It was top motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, who offered us this famous quote on success: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” This personal development article by Lucy Lopez hones in on what is probably the biggest block to getting what you desire in life and she leaves us with a very compelling question  that may totally change the results we are getting.  Read, benefit and by all means, don’t compromise:-)

I was having afternoon tea (well actually it was coffee, a long espresso, to be exact) with 4 year-old Molly and her mother, Susan (not their ‘real’ names). Molly was colouring while talking to me in between my conversation with her mum.

“So, you’re going to have a sleepover at Daddy’s, are you?” I ask Molly.

“Yesssssss”, says Molly, smiling as she anticipates her time with dad.

“Can I come too?”

She looks at me quizzically for a brief moment and then, a little cautiously says, “No..o..o..”

“Why not?!” I ask, feigning indignation.

“B….cosssss….”, I can just about see the cogs turning.

“Because you don’t have your pajamas” she smiles obviously pleased with herself.

“Oh, that’s no problem” says I, “I’ll just go home and get them right away”.

“N..o…o…o…you can’t come”. Molly is certain that I won’t be joining her sleepover.

“Well, why not?” I ask.

“B….cozzz….” The cogs are turning even more frantically now.

“Bcoz Bonnie will miss you!” (Bonnie is my darling Tibetan spaniel whom Molly has made happy acquaintance with).

“No, she won’t! Let’s face it Molls. You really don’t want me to come, do you?”

And upon this stark realization, both her mum and I roar with laughter while Molly smiles with undisguised relief.

My dear Fellow Traveler, does this help you see how early our conditioning sets in? Molly is only 4 and has already been conditioned not to voice her true feelings and intentions.

In case you’re wondering, that conditioning began well before Molly was born. It is in fact a pattern in our collective consciousness, one whose resonance is picked up generation after generation.

We commend ourselves and those in our care for not voicing our true feelings, thoughts and intentions particularly when we believe that these are likely to cause conflict or disharmony, or that it might risk our losing favor with another.

We tell ourselves that we’re being sensitive to other people’s feelings when really, we’re seeking to protect our self-worth, our self-image. We don’t want to come across as being insensitive or self-absorbed or selfish or unkind. We want to please. It is such a pervasive form of conditioning – people pleasing.

So, instead of telling the truth as we feel it, as we think it, we COMPROMISE.

We search for something else that could be plausibly true – You don’t have your pajamas, Bonnie will miss you, I don’t want to impose on your time, I’d love to come but I really need to get some housework done (that housework wouldn’t arise even as a fleeting thought if The Queen or Nelson Mandela were extending the invitation:-)

And the other party agrees to accept your ‘reason’ even if they sense its falseness or shallowness.

That’s the compromise – both parties agreeing to something less than either of them truly want and almost certainly don’t truly believe.

We’ve come to value COMPROMISE so much that anyone who’s not willing to compromise is considered recalcitrant, inflexible, difficult, rigid, selfish or self-centered.

You know, COMPROMISE comes from two words – COM (meaning together) and PROMISE. It originally meant a joint promise. But that original meaning has changed so that its modern meaning is for two or more parties to settle for less than what each originally desired. Why? So that each can have at least some of what they want.

The unfortunate truth, however, is that neither party is ever fully satisfied and over a period of time, discontent has accumulated to an intolerable level.

Now when one party refuses to compromise, to settle for less, they are considered uncooperative, inflexible, unrealistic, selfish, belligerent. After all, we have unselfishly settled for less so why can’t they!

Hmmm…is this starting to feel more and more uncomfortable? I am counting on it :-)

You see, if a COMPROMISE is a JOINT PROMISE, why would you want to promise anything less than what you truly desire? Why should you feel obliged to? Why should you expect it of anyone?

(For that matter, why should you PROMISE anything??? I’ll leave that question for another post). I want to consider briefly the long term effect of compromising which is a buildup of unfulfilled desires.

If you reflect on your life, you might see the many ways and times you’ve reluctantly made compromises – compromises you’ve made on your lifestyle, your career, your choice of partner, your academic interests, your friends, the way you spend your ‘free time’, the choices you make about the clothes you wear, the places you eat at, the movies you watch…the list is endless. I dare say that there is hardly an area in your life where you haven’t made some form of compromise.

And so you and the other party or parties come to the table expecting to communicate less than what is true and expecting to receive less than what is true and truly desired.

You probably don’t see it that way. You probably see it as a choice you’ve make rather than a promise. And you probably see it as a ‘realistic’ choice because after all, don’t we know that?

We cannot have everything we want’?

Don’t we know that…

Life is not fair

Don’t we know that…

To get on in this world, we must COMPROMISE i.e. ‘settle for less’ so that we can have at least some of what we want.’

And don’t we know that…

Is it selfish and greedy to have ALL that we want because we’d be denying others their share’?

I’d like to ask you this:

What if we each valued, honored and went after our true desires without settling for less?

What if we each valued, honored and encouraged one another to go after their true desires without settling for less?

What if we recognized that compromising, in its modern day usage and practice, is believing in a limited and limiting universe rather than an abundant and limitless universe?

What if we could see that by compromising, we are discouraging ourselves from picking from a field of INFINITE POSSIBILITIES instead of a field of finite possibilities?

And what if we made it our mission, our JOINT PROMISE, to do whatever we could to help others get exactly what they truly desire (if not more), but never less?

What kind of a world would that be? What kind of life would that mean for us? For one another?

Beyond belief? Freakin Awesome? Mind-blowingly wild????

Yeah, think on it:-)




What if we made it our mission, our JOINT PROMISE, to do whatever we could to help others get exactly what they truly desire, if not more, but never less?

Copyright © Lucy Lopez  All rights reserved.

Lucy Lopez has walked away from a marriage, well-paid jobs, academic pursuits and the security of conventional wisdom, choosing instead to walk the road far less travelled where stories of ease, joy, peace and everyday adventure and synchronicities are imagined, told and lived! She is unstoppably dedicated to helping others find and walk the same road and does this through her on and off-line Workshops in Mind Mastery, Meditation and STINK! (Stop The Insanity Now Knower!). Take a walk with her at The Power of Your Stories and see how your life can change when your stories change!
Be Sociable, Share!