People will cling to an unsatisfactory way of life rather than change in order to get something better for fear of getting something worse

Eric Hoffer


Change is Personal – To change your life, you need to change
Change is possible – Everyone can change
Change is Profitable – You will be rewarded when you change

What will it take for you to go to the next level? Vision? Yes. Hard work? Ofcourse. Personal Growth? Definitely. How about letting go of some of the things that you love and value most? Yes. And believe it or not, this is the thing that often holds people back, even those who have achieved some level of success. When you are first starting out in your career, it’s not very hard to give up to grow up. In fact you are willing to give up everything for an opportunity. Why? Because your ‘everything’ isn’t much of anything! But what about when you have started to earn some things; a job you enjoy, a good salary, a home, a community you’ve become a part of, a level of security.

Are you willing to give up those things for a chance at doing something that will take you closer to your potential?

Everybody makes trades throughout life, whether they know it or not. The question is whether you are going to make good ones or bad ones. In general;

  • Unsuccessful people make bad trade-offs
  • Average people make few trade-offs
  • Successful people make good trade-offs

Nothing creates a greater gap between successful and unsuccessful people than the choices we make. Too often people make life more difficult for themselves because they make bad choices at the intersection of their life or they decline to make choices because of fear. It is important to remember that while we don’t always get what we want, we always get what we choose.

When deciding the price needed to pay in a trade off, John Maxwell asks himself the following:

Anytime you react to one of life’s crossroads according to fear rather than looking at its merits, you close yourself off from a potential opportunity. By trying to figure out the pluses and minuses of any given choice, it helps me deal with that fear. Looking at cold hard facts has also led me to discover that I have a tendency to over-estimate the value of what I currently have and under-estimate the value of what I may gain by giving it up.

Good Tradeoffs are not something to be endured. That reflects a passive attitude and a mindset that sais; “I hope this turns out alright”. Instead, positive tradeoffs should be seen as opportunities for growth and seized. After all, we become better as a result of them. When we grow through change, we become active. We take control of our attitude and our emotions. We become positive change agents in our own lives.


Trade-Offs forces us to make Difficult Personal changes. The difference between where we are and where we want to be is created by the changes we are willing to make in our lives.


The loss of a Trade-off is usually felt long before the gain. We want a change but we don’t want to wait for a result. These in between periods of transition can be a real challenge. We want the outcome but we have to face the end of something we like and face the uncertainty between the ending and the hoped-for new beginning. The change feels like a loss. Some people deal with uncertainty fairly well; others don’t. You can’t change your personality, but you can choose to have a positive attitude and focus on the upcoming benefits of the trade off.


Trade- offs never leave us the same and the higher you climb the tougher the trade-Offs. As noted previously, if you’re like most people, when starting out in life you have little to give up but as you climb and accumulate some of the good things in life, the trade-offs demand a higher price.

Each success only buys an admission ticket to a more difficult problem

John Maxwell

American author, speaker, and pastor


  • I am willing to give up financial security today for potential tomorrow
  • I am willing to give up immediate gratification for personal growth
  • I am willing to give up the fast life for the good life
  • I am willing to give up security for significance
  • I am willing to give up addition for multiplication


Applying the Law of Trade-Offs to your life
  1. Write your own personal list of trade-offs, use the list above to spark Ideas. Think of worthwhile trade-Offs you have made in the past that will continue to be good ideas for the future.
  2. It is just as important for you to know what you are not willing to give up as it is to know what you are willing to give up. Think of the things that are non-negotiable for you and list them.
  3. What trade do you need to make right now that you have been unwilling to make? Most people settle in and learn to live with a limitation or barrier that can be removed by making a trade. What is that next thing you need to trade for? And what must you give up to get it?