What’s Your Trade-off?
Living A Life of Focus – Part 9
Everything is a trade off, what am I trading? This statement might be my favorite. It taught us that saying “yes” to something means we’re saying “no” to everything else.
What’s your trade-off?
Common behavior will allow one to be distracted from doing what’s important for something else. Normal people trade the most important, for the least important. Have you ever thought about how much of your time is being taken hostage by others? Maybe you don’t see it this way. So then, let me open your eyes to this thought. Let’s say you work in an office setting with offices and cubicles. Anytime a person walks up to your desk and ask you to do a task you did not plan on doing, is your time being taken hostage? In the corporate environment this happens everyday, all day. What they are asking you to do is take on their assignment and take the focus off the things that should have your priority. When you’re not aware of this happening, you’re making an unconscious trade-off.
The Thought or Concept:
Here’s what I’ve learned. Every minute, every second, every moment, every hour can be considered a trade-off. You are trading that moment, that time, whatever you’re doing for something else. It’s always a trade-off.
“A successful life is a series of trade-offs.” – John Maxwell
Ask yourself, what am I trading during this moment, during this time? When we allow others to take our time, our moments, one hour, even our day, what we have just done is made a trade. We’ve traded what we want to do for what someone else wants us to do. This means every time you’re presented with a request, you must ask the question, what am I trading?
Do I want to trade my time for what’s being presented to me?
Do I need to be doing something else?
Do I need to be watching an hour of my favorite show?
Am I really going to trade “that” for what I’m doing now?
Am I going to trade-off this momentary satisfaction for a greater future?
Am I going to, as the Old Testament would say, “take the bowl of stew for something that is going to cost me my future?”
“For everything you gain, you must give up something.” – John Maxwell
Here are four lessons we can learn from making a trade-off decision.
- Every “yes” is a “no” to something else.
You might not realize this, but you should, every time you say “yes” to something, you’re saying “no” to something else. When you say “yes” to something that’s not important to you, you say “no” to something that is. You must also consider that one “yes” is hundreds of “no’s”. What are you really saying “no” to when you say “yes?”
- The default response is to say “yes” to the wrong activities.
The default response is always “yes” to the things that don’t matter. This is normal. Most (51% or better) never consider that they are making a trade-off of something. They may work long hours (saying “yes” to the job), but never consider that means “no” to their children or spouse. They may be saying “yes” to that extra drink, but are saying “no” to getting out of a financial bind. The point is, it’s normal to say yes to all the wrong things without considering what you might be saying “no” to.
- A conscious effort must be made to make the best exchange.
This trade-off thinking takes some effort. It just doesn’t happen on its on. You have to make yourself consider what trade-offs you’re making when you make a decision. Don’t for one minute think this comes naturally; it doesn’t. It will take work. If it were easy or normal, everyone would be doing it, making the best trade-offs.
- Making a conscious exchange will cost you.
Your decision to make a trade-off will cost you something. It may cost you some friends. It could cost you a promotion. It could cost you things that you’d rather not see slip through your hands at the time, but in order to have the type of life you desire, this is what it takes. “Every choice becomes a sacrifice” – Law & Order – SVU
“Leaders replace frustration with preparation; setback with vision; failure with drive.” – Christopher Novak
Just look at this quote. An uncommon person trades frustration with preparation. An exceptional human-being will replace setback with vision. A person of excellence will exchange failure for drive.
Today is Friday!
What are you trading? Will you continue to sacrifice your most prized investments with trades that will cost you more than you’re willing to pay in the long-run? It’s time to change your trading strategy. Start now.
Share this life lesson with someone you love today. Not a minute can be wasted. Thanks for visiting kerryaclark.com.