Sacrificing the Little Things in Life

Shortly after writing my last blog post about riding the emotional rollercoaster of becoming a small business owner, I came across a quote from the great football coach Vince Lombardi that have given me great inspiration.

“A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.”

What really struck me about the quote was the second half about sacrificing the little things in life and paying the price for the things that are worthwhile.

I think I have always had a good dose of self-confidence. I was not short of determination and dedication because I was competitive. My desire to win — to be better than others — has led me to work hard and eventually to my BigLaw career, which I think was relatively successful. But I couldn’t sustain the drive because I realized that winning in itself is not something worthwhile.

As I am getting close (once again after the recent setback) to reach the “thing”, I hope – I know – it is worthwhile, at least worthwhile to me.

I have never felt so determined and dedicated. I know because for the very first time I am willing to sacrifice the little things in life. These little things – the comforts and splurges of life – are what I was working so hard to attain and what I had taken for granted. Before, I had made sacrifices – health, friendship and intellectual curiosity – so that I could obtain and retain these little things. Now, I am willing to forgo these little things, to downsize and tighten the belt, for the “thing” that is far less prestigious yet worth so much more to me.

Sacrifices are never easy. For me, the idea of embracing the sacrifice is actually far more difficult than the sacrifice itself. Once I made the mental decision to be open to making sacrifices, I realize that these little things I am sacrificing do not mean very much to me.

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10 Responses to Sacrificing the Little Things in Life

  1. Simone says:

    One of my favorite quotes of all time! Can’t wait to hear what the “thing” is!

  2. everysixminutes says:

    Thanks Simone!

  3. Dan says:

    Before, I had made sacrifices – health, friendship and intellectual curiosity – so that I could obtain and retain these little things. Now, I am willing to forgo them, to downsize and tighten the belt, for the “thing” that is far less prestigious yet worth so much more to me.

    Are you saying that you’re willing to forgo health, friendship and intellectual curiosity again? Those don’t sound like little things to me.

  4. everysixminutes says:

    No, I am not willing to forgo health, friendship and intellectual curiosity again. I did sacrifice them for the little things in life. Now, I am willing to sacrifice these little things for the “thing”. I haven’t revealed what the “thing” is yet, but I am really hoping to soon! Fingers crossed that the transaction goes through this time.

  5. Malina says:

    Nike said it best…”Just Do it.”

    If you have the opportunity and capital to try out your company idea … you are ahead of most people out there. No need to be in an emotional roller coaster. It is weighing you down….if you continue to have to justify your decision to leave big law salary, or to even think about it anymore, then you are saying that you are not a true independent thinker … just believe in yourself, be a little more arrogant and Just do it.

  6. JPM says:

    I don’t want “things.” I am not materialistic. I don’t even own a car. I have a few cheap suits. One of the reasons that I chose to do a job I can tolerate that pays better than a job I would be more interested in doing (such as a DA), is that a large percentage of my net monthly income goes towards servicing student loan debt.

  7. JPM says:

    Another general comment I have about this blog.

    I never heard anyone in my grandparents’ or parents’ generation talking about quitting a job to go on a voyage of self discovery. A job paid the bills – end of story.

    The idea that our work shouldn’t suck and should in fact be a joy every single day in something we love is a very recent phenomenon….perhaps the Oprahization of America, where we can and should “have it all.” 😉

    Let’s face it for 99.9% of the world’s population WORK SUCKS! Whether you are working in a cola mine in West Va, sewing nike sneekers in India, or working at a car dealership in Nigeria. Unless you are Lionel Messi or Robert Plant for example, your job is probably going to suck in one way or another. Often jobs that have real meaning and help people pay dirt. The legal profession is testament to that.

    I work in civil litigation. Do I love the work? No. However, I could not afford to work for $38k a year for Legal Aid, for example…although I am sure their work is interesting. This is America, and money talks and bs walks. It’s not like mainalnd Europe where even if you or your parents are broke you can still get a free education and healthcare. I will always follow the money….

    I would recommend 2 good books

    1. Read – The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing
    3. Read – The Millionaire Next Door

  8. Amanda Adams says:

    Everyone has a choice about whether to be materialistic and therefore work hard (perhaps doing a job they hate) in order to be able to buy more things. Or they can decide that they would rather have a job they love and less things. The luckiest people get to have both. By the way, what is wrong with self-discovery? We only have one life in which to accomplish our dreams and so to say that you have to accept that life sucks is just stupid.

  9. Amanda Adams says:

    If paying down student loans is your concern, why don’t you take advantage of one of those loan forgiveness programs that require you to take a public interest position?

  10. everysixminutes says:

    Totally agree with your — and Nike’s — motto!

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