The Altar of Achievement

Some people just seem to have come to this world to make the rest of us look bad. You know who I’m talking about. He speaks five languages. She plays seven instruments. He makes six figures on the side… playing video games. She paints as well as Picasso, during her time off from being a professional martial artist and getting perfect grades in school.

Don’t you just hate those people? Everything is so hard for you, and so easy for them. Or is it?

What you see are the results. What you don’t see is the cost. Talents are cultivated through long hours of hard work. That world taekwondo champion? He practices six hours a day. That foreign language genius? She spends her Friday nights studying, and saves all her money for study abroad programs. That instrumental virtuoso? He has few friends, has had fewer girlfriends, and has never known what it was like to take a day off.

The greatest price of achievement is goofing off. Lazing around in front of the TV, spending hours trolling of Facebook, and browsing through countless pictures of bikini babes have got to be severely limited if you’re going to accomplish something. That’s not so bad. Most times, though, true achievement costs more than just that. It might just cost most of your life.

Don’t be jealous of the accomplished. You can get there too, if you commit to go through what they did. More likely, though, most of us, when we find out what they sacrifice on the altar of their achievements, will pity them instead.

Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx. He is also the founder of the Rights Brigade, a mover for the Free State Project, and a martial art instructor.