posted by Russ, August 23 in lifestyle design with tags ,


I had written this article about compromise almost a year ago, and realized that I never even published it. It was sitting in my drafts, so I guess no time like the present to dig it up and send it out to the world!

I’m not trying to give any advice here, this is about me sorting out things in my personal life, things regarding lifestyle and prioritizing. And even though this was originally written a year ago, a lot of it still holds true.

In general I am a pretty happy person, I am laid back and easy to get along with. But also, I am prone to over thinking and overanalyzing, and as anyone knows, both of those things can get to you. I feel lucky to be where I am, I have a roof over my head, things in my house, a girlfriend, and I get to do a lot of fun and interesting things that a lot of people never get to do. (Even little fun day trips like this!) I know that I should express more gratitude for all the great things that I have in my life.

However, at the same time, I feel like I need more. Not more things, not more money, but more life. I feel a yearning deep down inside that I am meant for more, that there is more for me to do. And these thoughts lead me to sometimes feel stagnant. Not that anything about right now is bad, but that there is more that could be. And often I find it hard to find a balance between what I want and yearn for and what I currently have. Sometimes feelings of contentment conflict with these yearnings, and finding middle ground and stability is hard for me, and finding this middle ground is something I need because it will then allow me to nurture my personal relationships, while at the same time not compromising my ideals or my happiness.

I understand that life is about compromise, that you can’t give into every whim and every want, that sacrificing for those you love can be a reward in itself, however the questions that I ask myself is:

How much is the right amount? Am I being too selfish when I indulge my yearnings? And my compromising too much of myself? How can I stay happy and true to myself and grow into the person I want to become while also being responsible to my current obligations?

Quite often I feel that my life is very dualistic. I am usually happy and satisfied to go home to a quiet and modest home, happy being an average person with an average life. But then there are days where I wonder if I am following a path which will always leave me wondering what’s out there if were to follow another path just a little further. I know that life is a journey, that we reach points that we have to make choices. Compromise is a part of life. I know this. But where and when is it time to draw a line in the sand, to learn to be content or to indulge the yearnings that are deep within? How do we know when compromise is right and when it’s wrong?

Originally posted on Sunday, August 23rd, 2009 at 3:15 PM .

3 Responses to “Compromising”

  1. Richard says:

    I've recently become a believer in the "ten years ahead" rule (hmm, perhaps there is a blog post of my own in there ) in which I imagine looking back on my life ten years from now at the decisions that are open to me now. Would I regret, in retrospect, choosing the different path if I could have hung on to what I have in my life now.
    If you feel as though you would regret not stepping out and seizing a little bit more life, then avoid that future self's disappointment and step out.

    I suppose that, like everything, life is never that simple. So much depends on the what ifs or the worst case scenarios that might manifest between now and then. But as a rule of thumb, if you would look back and value a creative and adventurous disaster more than a well managed and extended present, then (intellectually at least) your decision is made.

    However you decide, just make sure that you are really deciding what you want, and not simply rationalising that where you are is enough.

  2. Russ says:

    Very valuable words Richard, thank you.

  3. Harshad says:

    'How do we know when compromise is right and when it's wrong?'

    Richard, may be we won't be able to decide this ever. And sometimes I feel this is the compromise that life forces you to make.. 🙂

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