You can’t decide to value your child sometimes, and then put a game of Farmville, or golf, or a scrapbooking session before kids on other days. Values are non-negotiable like that. – Brian Tracy
It’s important to be flexible in many things. If they don’t have your usual lunch order, it’s better to order something else than to go hungry. If you need to learn to use a new technology, it’s better to do this than to find yourself falling behind your competitors. There are many examples where flexibility is the best option. But there are also some things in life that are not negotiable. Let’s explore what these are.
The foundation of your non-negotiables should be your values. Your values are the core things that matter in your life and should guide your decisions. When you set your priorities according to your values, you are certain to make better choices that won’t be regretted later.
Once you are clear in your values, you should use them as a compass, and for them to work, you can’t go changing what your true north is. Your core values should not be up for negotiation in a relationship, at work, or in other situations.
The second thing that you should not be willing to negotiate is everything relating directly to your physical and mental health. You might be able to compromise on things with a minor impact, but they should not be those issues that can significantly hurt you in the long term.
Fixing your health is always going to be more complicated than preventing many issues. On things that concern your particular needs in regards to nutrition, sleep, exercise, and more, you should try to never compromise but instead keep firm. For example, if you get the chance to make more money by going on a night shift, should you take it? It’s likely to hurt your health, so you should always consider if it would be worth it. In most cases, your health and well-being should be non-negotiable.
The important people in your life
You should not compromise the people who matter most to you. These are likely to be your kids, partner, parents and other family members, and friends. Those who matter to you should always be considered.
You might find that some people in your life are not willing to respect others, and it comes down to who you have chosen to make a non-negotiable part of your life. Valuing and respecting the most important people can help you make better decisions and avoid toxic relationships that might harm those that are closer to you.
Your own space and time
Everybody needs their own life. You should be able to get a place that’s your own and, within it, smaller spaces that belong to you. Even and probably more so in a shared space, you should have spaces that are only yours.
This is also true of your time. No matter how busy you are, you should try to have time just for yourself, when you get to spend some time on your own, reflecting, relaxing, and restoring your well-being.
A good relationship to others is often dependent on how well you have built your relationship to yourself. You need time and space to maintain it. Nobody is owed access to every bit of your life, your time, and your space.
Your own decisions
Others should not make decisions for you, even if they want to. Even if you want someone else to, it’s important that you can take ownership of each choice.
Your decisions matter to your life and can lead to consequences, good and bad. When you allow someone else to make your decisions, it makes them less important for you and doesn’t help you learn from your errors or grow.
You should never bend on allowing another person taking decisions in your stead, barring, perhaps, emergencies. Instead, go back to your values and let them guide you.
While it’s useful to be flexible with many things in life, there are a few you just can’t budge on. If you know exactly what’s important and what isn’t, this is sure to help you in every situation and avoid things that will make you take a course that’s not aligned with who you are.