Make Your Offering3 min read

To achieve your goals and fulfill your aspirations, you need to make an offering. Your offering is the price you will pay for what you want—it’s your commitment, your skin in the game. The more you are willing to give, the more you are ready to receive.

Often what we need to sacrifice are the usual suspects: part of our time, money, and energy. But it could also be other things—relationships that no longer serve us, habits that hold us back, or tempting distractions that lead us astray.

Sometimes the only thing we need to sacrifice is our old self. It is letting go of our limiting beliefs, excuses, and the old stories we have been telling ourselves for years. At other times we need to sacrifice holding on to two opposing desires—such as the desire to snooze the alarm vs. the desire to have a productive morning. 

How much time, money, energy, and pleasure are you willing to offer in return for success in your goal? How much of yourself are you willing to offer? The more you are willing to offer, the more energy you generate toward your aspiration. 

You cannot cheat this system. People try—with the promise of hacks, magic pills, and overnight success formulas from unethical marketers. It rarely works, and if it does, it is neither sustainable nor fulfilling. 

If you don’t get what you want, it’s a sign either that you did not seriously want it,
or that you tried to bargain over the price.

—Rudyard Kipling

The Buddha said that life is suffering—and that is so unless you become a Buddha yourself! A life without any pain or discomfort is not possible. You cannot choose to never experience pain.  But you can choose your pain—the pain of self-discipline, or the pain of regret and wasted potential.

The bad news, then, is that sacrifice is inevitable. With any choice we make we are sacrificing something—saying yes to one thing and no to other things. The question is not if you will sacrifice, but what are you already sacrificing?

The good news is: you can choose your sacrifice—and, with that, your future.

You can choose the life you want to live, and the person you want to be—but it won’t come for free. You can choose your aspiration and goals, but not their price.

  • What are you willing to let go of in the pursuit of your aspiration?
  • What is your offering? What will you sacrifice?

Take a few minutes to reflect on these questions. It will be time well spent.

You won’t make a sacrifice if you have no faith in yourself. If there is doubt about the importance of the goal, or about your capacity to achieve it, sacrificing your present-moment comfort will not make much sense. If you have a solid aspiration and self-belief, then you will be willing to commit yourself to your goal. 

Own your aspiration. Have faith in your capacity to actualize it. And then take a step forward every day, accepting discomfort as a small fee to pay for the transformation you desire. You will not regret it.

This article is a summary of key ideas taken from Chapter 6 of Mindful Self-Discipline. To dive deeper, get the book or audiobook.


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