Right now the Internet is rife with discussions of how to be successful in this New Year. I do not have any platform to discuss strategies toward success. This is not a Top Ten list of how to succeed. Rather, it’s a discussion about potential.
There is no success without first having potential, and I believe the key to obtaining potential lies in sacrifice. We can put ourselves in a position to be great at anything if we simply sacrifice for it. The thorny matter, however, is the degree to which we are willing to give up aspects of our lives, or to take on more within our days. Sacrifice isn’t all about omission; it’s commission as well.
I am at the beginning of a writing career. I have the potential to write books for years and years. Will I? The answer comes in the response to the question: How much am I willing to sacrifice? I have a busy life–wife, children, a full-time and a part-time job. And writing. What will be put on the altar to serve the needs of that last element?
That’s a disquieting question, and one I’m not comfortable answering. I’d like to keep everything intact but I know that cannot occur. Change is the only constant.
We must do more. Writing, alone, is not enough. We must be visible and accessible. These are our mantras, and I am heeding them, as so many of us are, with facebook and Twitter and all the other social media packages available. But how much more time am I willing to spend in front of a computer screen serving this end? What will I be missing due to this act of commission?
Again, questions I am not comfortable with, but must learn to be.
Seth Godin, in an interview with Subvert Magazine, discussed failure and sacrifice after a slew of rejections: “That’s when I realized I had no real options and this was the real deal, the course of my life. Stay in or get out, and I really had no choice. I was in.”
Godin’s words are this premise boiled down to stark reality. We have to be willing to sacrifice it all, whether we want to or not, because there will come a point when we’re in it, and life will decide for us.
I’d rather have the reigns, even if the ride is treacherous. The potential for greatness is too enticing. And the sacrifice…hopefully worth it.