How I learned about Sacrifice – the hard way.
Life always gives us lesson as much as life gives us moments of joy and sorrow. I think today I’m a better person and man because of the lessons I learned by looking back at the person I once was. By accepting my faults, addressing them, and then being vulnerable with them. Not only being vulnerable with myself about them but also with others.
I often think about the value that I add to myself in every moment. My belief is that the better person I am the more influential I can be to others. As I grow in this principle I come to realize more and more how true this is. It is almost a form of positive intent selfish behavior. Not sure if that is a real phrase, just kind of came to mind. If you known me for more than 3 years you would see the changes I made. It all started by me realizing that I was not behaving in alignment with who I was. I decided to take time to understand myself.
As I took this time I learned a lot about self worth and value add. I spent a lot of time reading, watching videos, but most of I was thinking. Thinking about questions that I didn’t have answers to; thinking about questions that would get me to these answers. From this long course of time I began to get the value. I saw plenty of positive changes. My self worth elevated and my positive influence began to shine. People wanted the value that I was now bringing to the table.
I really started to understand how value in a moment can change a lifetime. Adding something to someone as simple as a smile can change the way a person feels about themselves at that moment. As I continue to work on adding value, i didn’t realize that there was more to a relationship or team then just adding value.
For those times when a quick conversation is all that is required, value-add is all that is needed. When we think of off deep connection, which is something I “value” more than most things, value-add is actually one sided. Of course you can see the other side which would be value received from the other party of the connection. Value however is an abstract measurement. Value is measured differently by both parties, received differently by both parties, and depending on the person’s quantity and quality of the value is different by both parties. Value-add is something that comes as part of a connection.
So how do you create a long term connection beyond just value?
I often reference sports analogies to help me understand concepts I can’t see. I think of a football team. The quarterback from a football team is usually seen as the main player. Often the quarterback gives most of the value. The quarterback controls the game; once he has the ball his choice determines what is next. Yet, there are ten other players on the team that also must add some value. Some of these players in quality will never add the same value to the team as a quarterback; however, these players are essential to the overall happiness and success of the team. How does a team with uneven quantities and quality of value-add stay together and win championships?
The answer is sacrifice. Sacrifice is the unknown that brings everyone to the same level.
Relationships as much as they are built on value, trust, communication, are also balanced by sacrifice.
Most of my life has been spent alone. Trying to understand who I was each day and why the behaviors I shown were occurring. There was a long period of time I lived a life that wasn’t who I was. Most people came to me for value-add and I gave it to them. In the process I was actually sacrificing myself every time, not really understanding the situation that occurred. It might have been just a force of habit or lack of awareness however I really never knew how to maintain a long-lasting deep connection relationship. Most of mine were always built on one-sided value-add.
Then an amazing person came into my isolated life. She sacrificed a ton. She slowly adopted my way of life. I on the other hand keep that same path, the path that I thought lead to a healthy relationship. Never once thinking about what have I sacrificed for her and the relationship.
This is something I knew in the back of my head but never really put into play. I was overcome by value-add and didn’t realize that I was not sacrificing. In the times when this one person in particular sacrificed so much, I did not. I’m ashamed of that now. I am ashamed that I was oblivious to what I was receiving.
There are times when a person will have the biggest smile and the most especially brown eyes and you will be filled full of joy. Remember that in that moment you cannot overlook what each person is sacrificing. Each person in a relationship/team brings a certain value to the table. The value cannot be overlooked. However it is not the value that keeps relationships and teams together. The value will never be equal.
Only equal sacrifice creates long term, happy relationships!