We talked yesterday about how powerful sacrifice can be up as with most things in life there is another side to sacrifice we must consider. Simply put we need to be aware of what we are already sacrificing and why. Every day we make sacrifices without thinking about it, any time we decide to do this instead of that we have potentially made a sacrifice. We need to be aware of these casual sacrifices and make sure that they are ones we are truly willing to live with.
Sometimes we put aside, or sacrifice our momentary happiness for others, this is not a bad thing, but we have to make sure that we do this in full knowledge of what we are giving up and be ok with this. If we are not honest with ourselves and give up more of our happiness for others then we are willing to this leads to resentment. Resentment is like acid to happiness eating away at everything good in a relationship until it is nothing more than a bubbling pile of dross. But this is only the most obvious type of unintentional sacrifice we must be on the lookout for.
What is worse is when we sacrifice our happiness on the altars of artificial desire. These altars are constructed by society, peers, advertisers and even churches to tell us what we need to be happy. These false idols do not ask what we want instead they make us believe that we want what they want us to want. If we do not define success four our selves then the world defines it for us, then we become "successful" we have the trapping and symbols that show the world what we have done but we do not have the joy that true success brings.
How do we spot these false idols? Not by looking at them but by looking inside.
Know your dreams: If we take the time to remember our dreams, our vision of the life we want this will keep us on track. If it helps you right it down and keep it with you at all times so you can look at your dream and test your choices against it.
Have a process: When we have an idea of how we are going to achieve something we are less likely to be distracted by the false promises of success that are offered to us every day. Think of it like this we go in to the world every day hungry to succeed much like we make the mistake of going to the grocery store when we are hungry. As we walk the isles of the grocery store we pick out the fating, fast easy foods that will damage our bodies but fill our bellies as soon as we get home. On the other hand if we enter the store hungry but armed with a list of what we are getting and the will power to implement that list then we come home with wholesome food that will nourish us and keep us satisfied longer. Having a set of goals that point towards the realization of our dreams works the same way. When we are tempted to cut corners and make sacrifices that do not fulfill our needs we can look to this process and say no that is not for me.
The dangers of unintentional sacrifice surround us every day. If we are not carful we will be sidetracked and set adrift chasing dreams that are not our own.