A Formula for Getting Results: D + S = R

“Success” means different things to different people and can take on many shapes and forms.

Regardless of how you define it and what stick you use to measure it, success is ultimately about results.

More specifically, about achieving desired results.

Let’s be honest, there’s no shortage of people with a desire but desire alone won’t cut it. There’s something else that’s needed to bridge the gap between wanting something and making it become a reality.

Think about it as a formula for getting results…

D + S = R

Desire + ____ = Results

How many of you reading this right now have a dream, passion, goal or “want” that you’ve back burnered for far too long? The desire is there but what’s stopping you from pursuing and achieving it?

As I think about that question, I think about what separates those who make results happen versus those who don’t.

I believe the answer can be found in what’s missing from the equation above.


Desire + Sacrifice = Results

Sacrifice is the hard part. It’s the sweat, the risk of giving up what is comfortable, the chance of failure and losing something along the way, the early mornings, the late nights, the choice between Tofu and Cheetos, the gym versus the couch, the second job versus watching TV, the hours and hours of training, the investment and the pain.

Sacrifice, in this context, is giving up something today so that we can have something better tomorrow… but it stops many of us in our tracks.

Sacrifice might be easier if we knew the desired results were guaranteed but they’re not. It’s this pursuit of something that could or could not be that takes faith, perseverance and a discipline to keep moving forward.

Is it worth it? Ask anyone who’s finally made it but only you can answer that question for yourself. Only you can know if your desire is strong enough to overcome what stands in the way.

Sacrifice isn’t easy but then again, the pursuit of something worthwhile rarely is. Without sacrifice the formula will always remain incomplete.

The good news is that you CAN do it. Don’t let anyone else tell you that you can’t. Don’t let the fear that sacrifice brings stop you. Don’t bow down to the resistance. Focus on making your desire bigger than anything else that stands in the way and be willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to achieve the results you are looking for.

D + S = R

Desire + Sacrifice = Results

What about you? Is your desire big enough? Are you willing to give something up today in pursuit of something better for tomorrow?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I think that "sacrifice" wigs people out sometimes, because the word tends to conjure up very dire or heavy sacrifices. I think you're right in using the word, though. But maybe it's a framing. Because every "sacrifice" I've made to get results has felt, to me, like a choice.

    I prefer the word "choice," but I can see that all choices are sacrifices of alternate paths. Make sense?

    • Daniel Decker

      Agreed. It's all about choice. I chose the word sacrifice on purpose, knowing that it was a heavy word. Why? Because I think, in many cases, people step into a choice not realizing the weight it will take to get to where they really want to go. So many people are feeding on the get rich quick, overnight success, etc mentality that they can step into something with false expectations of what it takes to achieve. The unfortunate result for many of them is that they start but end up giving up before making any real forward progress. Had they counted the cost and gone in with a more realistic view… perhaps the outcome might have changed. To me it's recognizing the giant but deciding (choice) to pull out your sling shot anyways.

  • Great post David. I think a lot of people really believe that "If I just want it bad enough, it'll happen." You never see a great sports movie without a montage of how hard they work; of them sweating and crying and torturing themselves for their sport. It's the same with us.

    If you are not willing to put in the work and sacrifice the "easy stuff" (even some hard stuff) along the way, a desire will stay simply that: a desire.

  • The problem with sacrifice is that it doesn't come with a guarantee of payoff. Most people would be willing to put off buying the new car and invest in Apple stock if they knew for certain it would double their money, but they don't make the sacrifice because not only is there no guarantee of success, there is also the distinct possibility that their sacrifice will have been for naught. My colleague Dick Schwab says that one must make a choice (speaking of choice) between the misery of uncertainty or the certainty of misery).

    • Thanks Joe. LOVE that quote from Dick Schwab. Dead on.

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