Compromise is the key to sustainable relationships. Particularly the one with ourselves. In a world that doesn't play fair and is often beyond our ability to comprehend, sometimes we have no other option than to make concessions with our own hearts and negotiate internally. Because while it would be ideal to do the right thing and steadfastly adhere to our own high standards all the time, that’s rarely easily obtained.
COMPARTMENTALIZATION — Make concessions about undesirable work to develop a sustainable relationship with ourselves
Here’s a useful question you can ask yourself when your integrity feels like it’s stuck between a rock and a hard place. What moderate action would be tolerable to my heart and still move me out of immobilization? Everyone's answer will vary. It all depends on how we decide to balance our ideals with the realities of our daily life. But the compromise we make with ourselves will not only get us moving in the right direction, but it will do do wonders for our conscience.
During my stint as a marketing strategist at an innovation studio, compartmentalization was critical. Because some of our clients outrightly disgusted me. High fashion, corporate finance, radical politicians, alcohol brands, these products and services could not have been more out of sync with my value system. And initially, the work really grossed me out. Telling friends and family about my latest campaign felt shameful. People could see it in my eyes and hear it in my voice. Scott’s trying to sell more cases of tequila to frat boys? Say it ain’t so. Interestingly enough, the root of the word compromise is the term promittere, which means to send forth or let go. And that’s the concession I personally had to make with myself. Deciding what I was willing to surrender. Which, in this case, was the illusion of moral consistency. Doesn’t exist. That’s okay. Doing this work for these evil corporations doesn’t diminish my value in the world, because allows me to contribute financially to my marriage, enlist my skills to create value for, underwrite my extracurricular art projects and and grow my skillset for future work.
This tool is all about mindset. We are grateful that there is space for us to fall short and still be okay with ourselves. We keep the option to compromise in the back our mind as a reminder us that nobody is perfect, including ourselves. Whereas other people who have the inability to balance their ideals with the realities of their daily life exhausts their energy trying to perfectly uphold their own high standards. What concessions will you make with yourself once understand that it is time to let go?
Go to work every day with clear conscience
Balance your cherished ideals with the realities of our daily life
Feel alive in your contradictions rather than exhausting ourselves with unrealistically high standards
Take moderate action that’s tolerable to your heart and still moves your out of creative immobilization