How COMMITTED are you to your own ideas and values?

United States
April 27, 2007 9:55am CST
Many of us have a pretty good sense of what we want, and where we are going in life. We have ambitions, desires, wishes, goals, personal values and so forth. We may have a vision of the sort of career we want, what kind of life partner we want, how many kids we want, where we want to live-- apartment or house; city or country. When we don't actually HAVE these things yet, they are basically "ideas" and "plans." Typically we have pretty accurate and detailed ideas in our heads. We may even have an entire "laundry list" of attributes we want our house, or boyfriend/girlfriend to have. However, in watching people around me-- and in looking back at my own life-- it seems there is often a HUGE gap between "what we want," and "what we take/accept." Think about it-- how often have you found yourself compromising a WHOLE lot of things you want... often with the rationalization that it's better to have SOMEthing, than nothing at all? I know a number of friends who-- when alone-- have had all manners of "qualities" they wanted in a lover, yet when faced with a "real live person," those wants became little more than "has a pulse." Similarly, there are those who have a detailed idea of EXACTLY the job they want (and ARE qualified for), yet when the first opportunity to flip burgers at McDonalds comes up, they grab it. How committed are YOU, to your own ideas and values? How much do you "compromise," between "planning" and "reality?" Do you typically settle for MUCH less or SOMEWHAT less than you wanted-- or do you "stick to your guns" until you get precisely what you want? Either way, are you HAPPY you made the choices you made, or do you feel DISAPPOINTED in the outcome? Finally, are your decisions on compromising DIFFERENT, in different parts of your life-- like strict on career choices, loose on relationships?
6 people like this
16 responses
@feralwoman (2199)
• Australia
27 Apr 07
Great discussion mate. My philosophy is very simple - I expect nothing, so that when something good turns up it's a bonus! I don't really have any plans, I just try and have a positive attitude and let things happen and see where it takes me. Is it odd not to have a life plan I wonder?
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Apr 07
By many standards, you probably have found the "secret to life" by not having a great deal of attachment to the outcome of a situation. What you say reminds me a lot of one of my uncles who told me "If you don't expect too much, you'll rarely be disappointed."
• United States
27 Apr 07
Well I would hope we would all be committed to our dreams and goals but have room to bend a bit to accommodate life and the shots that are thrown at it. I used to have a girlfriend that had her whole life planned out to how her children were going to look, what her husband was going to do for a living, how much money he was going to make and where they were going to live and what they were going to drive and where they were going to work. It was so planned out there was no room for growth or change. I tried to express this to her, but she acted as if I knew nothing. A few years later I saw her at a store, she was engaged to a man that did not meet her dream guy and had children, which she said she would never date anyone that had someone else's children. Although we may all have preconceived notions of how we want our life to be but if we don't have room to bend and change then the life we are trying to achieve will never happen.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Apr 07
Interesting observation... which sortof reminds me of how "overplanning" can sometimes serve as a form of avoidance, rather than an actual goal. After all, if our "laundry list" is SO long that we can't ever hope to fill it, then what are we REALLY telling the Universe we want?
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
This is honestly too hard a topic for a 6 yrs old still wearing diaper. I know I have a certain sets of ideas and values. If you ask me to tell you what they are, I can't really answer. But if you ask me specifically my take on something precise, yes I can answer. I am both stubborn and versatile at the same time. Go figure. :P
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Apr 07
Wiz, I think most people live a life of "adapting to the situation." And that's probably a good way to survive and get ahead. The question becomes of finding the point where "adapting" actually becomes "OVERadapting."
