There can be no progress, no achievement, without sacrifice, and a man’s worldly success will be in the measure that he sacrifices.” -James Allen, As a Man Thinketh

In his seminal book Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki recounts a common response he gets when he asks people why they aren’t open to lucrative real estate investments.
“When I speak to people about investing in real estate, they often tell me they’re not interested in real estate because they don’t want to fix toilets.
When someone says, ‘I don’t want to fix toilets,’ they’re saying that little problems like toilets are more important than their financial freedom.”
For some, a leaky toilet is enough of a reason to never attempt to achieve their goals.
If you are not willing to sacrifice your pride, comforts, or security, you will never achieve your highest level of success.
Your level of sacrifice directly determines your level of success.

Cynics Criticize. Winners Sacrifice.

“How much you improve is up to you.” Anders Ericcson,
Peak: Secrets From the New Science of Expertise

Achieving massive success requires countless leaps out of your comfort zone.
If you want to build an empire, you need to invest enormous amounts of time reading, learning, and experimenting. You can’t do that if you constantly oversleep and binge-watch Netflix.
If you want to develop a rock-hard, toned body, you need to invest enormous amounts of sweat, energy, and time working out. You can’t do that if you maintain an unhealthy, toxic diet of tempting junk food.
The individual who retorts, “I don’t want to fix toilets” at the prospect of a lucrative investment is choosing their pride and comfort instead of building potentially enormous wealth.
Their unwillingness to sacrifice their pride directly prevents them from experiencing potentially enormous wealth.

The individual who hates his job yet spends most of his free time on TV, partying, and sleeping in has only himself to blame. His level of sacrifice (very low) will always equate his level of success (very low).
On the other hand, the individual who is willing to do whatever it takes is likely to experience massive growth and success, even if they start out in the midst of the most unfortunate circumstances.

Here’s a personal example.
I started waking up at 6:00am every weekday morning to write, read, and develop my blog.
Those first few days sucked. I recall looking over at my beautiful wife snoozing gently in bed, wondering why the hell I was clutching a lukewarm cup of coffee trying to stay awake and blog at 6:20am.
I had to sacrifice those extra couple hours because I needed more time to build my empire.
I became willing to give up something “good” (sleeping in) for the prospect of something downright incredible (owning a lucrative personal business that brings in enough passive income so my wife and I can travel the world whenever we want).

Cynics criticize. Winners sacrifice.
Your willingness to sacrifice directly determines your level of success.

“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.” -Hal Elrod, The Miracle Morning

Living an Extraordinary Life Means Giving Up a Normal One

“If you want to live an exceptional and extraordinary life, you have to give up many of the things that are part of a normal one.” -Srinivas Rao

If you want to live a life no one else is, you must be willing to sacrifice what others are unwilling to give up.
Most people will never let go of their stranglehold on a few key factors, like a steady paycheck, a career that others approve of, and the safety of going along with the crowd.
But this unwillingness is exactly what prevents them from experiencing massive growth.
If you truly want to reach another level of success in any area of your life, you’ll need to make extraordinary sacrifices to get there. If you want a life no one else is living, you’ll need to start living like no one else.
In the words of financial guru Dave Ramsey:

“Live like no one else now, so later you can live like no one else.”

If you want to experience miraculous success, you need to live a life that relies on miracles to happen.
Most people will never make themselves this vulnerable. To put yourself in a position where it would take a miracle to achieve a goal is terrifying.
If the majority took a frank look at their goals, they’d probably recognize they actually aren’t that difficult. The truth is, their goals actually just extraordinary. The results won’t be that great, either.
Once you begin to say no to merely “good” opportunities, you’ll have a better eye for the “great” ones. And once you learn what a life characterized by largely “great” opportunities looks like, suddenly those sacrifices don’t seem like that big of a deal.
If it meant you could become 100% financially independent and live entirely on passive income, would you be more willing to give up sleeping in?
If it meant you could develop a lean, fit, extremely muscular body that makes you insanely proud of yourself, would you be more willing to stop eating ice cream?

