On Self-Denial and Sacrifice
When we were children, each one of us had dreams and aspirations. Teachers would ask us “what do you want to be when you grow up”? I wanted to be a pilot. My role model at that time, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings of blessed memory was an Airforce pilot and that’s exactly what I wanted to be.
Dreams and aspirations come to us at different stages in life. At every stage in life, the human being is seeking to level up, and the ones among us who have been able to achieve their set goals immediately start thinking about the next thing.
Few people have been blessed to have guidance from parents, mentors, and industry leaders to direct them on what it takes to move up to the next level. The rest of us are clueless.
I grew up thinking that once I graduated from the university with a good grade, success will be handed to me on a silver platter. Well, this might have been true for our parents, but a degree in these contemporary times is almost worthless.
We live in a “winner-takes-all” society where 90% of the success is shared by the top 1% and the rest scramble for the crumbs. This is how the world has been set up, and there’s nothing you can do about it. But armed with this knowledge, you can level up and join the top 1%.
Levelling up, as I have already mentioned comes with a hefty price to pay. A lot of us are not able to pay the price because we have no real purpose. A purpose is not real when it is self-centred.
If you look at all the great men the world has produced, the common theme running through their biographies is that they had an overarching purpose. Their purpose was not just to make some make money and feed their family, but they wanted to change the world.
And changing the world starts with changing yourself. These people adopt a laser-focused mentality as they tirelessly hone their craft, whether rain or shine. Consistency is their daily cup of tea. This trait is seen in all high performing athletes.
By having a greater purpose than self, we deny the self of the many comfortable things that it craves. This is rule number one on the journey to greatness; deny yourself of immediate enjoyment. You will have to lose your sleep, comfort, and sanity in order to achieve the impossible.
Great men and women who have walked this earth knew this. That is why there’s an old adage that says “hard work pays”. In Proverbs 13:4, the secret of hard work is hidden in plain sight; “No matter how much a lazy person may want something, he will never get it. A hard worker will get everything he wants.”
Self-denial and sacrifice move hand in hand. While self-denial is an act of avoiding immediate enjoyment, sacrifice is about consistently pursuing self-denial without losing faith. And this is not easy. Sacrifice requires perseverance, endurance, and patience.
You have to be willing to experience the pain, the torture and the heaviness of the price to pay in order to get to the top so that when you eventually get there, you will guard your hard work with integrity and iron fists.
So whatever your goals and aspirations are, remember that success will not come on a silver platter. You have to wake up, put in the work that regular people are not willing to do and that is what will set you apart from the bunch.
Also keep in mind that, good things take time, and great things take much longer. You will need a lot of patience on the journey to mastery. But once you get there, you will become one with the divine and you will wield absolute power that the human mind cannot fathom.
The journey will not be easy but understand that amidst all your failures and success, it is the process of refining gold that makes gold valuable, not the final glitter. All that glitters is not gold, focus on the refinery.
Thank you for taking the time to read, have a blessed day.