To Earn or To Sacrifice?
A question has been haunting me of late: Do I want to be known for what I have earned? Or what I sacrificed?
In other words, do I hope to be known for what I achieved, or what I gave away?
It is a big question that can govern almost every major decision in my life. I think the two choices signify the distinction between the capitalist and the soldier. The capitalist seeks to accumulate and earn as much wealth as possible. The soldier wants to give her life or health in service of a higher aim. The capitalist seeks to amass wealth and possessions to strengthen their notion of “self”, while soldiers are expected to deny their notion of “self” every single day.
I asked a few of my close friends about The capitalist seeks to amass wealth and possessions to strengthen their notion of “self”, while soldiers are expected to deny their notion of “self” every single day.
this idea, to see what they think about it. Some answered based on religious influence, or a sense of duty. Some suggested that they prefer a third way, or a fourth way.
I spent a lot of time thinking about this, and my own conclusion is this: the concepts of “gaining” and “giving” cannot be clearly separated. Want to make big gains? You need to give up a lot of your “self” (time, entertainment, financial stability) to get there. Want to give the world all you have and make meaningful sacrifices? You need to gain something (knowledge, reputation, power, money) before you can give in an impactful way.
This realisation is very powerful in guiding my daily life. On one hand, I remind myself that the only way to gain a good legacy is to give away my time, my money and my effort to those who need it. On the other hand, I understand that in order for me to continue being charitable, I need to work hard in my career, and be ambitious about what we do in Mon Space.
What’s your driving motivator, then?
I know many people whose main motivation in life is to make money. These people can be fiercely motivated, intelligent and savvy in all that they do. They are hard workers, and they are often also very wise with their finances. Of course, they might lose quality time with their family, their health or even their social lives in the process, but if that is their life decision, I fully respect it.
I also know some people who wants to be known by what they are able to give to others, or what they can give up in life. They practise a very disciplined life, stick to a strict diet, devote their time and effort into activism or social causes, or even just to their family. Their life motto is to keep giving.
Each of these life choices and motivations can lead to vastly different outcomes. Do I recommend one choice over the other? Not really. I don’t know your background, your needs and wants, your hopes and dreams; so I cannot tell you which way of life is best for you.
What I can suggest though, is that we take some time to think about our lives. When you leave this world one day, how would you want to be remembered? What kind of legacy do you want to leave for your children and grandchildren?
I have said this before, and I will say this again: life is not perfect, but you hold the power to define your own fate and future.
What is your choice and motto in life? Do feel free to share, I would love to know what you guys think.