To succeed, what are you willing to sacrifice?

Jes 4 Comments

Success? What exactly is success?

I used to think that to be successful is to be rich and not have to work at all. To be a 'tai tai' was like an ideal dream and that defines the pinnacle of success. Now that I am in my 30s, success is not so straight forward anymore. 

I find a few millionaires friends around me in our 30s and this is the sacrifice that they made - Time.

They put in lots of hard work to earn more money. When people are out shopping or spending time with family, they are at work till late night. When people are celebrating and resting, they are still working the weekends. What we see is the big car and condominiums but we don't see the sacrifices they made. A close friend recently bought a Porsche worth $300k, but she was really sad that her toddler daughter loves her grandmother, who is the caretaker more than her. 

I told her honestly, what you put in is what you get. The amount of time you devote to your children is proportional to the love they give back. She is at the top of her career but there will be some sacrifices made in other areas. 

For those who think that success is to be like Joseph Schooling, to be the best in an area, you need to sacrifice. Top athletes like Joseph Schooling sacrifices a lot of their time to practice. When their friends were playing games and dating, he was swimming. When others were enjoying and catching pokemons, he was still in the pool practising. Of course, talent played a huge part in getting to Olympics. But without time spent practising, he could never reach the top. The very top.

If you want to achieve what the others could not, you have to work harder than the majority too. 

There are others who sacrifice money for the sake of time. Just like me. Instead of climbing higher up the corporate ladder, I chose to forego a more luxurious lifestyle for more time. Instead of hiring maids, upgrading to a bigger house and buying big cars, I chose to be there for my children. Instead of spending $2,000 in private and prestigious pre-schools, I chose to educate my kids the best I can, with attention and devotion.

I chose to be the best mother I can be and I sacrificed money for it.

For me, to succeed in life is to be happy. This is the priority at my present stage of life. Not just me, many mothers chose to forego their salary and take care of their children full-time. Or they work part-time to manage the household. Most of them are not rich or come from money, it is more likely they chose this route to sacrifice for their kids.

You determine your own success. 

For now, my career is taking a back seat. I earn enough money to be able to spend quality time with my family. This will certainly change in the future when my children do not need me so much, and I can concentrate on other aspects of my life.

The path to success is different, the sacrifices are different too. Instead of asking if you will succeed, ask what you are willing to sacrifice in the pursuit of success. Ask what kind of success you want and sooner or later, with grit and hard work, you will get there. 

You just have to believe in it.  


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  1. Hi Simplyjesme,

    Being a good parents raising up good kids is a form of success too!

    No matter what is our pursuit, there are bound to be sacrifices. There's no such thing as best of both worlds. At the end of the day, we only have to answer to ourselves - are we happy with the 'path of success' that we've chosen? Or are we regretful?

    1. Hi Rainbowcoin,

      Indeed, raising up good kids and having good relationships with your family is a huge success!

      We define our own success. If we have to wander for many years only to be regretful, that's surely not giving happiness. Thanks for dropping by!

  2. Insightful. Maybe the hardest part is finding an ideal balance to get the most out of both worlds–pursuing your potential in business, but still reserving enough time for family. I think pushing too far in either direction could cause resentment or regret. It's definitely something I think many young professionals need to think about!

    1. Hi Carrie,

      I always think work-life balance is something of an ideal. We can strive towards it but it might not be possible. I agree with you on the resentment part, that's why we need to decide which role we want to be and to do so willingly. I don't think I thought so much about sacrifice until I became a mother!


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