ENOUGH SAID!!! - Articles by Selasie Bulmuo, SMART TALK

Choices or Sacrifices? Which is it?

I heard a veteran Olympian interviewing a much younger Olympian about his training regime and his aspirations for winning a gold medal. He was quick to correct the young man’s use of the word ‘sacrifices’ when the young man intimated that  he has made a lot of sacrifices to get this far.

The older man said he will prefer that he uses the word ‘choices’ as to get to the stage where you can win a gold medal, you have to make choices that may seem selfish to others. You must be so focused on your goal and be prepared, irrespective of the consequences to forgo all other pressing demands from family, relationships, and other demands for your attention and empathy so as to do what you have to in order to achieve your goal.

I was initially annoyed at this train of thought but after thinking about it for a while I began to see the point he was making.

Sometimes your vision must be a ‘tunnel vision’ and not a ‘balanced vision’. It must focus solely and only on your targeted goal ignoring all distractions and counter pieces of advice about taking it slower, being more balanced, being more considerate of others. Most high acheivers, know the risks and against all advice still make the choices and decisions that only lead them directly to what they have purposed to acheive. They know the glory may be temporary and short lived with many consequences following and yet they take the leap anyway.

For People like this, it is important for those around you to realise you have made that choice and be prepared to respect and support it and not force their demands on you. Most acclaimed successful people who are known for specific acheivements do and have taken this route sometimes. They have trampled and walked on a lot of people’s feelings and wishes in their journey to their dream. We have later applauded their accomplishments.

Is this a choice we are prepared to make when it comes to achieving our dreams or is it too much of a selfish choice for us?  Are we calling it a ‘sacrifice’, in other words, looking only at what it costs us ( which in itself is a selfish way of looking at it) or are we calling it a ‘choice’ – which puts the responsibility and liability for the consequences squarely on our shoulders? I will rather have people close to me acknowledge that most of their choices are as a result of their ‘tunnel vision’ than for them to insist that they are making ‘sacrifices’ for ‘our future good’ or even worse for my future good. A great example of this is parents who work all the hours God has given and tell their children they are working so hard so as to secure their future. I used to hate it when my parents said that.

Why is it so hard to admit that ‘we are doing what we are doing first and foremost for OURSELVES’?


4 thoughts on “Choices or Sacrifices? Which is it?”

  1. This is such a good point. The difference between a ‘sacrifice’ and a ‘choice’ is subtle, indeed, but one worth pointing out. When I think about my own journey, for instance, and the choices I’ve made, most of them are just that – choices. I didn’t HAVE to make a certain choice – I wanted to. A sacrifice is doing something that really costs and is for someone else’s benefit more than your own.


  2. Hi Tracy,
    So lovely to have you visiting by blog and even more so because you have commented. I find that I have to learn to begin to give myself permission to make certain choices that impact on others especially family in a way I wish it didn’t and it is taking a lot of honesty and guts to just admit that it is a choice I am making and not a sacrifice for the greater good. Deep down in my thinking I console myself with the thought that it will be of benefit to them someday. Please visit again soon Tracy.


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