Sacrifice or passion

Arantza Ríos. Professor. IE Business School

19 December 2016

I have recently discovered a different way of dealing with the challenges life throws at me. Instead of making sacrifices it’s time to approach life’s challenges with passion instead. It makes everything so much easier.

I have recently discovered an alternative to “rising to life’s challenges by means of sacrifice,” which consists of “living life with passion.”

The other day, I heard Miriam Ortiz de Zárate, coach and author of the book “NO ES LO MISMO (It’s not the same)”, make a linguistic distinction between the word sacrifice and passion, and I really identified with that.

I realized that I had grown up immersed in a culture of sacrifice. Ever since I was child I have been hearing my parents say that life is a struggle, that you have to work hard every day, that you have to make enormous efforts, etc. And I have also caught myself saying the same thing to my children. My husband says it too. Now, I have started to think how good it would have been for someone to tell me “enjoy what you do, have fun, do things with passion.”

The day I discovered this difference, I shared it with my children, and one of them said to me:

“I actually did this the other day when I was preparing for a biology exam.”

“So what exactly did you do?” I asked him.

“I really got into it, and started enjoying what I was studying and learning,” he replied.

“Well done!” I said.

The big difference between doing things as an obligation and doing things with passion is that when you do things with passion, you feel motivated and able to give your all, go the extra mile, and this makes it easier to do things. Nevertheless, when you do it as if it were a sacrifice, you feel as if you were carrying a tremendous burden and it requires an enormous effort on your part.

And lastly, I wanted to comment that the emotions that passion awakes are very different. Doing things with passion brings out enthusiasm and you feel more involved in what you’re doing. But if you approach work as if were some kind of sacrifice then it’s bound to feel something you have to do in order to atone for your sins in return for some kind of reward.

Since I became able to make this distinction, I have decided to include this approach in my life, and to begin to do things with passion. Now it’s your turn to choose. How do you want to do things? With hard work or passion?



#IECampus, the Campus of the Future

See video
Follow us
IE Agenda
Most read
IE Business School | María de Molina 11, 28006 Madrid | Tel. +34 91 568 96 00 | e-mail:


IE Business School

María de Molina, 11. 28006 Madrid

Tel. +34 915 689 600