Archives For Sacrifice

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt

Though Theodore Roosevelt is commonly attributed to this quote, there is no known source that has been found to prove it. That being said, they are words that seem to resonate well with that familiar small articulate voice that emitted itself from such a large personality. That persona has left a legacy that echoes the philosophies and morals of the fore fathers of our nation. Out of the 43 presidents that have served our country, there are only a few that are easily recognizable or remembered, good ol’ Teddy Roosevelt being one of them.Though his early life was fraught with disabling asthma, his family regularly went on trips that found them hiking through the Alps or other strenuous activity. The fast past lifestyle not only taught Roosevelt the benefit of exercise to better his asthma condition, but also gave him the strength and integrity that inevitably led him to lead our nation.From lifestyle choices to ideals and morals, Roosevelt blazed a path in life that was based on his decisions and how he carried them out. This month’s quote is the epitome of what Napoleon Hill is trying to convey. It’s not as easy as just making a decision – like that isn’t difficult enough – but you must stick by those decisions and carry them out whether or not they turn out to be the right ones. To accompany this quote, I decided to share a lesser known moment in Roosevelt’s life that, to me, really stands for integrity and the legacy we all can impart on this world.

On October 14th, 1912, Roosevelt was on the campaign trail in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, when he was shot by a saloon keeper by the name of John Flammang Schrank. The bullet passed through his steel eyeglass case and a folded 50 page copy of the speech he was scheduled to give that day. The bullet finally lodged itself in his chest muscle. Yet, since he was not coughing up blood, Roosevelt made the decision to give the scheduled speech while blood slowly soaked his clothes. The 90 minute speech opened with these words, “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a bull moose.” He then opened his vest to expose the blood soaked and pulled out his folded speech, “Fortunately I had my manuscript, so you see I was going to make a long speech, and there is a bullet—there is where the bullet went through—and it probably saved me from it going into my heart. The bullet is in me now, so that I cannot make a very long speech, but I will try my best.” The severity of the issue was lessened once doctors decided that leaving the bullet in place was the best thing to do, leaving Roosevelt to carry the token for the rest of his life and inevitably aggravated his rheumatoid arthritis that prevented him from the physical life he had developed.

Though this month’s Quotesense is not meant to be a history lesson refresher; there is no need to go over all the notable choices he has made, after all this brave man made making decisions his life. It was this moment in history that shows me the correlation of decision making and the integrity that goes along with it. Though every day we have shortcomings that set us back in life, our decisions to persevere and never give up while remaining confident in our choices are ever so important. Those victories give us the fuel to find our way in life and blaze a path that others want to follow.


By: David Joseph Leingang

“The sacrifice which causes sorrow to the doer of the sacrifice is no sacrifice. Real sacrifice lightens the mind of the doer and gives him a sense of peace and joy. The Buddha gave up the pleasures of life because they had become painful to him.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi

a boy's choice of a healthy or unhealthy snack

© Tom B – Fotolia

Is this quote about feeling guilty? Let’s take a look.“The sacrifice which causes sorrow to the doer of the sacrifice is no sacrifice.” If you are depressed because of the sacrifice, then it’s more regret then sacrifice. The dictionary defines regret as a feeling of sorry and sadness about something previously done or said that now appears wrong, mistaken, or hurtful to others. The dictionary defines sacrifice as giving up of something valuable or important for somebody or something else considered being of more value or importance.

Makes sense doesn’t it. You regret paying too much for a product or you regret helping someone who takes it for granted or wastes what you gave them.

But, if you sacrifice time, money, or career for something bigger, then initially you may feel the pain, but eventually the sacrifice will pay off, either financially or emotionally.

“Real sacrifice lightens the mind of the doer and gives him a sense of peace and joy.” Did you ever regret not making a sacrifice? What was the feeling? For me it’s disappointment in myself. What was the feeling when you sacrificed something and achieved your objective? I’m sure it wasn’t regret, but peace of mind knowing you didn’t give up and joy that you achieved your objective.

“The Buddha gave up the pleasures of life because they had become painful to him.” Why would your pleasures become painful? Why where they pleasures and what made them painful? Is it your own entitlement mindset?

What do you feel you’re entitled to? If someone takes it away do you get upset? Of course you do. Isn’t that human nature, survival? Unfortunately some people have a different idea what is actually needed to survive.

I believe the bottom line is, getting upset when you sacrifice something knowing that it could negatively impact others is called selfishness.

Isn’t it amazing how we can be selfish to ourselves and think of it as just living comfortably.

You Have to Give Up to Grow Up

How many people think about what they need to give for more success?

© fotomek - Fotolia

© fotomek – Fotolia

How many people think about what they do give up for more success?

Sure, you may need student loans to get a college degree, you agree to the trade-off when you sign the student loan documents. But in reality, are you really giving up to go up? Not immediately, but eventually. The real tradeoff is working enough to pay your tuition without having to rely on student loans. (Something I wish I would’ve put more thought into.)I think the real impact in tradeoffs is what you give up daily.

