At some point, most of us end up settling in a major part of our life. We compromise and make tradeoffs.
We can’t always get everything we want, of course. We can’t always be in total control. But we can certainly get a lot of what we want, and if we prioritize what’s most important to us, we can probably get the top things on the list. Just because we can’t always be in control doesn’t mean that we’re never in control.
This truth presents a natural question: when should we compromise, and when should we hold our ground and keep fighting for what we really want?
When you encounter a situation in which you need to choose between compromise and holding firm, it might help to think about a different question:
“Do you need it, or do you just want it?”
Being able to separate needs and wants is essential. Never let go of something you truly need, but be more flexible on the things that you want.
If you’re choosing your battles, don’t miss the forest for the trees. Don’t give up a third of your life by working a dead-end job that you hate. Don’t abandon your dreams, especially if they’ve stayed with you a long time and you can’t stop thinking about them. If you need something, fight for it.
For everything else, let go a little. Make tradeoffs, compromise, let go. Settle on the unessential to get what you really want.