Lay it down to go up! (The Law of Sacrifice)

“A LEADER must give up to go up.” – John Maxwell

When we hear the word sacrifice, we often think of completely selfless acts in which someone does something for another entirely for the other person’s benefit.  The image of a soldier sacrificing his life for his comrades frequently comes to mind.

Sacrifice does not mean giving up something for nothing; it means giving up one thing for something else we believe is worth more.  The law of sacrifice says that you cannot get something you want without giving up something in return.  In order to attain something you believe is of greater value, you must give up something you believe is of lesser value.

Society today tries to deny the law of sacrifice at every turn, promising people that they can fulfill their desires without having to forsake anything at all.  “Lose weight without giving up your favorite foods!”,“Get ripped without long workouts!”,“Get rich without having to work hard!”.  The denial of the law of sacrifice is at the heart of things like our soaring credit card debt (US citizens currently hold $886 billion of it), not to mention our national debt.  The fantasy that you can have whatever you’d like without ever paying for it is an incredibly seductive fantasy.

But it is only a fantasy. There is always a price to pay.

If you want to lose weight, you have to give up junk food.  If you want to get ripped, you have to work out regularly.  If you want the nice things in life, you have to work hard and save your money.  Sure, sometimes fame and good fortune seemingly drop into someone’s lap.  But, as Frederick Douglass said:  “A person, at times, gets something for nothing, but it will, in their hands, amount to nothing.”

The world class athlete or musician gives up time spent with family and friends for time spent honing their talent.  The converted religious man gives up old habits for his new faith. The blockbuster actor gives up anonymity for fame and fortune.  The burned out employee gives up his six-figure corporate salary to become a high school teacher.

If you are unhappy in your choice, it is because you chose something that you do not really believe to have higher value than that which you left behind.  The law of sacrifice reveals and operates according to our personal value system.  If we don’t have a cut physique, it is because we value the freedom to eat whatever we’d like more than six pack abs.  If we don’t have a 4.0 GPA, it’s because we value time spent with friends more than grades.  If you’ve ever wondered why you lack the discipline to attain a certain goal, it is likely because, in your heart of hearts, you don’t really value that goal as much as you think you do.

At the end of the day then, the most important question we should ask ourselves when evaluating our dreams, desires, and goals, may not be, “What am I willing to do to attain them?” but “What am I willing to give up?”

It will take execution, strategy, awareness and vision to achieve success and it all begins with sacrifice.

H5H Action Step:

  • Create two lists: (1) the things you are willing to give up to go up. (2) the things you are not willing to sacrifice in order to advance.

These lists are not for me, they are for you.  Remember, “Sacrifice is an ongoing process, not a one-time payment.” 

However, my challenge to you is this – What are you willing to sacrifice to provide proper training to your staff or extraordinary hospitality to our guests?

Lead The Way!