Oct 24, 2023

The Van Trump Report is an email that outlines various market conditions and other topics that I look at daily. At the top of one of the emails from this week was this quote from Mitch Albom who said “Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to.”. The quote from Tuesday’s report has stuck with me for the past couple of days and I awoke this morning at 4 a.m. thinking about it, so it became this week’s thoughts.

I asked ChatGPT to tell me about some sacrifices that people can and should make. “Here is the response: Making sacrifices often involves setting aside immediate desires or comforts for a longer-term benefit or the greater good. Here are some sacrifices people can and often should consider making, depending on their personal circumstances and goals:

  1. Financial Sacrifices:
    • Saving and Investing: Instead of spending on non-essential items, one can save or invest that money for future needs like retirement, education, or emergencies.
    • Reducing Debts: Prioritizing paying off debts over other expenditures can lead to long-term financial freedom.
  2. Time and Effort:
    • Education and Skill Development: Investing time in learning can mean sacrificing immediate pleasures, but it can lead to better job opportunities and personal growth.
    • Helping Others: Volunteering time to assist those in need or contributing to community projects can be rewarding.
  3. Personal Comfort:
    • Environmental Consciousness: Opting for public transport, reducing energy consumption, or buying fewer but more sustainable products can help reduce one's environmental footprint.
    • Health and Fitness: Choosing to wake up early to exercise or opting for a healthy meal over fast food requires discipline and sacrifice.
  4. Social and Recreational:
    • Limiting Social Media and Screen Time: While technology is a crucial part of modern life, setting boundaries can help improve mental health and productivity.
    • Avoiding Harmful Substances: Limiting or abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs can lead to better health and well-being.
  5. Career and Professional:
    • Relocating for Opportunities: Moving to a new city or country for a job or educational opportunity can mean leaving behind friends, family, and familiar surroundings.
    • Working Overtime: Sometimes, achieving career goals might require putting in extra hours.
  6. Relationships:
    • Compromise: In any relationship, be it with family, friends, or romantic partners, there are times when one might need to compromise their wants for the needs of the relationship.
    • Spending Quality Time: Prioritizing relationships over other commitments can strengthen bonds.
  7. Immediate Gratification:
    • Delayed Gratification: Waiting for a more significant reward in the future, even if it means sacrificing something enjoyable in the present.

It's essential to remember that sacrifices should be made mindfully, ensuring they align with one's values and long-term goals.”

While it wouldn’t have been the exact list I would have created, the list ChatGPT provided was certainly thorough. For me personally, I prefer advice from the book of Proverbs. Aligning the verses of wisdom with my reasons for sacrifice makes the list look like this:

      1.  Personal

·  Faith: Serving my savior Jesus and following Biblical teachings to live a fulfilling life presently with the promise of renewal and eternal life to come.

1.       (9:10) “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

2.       (16:20) “He who gives attention to the word will find good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.”

·  Family: Sacrificing my comfort to serve my wife and children. Loving with intentionality and faithfulness. Embracing my role of provider and protector by placing their needs in front of mine.

1.       (5:15) “Drink water from your own cistern and fresh water from your own well.”

2.       (12:11) “He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, but he who pursues worthless things lacks sense.”

3.       (29:15) “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.”

·   Attitude: Simply put… Choose JOY!

1.       (15:15) “All the days of the afflicted are bad, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast.”

·   Generosity: Give what you are able to. Helping others is its own reward.

1.       (14:31) “He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, but he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.”

      2. Professional

·  Intentionality: Showing up with purpose every day. We are never finished competing.

1.       (24:33-34) “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hand to rest. Then your poverty will come as a robber and your want like an armed man.”

2.       (18:9) “He also who is slack in his work is brother to him who destroys.”

·  Strategic: Analyze - Ponder - Plan – Execute

1.       (20:18) “Prepare plans by consultation and make war by wise guidance.”

2.       (21:5) “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”

Choosing to live by these rules requires self-imposed sacrifice. For me personally, honoring my wife means not watching certain movies or shows that might have me focus on the form of another woman. To be a good provider I must give up a lot of “me” time activities. And while your list is probably somewhat different than mine, we all make sacrifices. Some we make joyfully, others begrudgingly, but all are necessary.

That leads me to this week’s challenge… embrace your sacrifice. Be strategic (Analyze – Ponder – Plan – Execute). Take some time to define your list of priorities. Consider what you need to sacrifice to fulfill them. Then joyfully sacrifice the things that need to go to allow the things that need to stay room to grow. Just remember that its not about giving things up, it’s about making room for better.