful that Bunny’s success feels like yours — the mark of a true partnership.

  4. Steph says:

    This question has been stalking me everywhere I go lately in different forms. I still don’t have an answer, but I know that it’s beyond time for me to start figuring it out, which is probably why the question keeps stalking me ;)

    • Kimberly Eclipse says:

      If this question keeps stalking you it can only lead to great things. You may not have an answer yet but you’re certainly on your way to finding it by the sound of things. Hope this ends up being a big year for you!

  5. brooklynchick says:

    I’m willing to give up sleep, money, freedom, independence and maybe sanity to realize my dream of being a mom….even though I am doing it on my own!

    • Kimberly Eclipse says:

      I’ve got tons of respect for moms, especially the ones who do it while flying solo. What a feat. Go you!

      And yeah, the list of things you’re willing to give up is a long one. But when I think of motherhood, I think of “trading things in” for a while as opposed to completely giving things up. There’s flexibility there. And I think part of being a good mom (I’m only guessing here!) is learning how to get back your independence, freedom, money, sleep, and sanity…so that your kids will know how to reclaim those things when they become parents. :)

  6. Brian says:

    This is why Nike’s slogan is so brilliant.

    • Kimberly Eclipse says:

      In a few months we’ll be applying it in our own lives. Maybe. If we can grow a pair. The countdown begins… :)

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