“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice.” -Jim Collins, Good to Great

Most People Choose “Good” Opportunities and Miss Out On the “Great” Ones

“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” -Warren Buffet

The most successful people in the world are extremely practiced in one particular behavior:

They say no to almost everything.

Warren Buffet once said that for every 100 opportunities that come across his desk, he might say “yes” to only one of them.
This is the mindset of an individual who refuses to spend his time on anything less than the best possible scenario. This mindset is extremely rare, but incredibly effective.
When you say “yes” to one opportunity, that means you’re saying “no” to many others.

Most people are terrible at saying no. Sadly, all these merely “good” opportunities often cost months and years of your life that can never be regained, time that you should’ve spent working on your legacy.

Most people don’t want to give up the safety and comforts of what’s right in front of them. They don’t want to give up what they already know.

But in avoiding sacrifice, they sacrifice the most important scenario of all:

Their future.

If you are not willing to sacrifice “good” opportunities, you’ll never get a chance to come across a truly “great” one.
This is a key indicator of what separates ordinary individuals from truly extraordinary ones. Those who bide their time, remain poised under pressure, and wait are the ones that will seize the life-changing opportunities most people are too busy to see.

When my wife and I moved to South Korea to teach English for a year, there were over a dozen “good” opportunities I chose to decline: church drummer, private tutor, youth basketball coach, podcast founder, etc.

I was waiting for the right opportunity. It came along, and now I’m making a living as a writer, one of my deepest dreams I’ve ever had.
Say no the merely “good” opportunities so you can say “yes” to the rare great ones.

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.” Jim Collins

In Conclusion

“He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.” -James Allen

Your willingness to sacrifice directly determines your level of success.

If you only make small sacrifices, you will only ever achieve small success.

If you want to achieve an enormous goal like developing an incredibly strong body, owning a business, becoming an incredible parent and spouse, become financially independent, earning a Ph.D., etc…

You will need to make enormous sacrifices.

You receive what you put in. If you’re lazy and cut corners, you’ll receive results that mirror that level of commitment.

But if you seriously commit to achieving greatness and experiencing true success, you’ll need to give up many things that other’s won’t. This is a common characteristic among all incredibly successful people — they were willing to do what others weren’t.

Sacrifice is hard. No one said it would be easy.

But every enormous success requires enormous sacrifice.

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15 sacrifices you’ll need to make if you want to be a Billionaire

15 Signs you will be a Billionaire

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So you want to be super successful? There can be no progress, no achievement, without sacrifice, and a man’s worldly success will be in the measure that he sacrifices. Living an Extraordinary Life Means Giving Up a Normal One. If you want a life no one else is living, you’ll need to start living like no one else. Success has a big price are you prepared to pay that price?

