Success Trade Offs – Getting Rid Of What Holds You Back, To Gain What Takes You Forward

Photo by Eddie Kopp on Unsplash

What if I told you that the price you would have to pay to succeed, is actually a reasonable one. Sounds too good to be true? It really isn’t. In fact, the problem isn’t the price. The problem is really whether you are ready and willing to pay it.

Before we dive into this subject, I would first like to make you aware of an important sacrifice you have made at this moment. You could have been reading any other blog post, watching some random video, or even playing some random game at this very moment. Instead, you are here reading this.

I am truly grateful for that.

And why do I say that this is an important sacrifice you have made? Because your time is important. And so what you do with your time, is extremely valuable.

I want you to realize how interesting this decision is.

If you aren’t familiar with my writing here on, I start discussions all about attaining success through personal development. I’m a successful student-focused on realizing my dream. I have failed and continue to fail in hopes of learning WHAT NOT TO DO when I try again. Failing forward. To me, this is part of personal growth.

Is success important to you? Do you feel you have room to improve some or all aspects of yourself… if it would lead to the success you desire?

Great. Because decisions like this, are the most important trade-offs you could ever make in your life.

No. I’m talking about visiting my blog (even though that’s awesome).

But I’m talking about the decision to continuously seek and make progress. How? By spending a reasonable amount of your day, immersed in literature and activities specifically focused on helping you become successful.

You could have been doing anything else. You could have been sleeping. You could have been reading local celebrity drama. You could have been watching a tv show. You could have been talking about unimportant subjects with other people just to pass time…

But instead, you are here.

I’m not saying that those activities are useless or that have no meaning to your or my life. What I am saying is that you made the choice to not do them at this very moment.

This is what you call a trade-off. Realizing that you can never be in two places at the same time. Understanding that you can only have one thing or the other but never both.

Accepting that doing one activity, will make you miss out on another.

Eventually making peace with this solid fact: whenever you look back at your life, always remember that you are here as a result of trade-offs you made and those made for you.

And guess what your future will be the result of?

If you dig deep into how many successful people came to be, you will realize that their lives are a sum of trade-offs.

This also applies to losers.

I hate that word.

But it reminds us of what happens when we don’t go after our dreams… we lose them.

I also want you to understand that the trade-offs that lead to these two extremes aren’t random. Successful people make success-conscious trade-offs. Those that have given up usually are a result of failure-unconscious trade-offs.

If that makes sense, then it would also make sense to question just what "hard" really means when 1 says that pursuing goals is hard. What many discover is that the pursuit of goals isn't really as hard as others believe it to be. What success requires most is an investment of your time coupled with the right trade-offs. Success-focused trade-offs.

Don’t believe me?

Compare a random person closest to you… Actually, no. Compare your lifestyle to that of a successful pro athlete.

There’s valuable insight we can learn here, so bear with me. Ask yourself this question first “Why is that guy or gal a successful pro athlete and I am not?”.

Does your diet consist of the same foods as that of the athlete? Do you exercise with the same frequency and discipline? Do surround yourself with the same kind of people? Do you spend you and the athlete spend weekends in the same way? Do you and the athlete possess the same burning desire to succeed to the point that your own lives are changed by that desire?

This line of questioning can be endless. Ultimately leading to a very undeniable realization…

… that to become whoever it is you want to be, you must first trade-in who you currently are.

Those two people are not the same. They can never be. A person with an unhealthy mind cannot have a healthy body. A person with a healthy body cannot have an unhealthy body.

Unless you challenge yourself to see things from this light, you may just be doomed to be frustrated all the time wondering why others seem to have been blessed with a greater and what seems to be an easier life.

Unfortunately, it’s been my experience that many who have complained about the life they don’t like, often are the same people unwilling to take action to change it. Allowing the self-imprisoned misery to live on for years and years.

Life doesn’t have to be like this.

It really doesn’t.

I believe it begins to be better when we stop being greedy.

Yes. Many of us (me included), show signs of greed when we want that which we do not have, and aren’t willing to pay the price to acquire it.

You want to have a great body, but not work out in the gym daily for a whole month straight.

You want to own a huge enterprise, but not work on researching, learning, starting a small venture that could potentially be one after 5 years.

You want to be in a relationship with the greatest girlfriend or boyfriend in the world but are not willing to be just as great for your significant other.

You want to have higher pay, but show very little initiative towards learning more, doing more, or even pursuing more.

Greed. Selfish greed.

It sounds harsh, but sooner or later, you will also see it.

We aren’t ready to trade in who we are, for what we can be. Instead, we want to be both people.

A pizza devouring Olympic champion. The best guitar player in the world with uninjured fingertips. The best basketball player that never practices. The best president is never sober. The highest-paid team manager that has never learned how to effectively manage teams.

This is greed. This is not a success. And even if it does begin to happen, chances are a huge price is often paid to maintain this short-lived sense of gratification.

Why? Because of the trade-off principle. You will never be the best basketball player if you don’t practice. Those two people cannot exist in the same time and space. The world won't allow it.

Unless you are willing to trade in the “bad” for the “good”, you will continue possessing the bad. In fact, you will accumulate so much of it to the point you will feel overwhelmed.

The result of this? Unhappiness, depression, anger, hopelessness, isolation… and on and on and on.

So here’s something interesting.

Did you know that it’s always easier to build a case AGAINST becoming successful when you already possess too much negativity and “bad”?

Get rid of it. Trade it in for the good.

This is how people you admire develop determination that shocks and amazes you. No. it’s not that they are superhuman and that they have been blessed with an iron will.

Instead, they wake up every day, conscious about the trade-offs their willing to make to ensure that they gain more positivity and progress in their lives.

Over time, the result of this is a life a lot more resistant to setbacks, obstacles, negativity, and hopelessness. A life that is more open to possibilities, solutions, positivity, and hope.

This is what success or even progress-focused trade-offs give you.

So quit trading your time for things that don’t bring progress. Living in the moment isn’t a great long-term investment. Living for a clearly defined prosperous future should be a reflection of your daily decisions. Your daily trade-offs.

It’s never too late to re-set your compass heading, so start. But start small.

And here’s an example of how.

Let’s consider the case of someone trying to acquire a healthier eating lifestyle. As opposed to lifting 100 kg of weights at the gym every 6 hours, I imagined this person saying the following.

I only eat out once a month. Mostly because the food is a lot more expensive buying it when I go out compared to making it myself at home. But it’s also a good way to monitor the number of calories I consume.

I pack lunch to work. Makes it easier not to default to whatever is around me.

Reading articles about interior design has kept my mind from constantly thinking about what’s inside my fridge every 5 minutes.

I walk to and from the office to save on transport fare and listen to podcasts about entrepreneurship.

I made it a habit to drink a tall glass of water before every meal.

Well, what do you think?

If you agree that this is possible, well, it’s probably because you have experience in creating trade-offs with positive results.

If you don’t… well, I suggest you reconsider how being negative has brought progress in any area of your life or to those around you.

I leave the details of making trade-offs in your life, up to you. I am confident that you know what to get rid of, to start gaining.

DO NOT attempt to just slash all habits, practices, thoughts that you consider negative all at once.

INSTEAD, look for a positive habit, practice, or thought you need in your life. And just begin moving into it.

Over time, the habits most desired or closely in line with your deepest desires, shall begin to dominate over those that aren’t.

Soon you will realize one very important fact about success. That it’s a journey and not a destination. Your transformation is the success. The result of that transformation is for everyone else to make a big deal out of.

Make progress and not excuses.

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