“Men are anxious to improve their circumstances but are unwilling to improve themselves; therefore they remain bound. The man who does not shrink from self-crucifixion can never fail to accomplish the object upon which his heart is set.
This is as true of earthly as of heavenly things. Even the man whose sole objective is to acquire wealth must be prepared to make great sacrifices before he can accomplish his objective; and how much more so he who would realize a strong and well-poised life.”
While sitting in a restaurant, I became aware of a conversation between two men in the booth behind me. I will call them John and Sam. Sam said, “All the really good jobs in the company are going to the computer techies.” To which John replied, “Yes, I know. I asked my supervisor to send me to get some computer training just the other day and, would you believe it, he said that I should get the training on my own if I wanted a better job. There is no way that I am going to spend my evenings taking training. If they want me trained, they can pay for it and pay me while I do it.”
To that Sam replied, “You know, you’re right. If the company wants trained people, they should pay for it. Maybe we can file a grievance.”
Now let me draw a very clear distinction between what the company wants and what John and Sam want. If the company wants to upgrade its labor force or promote harmony in the workforce, then they have a vested interest in training that labor force to do specific tasks or react in specific behavioral patterns. However, if it is not at the company’s request, and John and Sam want a better job, it is their responsibility to get the additional training, even though that training may require sacrifices of both money and time. Neither of them acknowledged this; each was chained to his belief that his advancement should be free and painless.
I suspect that conversations like this go on all over the country every day. It is always comforting to blame someone or something else for our lack of success. But it is the wise person who looks around and determines not what others have done to block his path, but rather asks, “What can I do to clear the way?”
If you wish to improve your circumstances, what are you willing to sacrifice? How much are you willing to spend to get where you want to be? I think it’s important to clarify that when I speak of spending, I am not only talking about dollars and cents but rather the minutes, hours, days and years of your life. Time is as much a real investment as the funds you are spending.
When we think of the minutes, hours, days and years of your life as currency, then our purchases can take on different dimensions. Is that new car worth a year of your life? Take time to see how you are using your time and what you are purchasing with it.
Olympia Brown, the first woman to be ordained in this country said, “He who never sacrificed a present to a future good or a personal to a general one can speak of happiness only as the blind do of colors.” Just make sure your sacrifices count for something.
William Hodges hosts an interview-format television program, Spotlight on Government on the Tampa Bay Community Network. He also hosts a Sun Radio show—Veterans Corner—for military veterans and their families. This show can be listened to at 96.3 FM or online at www.wscqfm.com at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He can be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org