David FullerOne of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t stop home for a quick visit more often when my kids were young and my wife was stuck at home minding them.

Because I was so tied up in managing and growing my business, I missed family meals, vacations and days off.

If you’re a leader serious about your organization, you’ve probably made this sacrifice too, as has your family.

We pay for every action we take. Your desire to perform at your highest level means you’re going to have to sacrifice something.

Most of us go through life without considering the cost of our drive to accomplish goals. However, every time we chose to put effort into something means that energy can’t be put into something else.

Consider a leader who spends extra hours before and after work to achieve the success they desire for their organization. Those are hours they’re not spending with their family or friends. That time is never going to be spent on leisure, travel, hobbies or exercise.

Time spent in pursuit of a goal doesn’t just cost leaders, it’s also a sacrifice for the friends and family who support them.

The athletes who spend time at the gym perfecting their sports are missing out on time with their friends at the restaurant or park. They’ve chosen to spend time practising or working out. They’re sacrificing the time that might be spent studying or travelling in order to get closer to their dream fitness or skill level. Their family might also have sacrificed thousands of dollars for them to achieve their performance goals.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Develop a winning mindset to achieve your goals by Faith Wood

A sales professional who travels to hit targets for the company is also providing their family with money to live their lifestyle. But they’re missing birthday parties. Leisure time is spent in an automobile or airport lounge. The sacrifice is made by anyone who has put in time, energy or effort to get them to this stage, including the customers who meet with them.

When we have clarity about what we want and what we believe we’re called to do, we also need to be clear about what we need to sacrifice to achieve our plans. We must recognize that when we’re spending time living our dream and working to achieve our goals, no matter what they are, there are costs: the cost of what we can’t do, as well as the cost of what we’re doing.

We need to understand what sacrifices are involved and who’s making the sacrifices.

So if there’s a cost to what we’re doing, are we justified in using that time and energy for improving our performance?

The time we spend watching the latest series on a streaming service is time we won’t have to pursue our passions and achieve our goals, to make the world a better place through our work or actions.

We have a choice on how we spend our time and energy. So the question always remains: Did we spend it in the best possible way?

Think about the time you spend as an athlete in the gym, as the leader in the office, in a relationship or as a salesman on the road. Are you really extending the necessary effort to achieving your goals?

Remember, this is what you’ve been striving and working hard for. Are you focused or are you just wasting time? Are you honestly giving this task the required energy and focus? Are you attentive and present in your work?

I challenge you this week to consider what you’re sacrificing and what others are sacrificing for your success. Is your sacrifice worth all that effort?

Dave Fuller, MBA, is an award-winning business coach and a partner in the firm Pivotleader Inc. Sacrificing too much? Dave would love to hear.  Email: [email protected]. For interview requests, click here.

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