Candidates, I am very excited to present a guest post today from the excellent blog, The Art of Manliness. I hope the manly principle of Sacrifice helps you consider what you are willing to dedicate to your pursuit of success as a Marine Corps officer, and inspires you to be thorough and disciplined in your approach.
The Law of Sacrifice
Last month, James “Jimmer” Fredette was selected in the NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings. It was a moment that capped off a breakout season for Jimmer. In his senior year, Fredette captured national attention with his dazzling three-point shooting and led the Brigham Young Cougars to a record-breaking number of wins and the school’s first trip to the Sweet Sixteen in thirty years.
The moment also represented the fulfillment of a contract his older brother had drawn up and Jimmer had signed a few years before:
Jimmer hung this contract in his room and looked at it every single day. “It reminded me of what my goal was,” he said, “and if I didn’t want to work hard or practice that day, I would look at that and think, ‘You have to work as hard as you possibly can and do things other kids aren’t doing in order to be the best and reach your goal.’”
The things the other kids weren’t doing were drills like “The Gauntlet,” in which Jimmer would dribble down a pitch dark hallway at church, as his friends jumped out of classrooms in an attempt to throw him off his game. He also played pick-up games at the local prison, where he learned not to be intimidated by trash talk and extremely tough play.
When college recruiters didn’t come around, having deemed him too white and slow to be a viable prospect, he just kept on practicing and honing his game at one of the few schools to offer him a scholarship: BYU. In the summer after his junior year, he attended predraft camps with NBA teams in order to find the weak spots in his game that needed improvement.
The work paid off when he got to don the Kings’ cap and hoist a NBA jersey on June 23rd. He had made the necessary sacrifices to reach his goal.
What Is Sacrifice?
When we hear the word sacrifice, we often think of completely selfless acts in which someone does something for another entirely for the other person’s benefit. The image of a soldier sacrificing his life for his comrades frequently comes to mind.