Thousand Reflections: To Compromise, or To Not Compromise?
About Thousand Reflections: Thousand Network is full of people from all walks of life and background. Here, we try to tap into this collective wisdom by offering a prompt every week and sourcing short responses from the members.
This Week’s Prompt:
The eternal question for many of us is not to be or not. It’s to compromise or not, and if so how much, and in doing so are we moving closer to our goals, or further.
This week’s topic is all about compromise. In a short response, tell us what it means for you. Here are some questions to ponder as you think about it: When do you compromise the most, personally or professionally? How do you know when it’s time to compromise or put your foot down and dig in your heels? When did you make a successful (or unsuccessful) compromise?
It’s impossible to get everything the way you like. It’s true that we want everything to be right, perfect. But in the real world it’s not possible and sometimes many things do not work. In that case we have to compromise, but preserving the top priorities.
Suppose for family matters you have to be one place, but somewhere else at the same time for work. What do you do when every option holds equal importance, when you have to choose all of them but cannot? You have to do trade offs, and forego certain benefits of the other options.
Compromises are sometimes hard and they always take something away from you, but we do it for our core purpose, our essential values. At the end of the day, we think about what we stand for in our lives and what values mean the most to us. If it’s family, we stand beside our families to the end, even leaving everything else behind; if it’s work, we try to give our best possible effort to get the maximum quality of work. If it’s just having a happy life, we focus on that.
As human beings we all have different agendas, aspirations, goals. Of these some are core values for which we are aspired to give our lives. These core things are what’s left even if we have to compromise everything else. Although other factors are important, the core goals are more than that. That’s why we can easily forego these other factors for the core.
Compromise is the enemy of purity. I celebrate pure passion, creating the life I want to live. I know I can’t have it all on day one, but I can build towards something great. And I don’t compromise. In my life, whenever I made a compromise on something that’s important to me, it lost it’s core and was dead from that moment.
I have chosen my passion first. I have slowly found ways in the last year to get my family on board. I have yet to find a partner to walk this path of life with me, and peers to share with are scarce, I admit. But I have good friends whom I love and whom I keep in touch with. Life figured it out for me.
With my eyes open I can find situations that work. I live a dream-life. However, never forget that your dream life also has nightmares in it. Some days are horribly hard. But by burning the bridges behind me my way is lit and by avoiding compromises I stay pure and become closer and closer to my core, my calling, what I was made for. Try to find out what in your life is a compromise and scrap it. Go for the purity. And see your life unfolding to the purity of which is the embodiment of your heart, your calling.
There is a time and place for compromise. But sometimes you have to put your foot down and say no this is what I want, this is who I am, and then you follow it such passion and drive and stubbornness that doing it becomes inevitable.
Compromise on the details and the logistics — they are not important. Compromise on the little things, the things you can step back from and say, without them, the picture is still complete. But on the things that make the essence of the picture, the things without which you cannot make yourself — those, you must hold on with all you have.
For example: when I was a senior at Columbia University, I decided to bring a group of dancers to a festival in Paris in April. Being there — a place where I had first learned to love choreography, a place where I had become — was the most important.
I had to compromise on dancers, time, funding, school, rehearsals, and etc. But throughout everything, the essence of the project remained — have dancers, go to Paris, perform. Logistically, it didn’t look the way I thought it would, but I never wavered in making it just happen. It became inevitable, and so it was.