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  • Writer's pictureRowin


Updated: May 17, 2021

We're all too familiar with making sacrifices. Some are easier than others; others can knock you down too many pegs. If you look around you, there are sacrifices everywhere. Life is full of them, everyone is the same in that regard.

It doesn't take a genius to know that sacrifices are hard. You might see them as bad, simply because you're losing something, by definition, and you don't really like to lose things. If you didn't feel slightly annoyed or bothered by it, then it isn't a sacrifice.

You can see sacrifices as exchanges, however, transactions which help you in a way. The notion that no single act or deed is selfless is nothing new; we do things which benefit us in a way. For instance, when we donate to charity (or to me, go check out the shop page and let your money become mine just to see how this works), we aren't acting without benefitting ourselves. We get some ego boost or conscience karma or we think we're going to buy our way into Heaven or some such place after Death. Yes, it's not the most selfish, dickish thing you can do, but it isn't selfless either.

Furthermore, you may sacrifice money that you earn, which you've gained by sacrificing time and sanity to work somewhere, just in order to watch some average or bad TV every month. You still gain something out of it though. It's not worth it, but that's your fault for paying the subscription, really. So sacrifices are more like exchanges; a bartering system, only broader and less physical than currency.

Similarly to staring at all of these modern market websites for countless hours, without much idea as to what you want to buy, you may find yourself sacrificing things unnecessarily, simply because you don't really know what else to do. You might work extra hours, numbing your brain and stressing yourself out only to gain paltry sums and pay most of it to the tax-collector and alcoholism. The "trick," so to speak, is knowing what you want. It's very important, in fact. In H2ELP, there is a great deal about self-honesty; it's the cornerstone of everything else I write and the foremost pillar of the whole "easing your problems" process. I shan't go into detail here; read the book.

Once we learn how to be open with ourselves and what we want, we can start working towards that. It's useful to know this because it means we can make the right sacrifices at the right time to get what we want. Like going online to buy something you already know you want, or getting your partner expensive chocolates or something. When you learn to reassess and reprioritise through honesty, then you know that you'd prefer to spend more time at home, working on a hobby or craft instead of banking countless overtime holiday hours that you know you'll never be able to spend. Write a book, for goodness' sake. You know you've always wanted to be an author.

Find out what you want, and understand what you're willing to do to get it. Then your sacrifices will start making sense. Learn what's going to inspire you more, be more beneficial to you, and follow it. And don't hold back; you don't know what you can do until you try hard at it.

One good way of looking at it is thus: Would you rather learn to play an instrument or watch an episode of <insert latest trending TV series>? Would you rather start to embetter yourself or look at cat pictures online?

Of course, it's easy to just say "well looking at cats can't hurt, can it?" Not really, but consider that time as wasted time. It doesn't bring you anything better than doing whichever goal you set out for yourself. You're sacrificing your time for something less important. Of course, it's nearly impossible to be relentlessly productive. You need to take breaks every now and again, but don't let your wasted time start to seep into your time to be productive. Would you rather sacrifice and forego the series but actually be making a positive change to your life, or would you rather postpone these changes? The latter choice tends to lead to more delays, more postponement and more excuses. The former allows you to actually become something greater, be productive, and when you have a moment, your series hasn't gone anywhere; you can still watch it, only now you can be proud of yourself and what you've achieved, having denied that less important, yet easier, activity and done something good for yourself.

Sacrifice time now in order to give yourself a better future. Get the hard work out of the way and save the easy life for when you're a bit older. Think of it as a pension that doesn't just mysteriously disappear. The things you do now to embetter yourself will pay off massively in the long run, and quite possibly in the shorter-term too. So are you willing to give up wasting as much time in order to have an easier life? Are you willing to do the hard work of changing your character and very nature in order to develop into a better human being? We all have it in us, we all have what it takes to change in any way we want, so stop holding yourself back!

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