@moonmagick (1458)
• United States
1 May 07
I think in part this question comes down to "theory" versus "reality." In theory I would love to have the perfect husband, perfect house, perfect family, etc. In reality, my husband has some serious problems, and for the time being at least, I love him enough to try to help him through them as long as he is willing to help himself, while I like my home, I would prefer a few things to be different, and as far as family goes, lets just say you can't choose your family. That being said, I have a tendency to go after exactly what I want and I don't let up until I get it. Of course you know as well as I do that sometimes things are not what they appear to be, and once you have them, you may find that it isn't what you wanted after all. To answer your specific questions: I am very committed to my own ideas and values, but I understand the need to compromise on some level, because I understand that wishes and reality just won't always meet up. If I have to settle for something different, I try to do just that, settle for different, not necessarily inferior. But I try to get it as close to my desire as possible. Typically I am happy with what I end up with, but of course there are times when disappointment steps in. I think disappointment is part of life, but you shouldn't let it drag you down, you should learn from it, so you don't make the choice that led to it in the first place again. I definitely believe that my degrees of compromising vary greatly depending on the situation. For something that is immediate and not life altering, I will make a much bigger compromise on it than something I will have to live with the consequences from every day.
1 person likes this
@aciddrop (798)
28 Apr 07
there often has been a huge gap between expectation and reality.the more you expect,the less possible things will come true.because you've made it harder to become real.and if you dont correspondingly work harder,you will never make it to realize your dream.i dont set up many goals for myself,or qualities for others,so the chance of settling for less than i want is little.:)
1 person likes this
@Melody1 (968)
• India
28 Apr 07
Looking back I can see that at the threshold of adulthood I had developed a committment to a few ideas and values and strongly believed to stick by them,come what may.The lessons of life,on the other hand,taught me otherwise.Sometimes tenderly,sometimes bluntly,life told me point blank,to take it or refuse,what it had to offer.I do not want to illustrate my personal experiences here,and hence would like to state generally,that elasticity and little or no expectations has the key.This way whatever coices we come across(as per the effort put in) we would be in a position to analyse objectively and either accept or refuse. So the dilemma of 'compromising' between 'planning' and 'reality' will be of a lesser magnitude than otherwise. If at all i have to compromise then I would prefer it this way-- loose on career choices(I don't mind career hopping,taking it as a challege and scope for betterment)and strict on relationship,because the lack of emotional compatibily is an aspect which I wouldn't want to go through and I'm not the sort of person to switch affection on and off even once,if given a chance.:-)
@Melody1 (968)
• India
1 May 07
Kindly read 'emotional stability' and compatibility
• Philippines
28 Apr 07
I am very much committed with my values and ideas. I try to make it a point that what i do everyday will contribute to the achievement of my ideas and goals. Of course without my values i wont achieve my goals. They always go along together. I write down all of my ideas and try to execute it little by little. I don;t get easily convinced by others idea. I have my own and noone can change it.I have to giove something for the success of my ideas.Goodluck!
• India
28 Apr 07
well.. i used to be very much commited to my ideas and my beliefs..... that i should not waste time.... that i should always be thinking something creative and also doing something creative.... that enjoying is not wasting time.... not doing anything is wasting time..... but nowadays....my exams are here.... and its pretty defficult trying to make yourself study all the time........ and that results in laziness.... and feeling that you dont want to do anything....and that i have to either study or do nothing..... because going out to play or being on mylto or surfing the net , and other stuff that we enjoy makes you feel guilty.... it makes you feel as if you do not care about your future and just want to live life when you know that if you do not work right now....then the future is gonna be tough on you..... but overall... i feel that i very much obey my beliefs... that i have always tried to abied by them... and even if i could not... i would definitely do something to cover up for them...... like not allowing myself to do something that sooooo wanna do...... well my description here does make me feel that i am making myself look like a boring person...... well i am not.... my rules are really very interesting and abyding them is even fun..... infact... when i told my friends earlier..... my three fundas of life....... some of them even adopted them..
• India
28 Apr 07
everyday when i wake i will took a pledge that today i will keep my ideas and values as were as possible but when i started working its not possible to keep that we have to take adject to that other wise there was no survive for us. but iwill not allow to change huge variation in my ides and view i will make some changes. otherwise we will become a jocker in front of others. so inoder to avoid that we have to change some ideas according to the situation.