Do you get up an hour early to work out?

Do you read for an hour at night instead of watching an hour of television?

Tradeoffs really force us to make difficult personal changes and sometimes those around us don’t like those changes. So there’s another piece of the tradeoff that we sometimes forget.

Are those around us willing to make tradeoffs for your growth?

You see this happening when the spouse works an extra job so the other one can go back to school, or they watch the kids every night for two hours so the other one can study. That’s a tradeoff supporting couple’s make.

When you look at the following list of commonly made tradeoffs, which one would you like to become more intentional about making and why?

  • Financial stability today for potential tomorrow
  • Immediate gratification for personal growth
  • The fast life for the good life
  • Security for significance
  • Personal achievement for partnership with others

When you look at the list, or your own list, think about what you won’t ever trade for.

Sometimes people trade their values for what they think is growth, which usually involves self-interests. For me, those tradeoffs are never worth it.

When I see people rise to success quickly, I wonder what values they may have changed in order to get there. What were their tradeoffs?

What values will you not give up for what looks like success?

What do you need to give up to grow to the next level?

© zimmytws - Fotolia

© zimmytws – Fotolia

Do people believe that everything of lasting value has to be achieved through some level of sacrifice?

Do you think the common perception is if you need something then you have to find a way to struggle or pay large dollars for it?

It’s back to your attitude and what you feel you’re entitled to, isn’t it?

I laugh to myself when I listen to someone complain about not having something, but not willing to do what it takes to get it. They think that someone should just give it to them. I bet they had a great childhood, until Mom and Dad couldn’t give them what they want.

Now those same people are in the work force wondering why they can’t get a raise for just showing up. The next time you see a parent NOT giving into their kids demands tell them thank you for raising responsible kids.

One of the wealthiest families in America’s history learned this lesson to late.

Cornelius Vanderbilt built his wealth from a $100 loan and when he died in 1877 he left his family more money than what was held in the US Treasury at the time. One of his sons doubled to fortune, but it stopped there. The family spent the money on mansions and living the life of high society. The Vanderbilt’s held a family reunion in 1973 attended by 120 family members, not one of them was a millionaire.

The lesson here is even if you have the resources to give to someone, do you? I think the key is how someone acts when you expect them to sacrifice something before they get it. Especially when they know you have it to give.

Do they get upset and angry, if so they may be use to getting what they want without having to sacrifice.

When I think back through life whenever I didn’t sacrifice time, money and pain, I never achieved my goals. When I was in the military I studied for months for the advancement exams, and received additional qualifications to make me more competitive. When I wanted to lose weight it didn’t come in a pill but in a regular exercise routine. When I retired from the military I couldn’t get a job as a janitor, I went to college and received a Bachelor’s and then a Master’s degree. I say these things not to impress you but to impress upon you, all lasting success comes from sacrifice. (I’m still waiting on the success)

Think of one thing that was successful without someone giving something up, at the very least the time to do it.

The crazy thing is, sometimes it takes as long to complain about something then it would take to do it, but we still don’t want to sacrifice something for it.

All sacrifices are intentional, but over time they could become habits. Here’s some examples;

  • I’ll sacrifice dessert so I can lose some weight.
  • I’ll sacrifice my craving for sugar in order to stop using artificial sweeteners.
  • I’ll sacrifice an hour of nightly television to study in my field of occupation.
  • I’ll sacrifice my craving for nicotine for better health.
  • I’ll sacrifice an hour sleep for an hour of morning exercise.
  • I’ll sacrifice my security to follow my passion.
  • I’ll sacrifice by not getting anew car for getting a new education.
  • I’ll sacrifice being in my comfort zone for achieving significance.

Make your own list of sacrifices and ask yourself if the outcome was worth the sacrifice? If not, what went wrong? Was it really the outcome that you sacrificed for?

Because we do have to sacrifice for other people and if we only look at what they gain and we lost, then you might not like the feeling.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to help other people achieve their goals. As long as they’re willing to make sacrifices. Unfortunately that’s not the case for some.

They expect you to sacrifice for them, and it’s necessary at times, but it shouldn’t be expected.

The next exercise is to make a list of the sacrifices you need to make and why. For example, one for me is;

I’ll sacrifice my 30 minutes of ‘down’ time after work before supper to take the dogs for a walk. (I’ll wait till the ice is gone and I get my left arm back operational.)

Why? The dogs need exercise. I need exercise. I can listen to a lesson or audio book while I walk. The dogs will be less active in the evening allowing me to focus more on reading and writing. I’ll live longer. I’ll be able to enjoy my family longer (number two grandchild coming this month). I’ll be able to positively impact more people.

WOW! That’s a pretty small sacrifice to get those kinds of results. I think one of the reasons why people don’t like to sacrifice is because they don’t write out the reasons why.

Isn’t it strange, we complain at work that the boss doesn’t tell us why we need to do something different (sacrifice our comfort zone for change). But we don’t even write it down to tell ourselves why the sacrifice would give us a better and healthier life.

What do you need to sacrifice and why?