On sacrifice

“You can have anything in life, if you will sacrifice everything else for it.”

Life is about sacrifice. At some point we all realise this. We only have so many dollars to spend, so much income to throw away before the present becomes difficult and the future becomes less certain. With vain pleasures and fleeting romance we sacrifice what is yet to come, to satisfy our impulses at cost of what will never be. Do we live a spartan existence for the hope of creating more auspicious days ahead? Every choice we make is a sacrifice, though often we do not know it.

Some sacrifice a night out for the dream of a house, saving every dollar to live The Great Australian Dream. Others sacrifice the dream of ever owning a house for the taste of smashed avo on toast (I’m looking at you, millennials).

Yet, these material concerns are far from our greatest sacrifices.

There are only so many hours in a day.

What we choose to do with our time makes us who we are. What we spend our money on are our possessions. What we spend our time on are our lives. Whatever we decide to do with our time, it comes at the cost of whatever else we could do. Want to be a basketball player? Great. Want to join the softball team? Sorry, can’t, got basketball practice.

How much time do we have?

A mere mortal like myself has need of eight hours sleep (as should most well-adjusted, normally functioning members of society thank you very much). With commute, a nine to five in the city daily costs us eleven hours. Just like this, time has a habit of getting away from us. That we spend it correctly is key to living your best life.

With what mean remaining time allotted to me, I spend it at the gym, in meditation, on writing, on learning, on fencing, on my family, on my friends, on relationships.


You can be anything in life, if you sacrifice being anything else.

Can one become a master in any subject they choose? Yes. But cannot become a master in every subject.

For myself, I wish to be an Olympic fencer, a blogger, a business professional, a good son, a dependable partner, a music producer, a world traveller, a home owner, a multilinguist, a marathon runner, one who lives a healthy life. Clearly, the combination of all these seems untenable. Something will have to give. Just to get to this point, how much will we have to sacrifice? And after we have done that, how much more will have to sacrifice of what is left?

Author’s note: internet infographics tell me the optimal blog post should be around 1600 words, or 7 minutes. I’m not quite willing to sacrifice my sleep to achieve that tonight. Instead, I’ll sacrifice the quest for blog-post perfection, just this once. We’re all learning, after all.

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