You can’t have your cake and eat it too. At least not if you want to be successful. Success comes at a price and the higher the price you are willing to pay, the more success you will be able to obtain.
While work/life balance sounds like a great idea in theory, it is much more difficult to play out well in reality. You can’t have two priorities that compete with one another. Only one priority can sit at the very top. If this priority is your ultimate success, then all other priorities will have to be sacrificed in some way or another.
What, then, is the price for success? There are many different currencies that may be used to pay for success and most often, it takes more than one form.
The Currency of Success
Often the first price paid on the road to success is the relationships in your life. If you hope to be father of the year or most helpful neighbor, these are the things you will have to sacrifice as you strive to achieve your goals and reach new heights.
J. Paul Getty was one of the most successful men in American history. However, despite Getty’s amazing success with business, he was unable to achieve a successful married relationship. Getty was married five times in the course of his life. He once stated, “A lasting relationship with a woman is only possible if you are a business failure.”
Working out regularly, eating healthy all the time and getting regular health care are often things that get passed over in an effort to achieve success. When faced with getting in a few more hours of work that will get you ahead versus hitting the gym, you have to make a choice and pay the price.
In her book, The Willpower Instinct, Dr. Kelly McGonigal talks about how willpower is required to make many types of decisions throughout the day. The more critical decisions you must make, the less willpower you have to make the less critical decisions. As successful individuals are involved in a high number of critical decisions all day long, they have less reserve to make healthy decisions about nutrition and exercise.
Along with health, success also requires a payment in stress. If you have committed to giving your all to being successful, then with it comes an increase in fear, anxiety and stress as you push and push to reach your goals.
The Price of Success
Once you’ve determined the currency, it’s time to evaluate the price you will pay to achieve your success.
It is often quoted, “Life Begins at The End of Your Comfort Zone.” Comfort is for people who want to live a standard life of mediocrity and don’t wish to pay the price of success. However, for those willing to constantly be UNCOMFORTABLE, then success can be sought.
“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” – Stephen King
Success can’t be bought by talent or intelligence alone. It demands to be paid for by lots of hard work. Long hours, steadfast focus and dogged determination are required to work hard enough to achieve success.
It isn’t uncommon to hear rags to riches stories that include first living out of a car or even a storage locker. Cheri Tree, founder and CEO of Bankcode was so convinced she could achieve success with her company that she moved out of her apartment into a storage locker, taking advantage of her gym membership for showers and bathroom facilities.
Dave Ramsey is fond of saying If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.
What he means by this is that it takes living a lifestyle others may look down upon so that later you can live the lifestyle others look up to.
For some, the biggest price they will pay to achieve success is to become someone new. Through constant reading, endless searches for knowledge and untold amounts of motivation and dedication, the only way you will come out successful is as an entirely different person that the one you came in. Through experiencing failure and getting back up again and again, you will slowly transform who you are. By making hard choices and sacrifices, you will be molded into a new creation.
Sometimes this new person will have to sacrifice relationships that no longer serve them. They may have to pay the price of not enjoying a binge TV marathon on a Saturday afternoon. They ultimately pay the price of long hours committed to their one top priority, no matter what that is and no matter how hard it is to say no to everything else.
Success doesn’t come easy and it doesn’t come cheap. But nothing worth doing was ever easy. Paying the steep price sets you in the top of the top and moves you out of mediocrity into a world that others only dream of.
What price are you willing to pay?