There is a price to be paid for greatness… and for mediocrity

“There is an interesting point about the price of success: It must always be paid in full-and in advance. Everyone wants to be successful. Everyone wants to be healthy, happy, thin, and rich. But most people are not willing to pay the price.” – Brian Tracy

price for greatness, by Lema Abeng

Choose Your Kind of Pain

Yesterday afternoon, I spent some time working out. With all the uhhhs, ahhhs, and sweating came sore muscles. After an early night, I woke up this morning and I’m dragging myself around – thighs aching, legs aching, body aching. If you’ve ever exercised seriously, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

Interestingly, I’m not upset or concerned about my sore body because these body aches are the side effect of a choice I made to live an active lifestyle where I exercise at least trice a week. I also know that the pains are only going to last a day or two, and my body will be back to feeling normal… but stronger and more energized. So, I tell myself that the pain is worth it.

I could either feel this pain or the pain my body would experience if I didn’t exercise. Personally, I have noticed that when I do not exercise, my body starts to feel stiff and sluggish. It doesn’t feel good.

So, this pain or the other pain – which pain do I choose? That of a stronger body or that from a sluggish one? Well…I’ve made my pick. Which one have you chosen?

The Choices We Make

You see, in life there is a price to be paid for the choices we make.

We pay a price when we move or when we stay put; when we sit or when we stand; when we take action or when we procrastinate. Such prices can be grouped into 2 general categories.

Group 1: we feel satisfaction while paying the price. Some prices lead us further down the road of a healthy lifestyle, accompany us along the path of purposeful living, and challenge us further toward making a greater impact and discovering our best selves. Though we are tested, we feel the gratification of success, love and purposeful living.

In Group 2: we feel regret. Here, our choices allow us to stay in our comfort zones – where we expend little or no effort but become stiffer and sluggish; we feel safe but stagnant as the old offers neither new life nor pleasant discoveries. Life goes on anyway. But there is a price to be paid here as well – constant doubt, would’a-should’as, and wondering what it would have been like to make an effort toward purposeful living.

No Pain No Gain

Come to think of it, we all are paying some kind of price in life or making sacrifices of some sort.

Follow your dreams or not follow your dreams? There is a price to be paid.
Fall in love or not be in love? There is a price to be paid.
Work for yourself or not work for yourself? There is a price to be paid.
Invest your money or not invest your money? There is a price to be paid.

… you see what I mean?

For instance, we may admire people who are succeeding and we go, “Wow, she/he is working so hard – look at how many movies she has acted in; see how far he has gone in the NBA; notice what a magnetic influencer she now is; what a talented international journalist he has become; I admire her incredible work as a physician curing the underprivileged around the world. That’s a lot of progress. But uhmmm, I can’t work that hard.” *cryin’ face*

Success requires sacrifice, sure. By the same token, there is also a price to be paid for picking mediocrity. If we are going to pay some price, why not go for the extraordinary and fulfilling?

I would like to encourage you today to not be held back by the fear of making sacrifices for your dreams.

In chapter 5 of my book Success On Your Terms, we discuss how Commitment requires sacrifice: “The making of sacrifices means giving up something now for the good of what may not be immediately beneficial to us. It means feeling discomfort, exerting ourselves over and over again, travelling the extra mile, putting the needs of others first… to honor a commitment. One of the most challenging aspects of making sacrifices is that it requires us to operate outside our comfort zones, to give what we would rather keep so as to gain something more valuable in the future, which in this case is simply reaching a goal.”

Do not let some ache or discomfort stop you from pursuing your goals. Make the effort and walk the walk toward living your best purposeful life. You will discover that the grind itself, and resulting accomplishments will establish you in greatness. After all, no pain no gain.

Cheers to your success!



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