Developing an Attitude of Sacrifice

October 15th, 2010 @   -  No Comments

According to the Oxford Online Dictionary, sacrifice is an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy. The things important to us are therefore determined not by what we say they are but by what we are willing to sacrifice for them. To have anything of value we must be willing to sacrifice something for it first.

Sacrifice for the sake of The Almighty removes the tendency to be selfish and purifies our motives. It helps us develop patience, perseverance and fortitude. And it is a form of commitment to our creator and a sign of strong belief.

The benefits reaped from sacrifice in this life are great. In fact, there is no success without sacrifice. And leaders are expected to scarify more than the people they lead.

How can we lead and live with an attitude of sacrifice?

Develop the habit of going the extra mile

Not many people attain a worthwhile achievement by simply doing what is required of them. Walking the extra mile is simply doing more than you are expected to do. It can range from arriving a little bit earlier at work or stay a little later to finish that project, accepting lower wage or working longer hours to avoid laying off co-workers. Going the extra mile in whatever you do will not only help all stakeholders but will bring you personal rewards and gratification. It can set you apart, help you establish your reliability and increase your value. When you go beyond the mere survival and connect this habit with your purpose in life, you will achieve success beyond expectation.

Look for opportunities to serve

It has been said, “to get ahead, you need to put others first.” The measure of a good leader is not the number of people who serve him, but the number of people he serves. If you sincerely seek to serve and you are putting the interest of all stakeholders ahead of your personal gains, people will learn to trust you and line up to support you. By contrast, if we are self-centered, no one would be willing to support us.

Here are some ways you can serve:

  • Go beyond what anyone would expect in order to demonstrate your willingness to help others.
  • Focus on addressing the needs of the organization, members and people under your sphere of influence.
  • Empower and develop people around you to bring out the best in them.
  • Facilitate personal growth in all who work or deal with you.
  • Volunteer in organizations that serve or defend just causes.
  • Use your strength and talent for the benefit of your team and your community.

By investing your time and money in serving your community and the people around, you are actually serving and pleasing your Creator.

Stand up for the sake of truth

Are you willing to put your job on the line or jeopardize a big promotion for what you believe in?  Are you willing to risk your own wellbeing for the sake of truth? Speaking up and taking an unpopular stance is not an easy thing to do. It takes courage and an attitude of sacrifice to stand up and fight for what you believe is ethical and right.  Here are things for you to consider:

  • Let people know your values right up front.
  • Recognize that sticking to your values in the face of difficult situations can inspire everyone around you.
  • Be clear about where you will compromise and not compromise.
  • Have the courage to express your opinion even it differs from everyone else’s.
  • Do not just point out problems; propose solutions.
  • Be ready to accept and deal with criticism.

Throughout time, people who stand up for what they believe in have been held in high regard. These types of people have an attitude of sacrifice. They are willing to risk their own wellbeing and fortune in order to do what is right. The prophet (PBUH) is the greatest example of all. He put his life at risk for the sake of truth. He was beaten and chased from his home. He was even accused of being insane and a sorcerer.  In spite of all these difficulties and hardships; he fully and successfully accomplished his mission.

Finally, the higher and the nobler our purpose is, the greater the sacrifice we must make.  “Do you think you should enter Paradise unless God establishes who among you have struggled hard and who are patient?” (Quran 3:142)

When we develop an attitude of sacrifice, success will be a by-product. An attitude of sacrifice brings us closer to our Creator.

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