The "C" Branch

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What Do You Want Your Life To Look Like This Year? – Part 3

Posted by Chris DeMarco on Saturday, January 9th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Previously, we learned why most resolutions people make don’t end successfully as well as the two key factors that will help you actually keep your New Year’s resolution. If you missed them, you can catch the first part of this series here and the second part here.

Lastly, we’re looking at how the compromises we all inevitably make can prevent us from getting what we really want out of life – or worse, giving up on ever being able to have it – and take us further and further away from having the life we really want.

Deep down, we all long for a life we want to have – a “dream,” if you will. Remember your “why” from Part 2? Hopefully it encompasses every single aspect of the life you want – down to the time you’ll wake up in the morning and what you’ll eat for breakfast. But, chances are, you don’t currently have everything you want out of life, or else you wouldn’t be reading this! Of course, it’s not likely that you can have every single detail of everything you want all at the same time, but the things you want most – the things you won’t settle without – often turn out to be the things that are settled without.

So what happens between the amazing dreams we want to fulfill in our lives and the reality we’re actually living on a daily basis?

What happens is that we make compromises. We settle for less than what we want, or accept it thinking that we can’t really have what we want. And unfortunately, compromising turns our dream of the life we long for into an abstract fantasy instead.

It could be for a number of reasons. Perhaps you want to move to a warm climate but are staying where you are (compromising) for the sake of your job. It could be a relationship that’s holding you back. It could be the fear of failure, or any number of other possibilities. Regardless of the reason, the truth is that at times we all let something hold us back from everything we want – and end up “settling” with something less. And to really achieve the life of fulfillment we really desire, we have to look at where we’re compromising and make a decision of what it is that we really want most.

Here’s the part where I have (get) to be honest. I hate cold weather, and have dreamed of moving to a warm climate for years now. Yet, this winter, I’m still looking at icicles and snow-covered ground out the window. Why?

The truth is, I’ve made compromises as well. In my case, I’m not afraid of packing up and leaving…in fact, I’d be happy to! But I have let two things pin me down: my work and my relationships.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some times where compromising can be perfectly healthy and even necessary, especially in relationships. Two people may want to live in different places, in which case a compromise would be absolutely necessary. Remember, sometimes you can’t have every single aspect of your “why” be reality at the same time. In this sort of situation, however, the “why” itself changes to accommodate the situation, so it really isn’t “settling.” In this example, wanting to be with that person matters more than where you live, so your “why” – what you want most – adapts to prioritize being together with that person rather than living where you want.

The problem is when you do feel like you’re “settling.” If you’re counting on that person to change, of if you’re really not happy with them – it isn’t the thing you want more than anything else – then being with them is probably not the thing you want most. If you feel “pinned down” in a situation and are not happy to make the compromise, then it’s most likely not a healthy one. Chances are, just like myself, you can already think of a handful of “unhealthy compromises” that are keeping you from the life you really want.

Unhealthy compromising prevents us from being happy or fulfilled. In fact, it can often make us depressed and miserable. It makes us feel “stuck” and “helpless.” This leads to a downward spiral that only gets worse.

In the first part of this series, we learned how attempts to stop unwanted behaviors often fail because of an underlying condition that must be corrected first. This is one of the biggest! If you’re not living the life you want to live, why would you even bother trying to lose weight or stop smoking? You probably wouldn’t even want to get up in the morning!

If you want your life to really change this year, forget silly resolutions to lose weight or stop smoking, because barely anybody actually keeps those anyways!

Instead, focus on what you really want your life to look like. Take your “why” and your detailed picture of how you want your desired life to look, and compare it to reality. Discover every single aspect where you’ve made compromises and evaluate whether they are healthy or unhealthy. Then, decide what you really want most and update your “why” accordingly. Even though it’s very difficult, it’s always better to take back commitments, end relationships, or make other hard decisions than to remain “stuck” in a life you don’t even want to be living.

So here’s to you, for a great, prosperous year filled with all the things you want most!

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Tagged in:   • change my life • compromise • compromised life • compromises • compromising • Improve My Life • new years resolutions • self help • Self Improvement • the life i really want • the life you really want

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