Content originally appeared on Piotry Blog, adapted for thesociolog.com.
In the words of Eric Thomas:
You have to sacrifice who you are for what you will become.
Care to know what is it that you have to sacrifice? Read on.
Who is ‘You’?
So you are sacrificing ‘who you are’. Wait a second, who’s that ‘who you are’? Who does it refer to?
Well, it’s everything that define you, from your personal matters (job, habits, tastes- places you like) to your environment (family and friends).
And I’d emphasize on the latter. It is incredible how much family and friends will affect you directly or not and attempt to forge who you are. A lot of people, especially entrepreneurs argue what Jim Rohn says:
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
It’s partially true, because some people manage to focus on
their goals, and isolate themselves from the outside noise.
But in general, your environment plus your personal assets, define that ‘You’.
I’m going to be harsh here, but your Family and Friends might not necessarily be the people you want to surround yourself with. I say that recalling the tears my heart shed when I realized that I had to make that sacrifice myself to become a whole lot better than what I was.
I had to completely stop talking with some friends in order to make new ones and craft new social circles that are tailored to my current needs. It sounds selfish, but isn’t it selfish to stick around out of fear of losing something you have that you don’t want to let go of?
You know, my Family and Friends discouraged me from getting into start-ups, because as Will Smith puts it:
People who can’t do something, tell you that you can’t do it.
because humans tend to think that others do, think, and live the way they do. That’s why “Birds of a feather flock together!”
However, I was bold and over-confident. I did not listen to them and managed to laser focus on my goal: “I want to co-found a startup, and make people lives better”. Period. In my mind, the universe couldn’t affect me, why would the people around me? The result is that after 2 failed attempts, I managed to travel to San Francisco, have lunch at many great startups (Twitter, dropbox, square, and yelp) connect to many freakishly smart people both in startups and established companies. But most importantly, those experiences – that failed fast and cheap – gave me what it takes to bootstrap @BeeplApp as a solo-founder.
And guess what, it turns out I had influenced my family and friends in the process and today, I’m surprised to see some of them who were against my moves, eventually siding with me. That for instance, is a beautiful side effect.
Too long; didn’t read?
Self-improvement’s tradeoff and cost is sacrifice.
Over time, I realized that you could achieve this goal by following this process:
- Have the strength to set your goals.
- Commit to your goals.
- Sacrifice the parts of you that cannot keep up with your goals.
Depending on how adaptive you will be, you might find those parts falling under your influence and following your steps. Otherwise, the sad truth is that they won’t stick around.
Everything has a tradeoff and a price.
As hinted to by Charles Darwin in ‘On The Origin of Species’:
It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Did you ever find yourself changing who you are to become who you want to be?
@Share your thoughts.