Sacrifice is essential for growth. How can you achieve greatness without sacrifice? If there is anyone out there who has reached levels of greatness without sacrifice I would love to hear it. Without sacrifice those levels of greatness are hollow. Sacrifice adds value to the end result.
We pay for our success through sacrifice and the more sacrifice the more value the success has.
Through my years in the cage I have often thought about the sacrifices I have made and if they are worth it in the end. That is an important thing to evaluate. Is the sacrifice worth the end result. Sometimes our sacrifices are not worth the end product and that can be a great factor on whether it is something we should pursue.
I remember having a talk with a teammate. He was a star in the making but he was young. It seemed like he really didn’t sacrifice much to get there. He was naturally a gifted fighter and his fights were extremely exciting. The more he fought the more fans he had. He would just show up to practice and prepare for fights. Did not have much to worry about outside of fighting at least it seems. However, MMA is a sport that requires a lot of your attention and if you do not give it to her she will beat you down. This individual sacrificed a lot to get to where he was as do a lot of fighters who take this sport serious.
I said to him, “Everyone makes sacrifice in this sport. You just need to be okay with them otherwise the sport will leave you behind.”
I believe this to this day. At the time I was working a midnight shift at work, going to school full time and had my first child. I knew that in order to keep climbing in this sport my sacrifices would mainly be sleep and a 4.0 GPA (which I do not regret) and the occasional time away from my family.
Those are my long term sacrifices that I make everyday. Moreover when I am preparing for a fight I make even more short term sacrifices. The amount I train increases which means I will be away from my family more. The junk food I love I give up on and typically I do not hang out with friends much because I go to bed as early as I can.
Especially in MMA and in other endeavors its never just you making sacrifices. I used to think that I made all these sacrifices for this sport and that my wife and kids had it easy because they just stayed at home but I was wrong. I am now aware that she too sacrifices a lot for me to pursue this dream. She sacrifices me being away, me being grumpy from weight cutting and my anxiousness when I have a fight. When I have a fight coming up I am not the man she married and that is hard to live with but she sacrifices me for the month or two as I prepare for a fight. She picks up extra parenting duties so I do not have to. After five years I have realized these sacrifices and have become grateful for them.
In the end the sacrifice is worth it especially when you win. Stepping in the cage and putting it all on the line is something that 99% of the world will never experience. When you taste greatness no matter of sacrifice really seems that bad.
Anything that we find worthwhile will require sacrifice. Whether we want a promotion at work, start our own business, starting a new hobby or passion requires sacrifice. Going into an endeavor and not understanding the sacrifices involved is a recipe for failure.
Make sure when on your pursuit that you are aware of the sacrifices you have made, will make and are making because in the end you are less likely to fail because you will not take your sacrifices or the sacrifice of others for granted.