You've probably may have heard the success formula "fake it until you make it." The idea is to act as if you've already achieved a goal; your brain finds ways to bring your external situation into sync and people sense your (at first fake) self-confidence and treat you accordingly. For example, if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you start by believing that you're already an entrepreneur, even if you've never started a company. You find role models to teach you how an entrepreneur thinks and acts and you start thinking and acting that way. People notice... and might want to invest in your idea. The most effective way to "fake it until you make it" is to find a role model and incorporate the mental processes of that role model into your own catalog of thoughts and beliefs. Using the example above, you can do that by finding a mentor or by reading books (and columns!) that are by and/or about entrepreneurs. While  many and probably most people would like to be billionaires, few (so far as I can tell) delve very deeply into the peculiar ways that billionaires think about things. Lack of that perspective makes "fake it until you make it" difficult if not impossible. Fortunately, there have recently been some groundbreaking studies about how the ultra-wealthy think and behave. In addition, many billionaires have become much more public about themselves and their interests, thereby allowing us mere mortals to construct a mental model of how they think which (according to the theory) should position anyone who adopts that model to become a potential billionaire. With that in mind, here are five beliefs that most billionaires appear to hold in common: 1. "I am better than you." Self-made billionaires tend to believe that life is a meritocracy and that they've become rich because they're superior to everyone else. Billionaires who've inherited their wealth possess this the same sense of superiority, in the apparent belief that they've inherited better genes than everyone else. The classic statement of this belief comes from the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: "Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are." Now, all of that sounds very horrible and non-egalitarian, but if you're truly serious about becoming a billionaire, and you're not planning on winning a huge lottery, you are automatically assuming that you're better than other people. So while you should definitely keep this belief to yourself, you might as well be honest with yourself. 2. "I can accomplish anything." Regardless of how they got their money, billionaires tend to be exceedingly self-confident about what they can accomplish as individuals. The undeniable fact that they can buy just about anything they want becomes conflated into the belief that they can accomplish anything they want. A perfect example of this are the billionaires (Kochs, Soros, etc.) who use their money to alter the entire course of a country without ever wondering (apparently) whether their ideas have merit. Same thing is true of billionaires who run for high office even if they're obviously completely unqualified for the job. While this kind of hubris can be destructive to society at large, it's also true that successful people in general and entrepreneurs specifically are almost always overconfident in what they can accomplish. Without a certain amount of overconfidence, would-be entrepreneurs couldn't be able to muster the gumption to start their own business in the first place! 3. "The rules don't apply to me." A series of studies conducted at the University of Michigan concluded that the wealthy tend to behave more unethically than those who lack wealth. They were more likely to 1. Break the law while driving. 2. Exhibit unethical decision-making. 3. Take valued goods from others (steal). 4. Cheat to increase the chance of winning a prize. 5. Endorse unethical behavior at work. The tendency towards unethical behavior is apparently proportional to the amount of wealth and even if the wealthy person came from an impoverished background.  Of course, the main reason billionaires think they can get away with anything is because they have the money to hire the best attorneys, pay off people they've harmed, and so forth. Needles to say, if you don't have that kind of money, you'd best limit yourself to believing that you can break the rules in an "out of the box thinking" way. I'd maintain that nearly every successful entrepreneur has a secret belief that a little rule breaking is essential to success. 4. "I really don't care." People were shocked when Melania Trump wore a jacket emblazoned with "I really don't care. Do U?" While the message was unpolitic, it neatly summarized the attitude that some billionaires (and evidently some of their wives) have towards people who are less fortunate than they are. While some billionaires, like Bill Gates, actively use their wealth to make wide-scale improvements to the world, the sad fact is that most billionaires give sparsely and often donate to only to causes that offer them publicity or social status. Many start family foundations that appear to be mostly a way to dodge taxes. While I find it personally appalling that some billionaires are so heartless, there's a level of "I really don't care" that's healthy. Look, if you're going to be successful, at some point, you'll need to break free from basing your happiness upon what other people--especially people you don't know--think of you.  In any case, if you want to think like a billionaire and still want to give to charitable organizations, you've got to scrap the idea of "don't let your left hand know what your left hand is doing." If you give money, give it very publicly and make sure you get all the credit you deserve. I know that sounds gross, but that's what "fake it until you make it" demands. 5. "I love my hobbies." If you choked on the previous belief, hopefully you'll find this one a bit more palatable. It seems today like everyone is talking about their side hustles. Fun stuff to discuss, but billionaires never have side hustles. Instead, they enjoy hobbies that have no financial value. Some famous examples: * Elon Musk collects James Bond memorabilia. * Warren Buffett collects ukuleles. * Bill Gates collects books and manuscripts. * Mark Zuckerberg kills and eats his own food. * Jeff Bezos collects old rocket parts. Now, you could argue that billionaires pursue those hobbies because their money gives them the time to pursue them but, in fact, many billionaires are workaholics but still manage to find time for their hobbies. Elon Musk works insane hours... but still finds time to putter around with his collection.  Hobbies are powerful because they send your brain the message that you are more than just your job. While you can twist them into a productivity tool ("it's a way to relax"), billionaires don't seem to think about them that way. They see hobbies, in and of themselves, as a source of meaning in their lives. I think that's healthy. I'm not saying you shouldn't work hard or that you should feel bad for having a side hustle if you need that to get by or prepare for your next career move. But you could, and probably should, find time to do something active and interesting that's not connected to your finances.

Source: Geoffrey James for Inc

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