I have already said before that sacrifice is necessary. Without sacrifice, nothing can be attained. But if there is anything in the world that people do not understand it is the idea of sacrifice. They think they have to sacrifice something that they have. For example, I once said that they must sacrifice "faith", "tranquility", or "health." All these words must be taken in quotation marks. In actual fact, they have to sacrifice only what they imagine they have, and which in reality they do not have. They must sacrifice their fantasies. This is difficult for them, very difficult. It is much easier to sacrifice real things.
Another thing that people must give up is their suffering. It is very difficult also to sacrifice one's suffering. A man will renounce any pleasure you like but he will not give up his suffering. Man is made in such a way that he is never so attached to anything as he is to his suffering. And it is necessary to be free from suffering. No one who is not free from suffering, who has not sacrificed his suffering, can work. Nothing can be attained without suffering but at the same time, one must begin by sacrificing suffering. Now, decipher what this means.
-- Gurdjieff, in P.D. Ouspensky's 'In Search Of The Miraculous'