No Envidies Mi Progreso Sin Saber Mi Sacrificio

by Dr. Ben on October 24, 2011

This Spanish saying is posted conspicuously in the office of the auto repair shop where I regularly take my automobile for servicing.  In English it means:  “Don’t envy my progress without knowing my sacrifice!  And the message is so true.  We see the results of someone’s efforts– prosperity and success– without understanding all that went into its attainment.

The message is clear—don’t envy the successful, because you do not understand what they had to give up to achieve that success.  In the case of my mechanic it was giving up a career as a professional engineer when he couldn’t get work in his field after immigrating to this country.  So with a love of cars, and experience in fixing them, he changed professions, got his hands dirty, and worked and saved until he could open his own shop.  And, he became a success. There are millions of stories like this.

Being jealous of another’s success is futile and self-defeating.  We should rejoice when someone succeeds and attempt to emulate them.  What can we learn from that individual’s story?  How can we use them as an example?   Can we employ similar strategies in our own careers?  Can we gain motivation from them?

“NO ENVIDIES MI PROGRESO SIN SABER MI SACRIFICIO!” is not just a quaint foreign saying or a cute sign on the wall.  It is a reminder that progress requires sacrifice and to succeed we must be willing to make that tradeoff.

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