@ivyrainy (29)
• China
28 Apr 07
This is really a good question. We have to compromise to the reality many times in the world. We can't do everything as we want, we can't get everything as we want right? This is the reality,the god told us.so we have to work harder and harder in order to get all the things we want,even though we cannot get all the things 100%. But never stop working hard, i think this is the idea which i won't change forever.
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
28 Apr 07
Great topic. Love the picture. What rock is that in the background? I want to say Mt Ranier (spelling). Anyway, you are correct in stating that we often accept far less than we imagine we can have. The main reason we do so is that we do not feel worthy of the best or that we are deserving of the best. So, we often take anything to have at least something. We are so used to compromising our values and goals that we think that is what life is supposed to be like. I have been at that point in my life for a few years now. I definitely have a specific way of living that I desire to create. And despite some tremendous setbacks, I am still focused on my goals. I am not giving up. And I am not settling for less than I deserve. The universe says we all deserve unlimited prosperity. The problem is that few really believe they can have it. I want to be happy despite the choice I might make. We are taught that to be happy we have to make the right choices. Nonsense! Happiness is strictly an inside operation. It does not depend on the outside world fulfilling our every wish. Expressing gratitude for what we have right now is the stepping stone to having more. That applies to the all areas of our lives, not just the material parts. You can't have things both ways. Either you have values and they apply to all parts of your life or they don't. This middle ground is what keeps people settling for much less than what they could have. Relationships, careers, houses, love, marriage...it doesn't matter. It is all connected. If you don't have values in one area, it affects everything else. Few will admit it , but what you are creating now will eventually show up in your life. Most eveything that has happened to you up to know is the result of choices you have made. So why not intentionally create what you want to have? I think that increasing your awareness of how you think and act right now, is the first step to change the direction you are going in. Failure and disappointment is the key to great success. For in each failure, there lies a lesson, that once learned, creates a favorable setting for success. The only person to blame if you are not getting what you want is yourself. Giving up the victimhood mentality can open the door to self-responsibility and self-action.
• United States
28 Apr 07
I do know what I want and working on and planning. I havent given up yet on my dreams. I know what I want in a guy, I know how many kids I want. I know the job I eventually want is a broadcast journalist. I am trying for an internship this summer. I love to write, this too hasnt changed yet. So I'd not settle for anything that I didnt truly want. My dad has done this all his life and his job and always trying for a home business. I hate to think I am like him in some ways I am. But in others I'm not. I have a B.A. degree, I know my future job options. I wont give up. He does give up. I wont.
@urbangirl (1461)
• Australia
27 Apr 07
I think I am a very flexible person and although I always had "vague" ideas about what I wanted when I was younger, they did not tend to be prescriptive - eg. wanted to be married by the age of ??? and have x amount of kids...etc etc. I assumed things would kind of happen as I gravitated towards the things I liked in life in order to mark out my path. Sometimes I think I should have listened more to gut instinct and not suppress my desires because I could have had a much easier life. Instead, it seems I have this uncanny knack of throwing myself into challenges where my true talents do not flourish. Generally I am happy with the way things have worked out so far but with me there could have been many more possibilities. As for my "values" - they have not stayed constant while growing up but I did get to a point where I "returned" to the values that sat well with me rather than other people's expectations.
@jene1985 (228)
• Australia
27 Apr 07
well I have alot of goals I try not to make them to huge because Im easily dissapointed Id like to think I stick to it till it happens but its not quite true my goals change constantly right now my goal is to save anough money to get to the US to see my adopted Mum but within that are several small goals to make it happen.I think if you want something bad enough you will make it happen alot of good things require sacrafices alot of people get scared by that. Afraid that it wont work out so they give up before they start. If I was asked this 12 months ago I would say it didnt matter what I did I thought I was useless whats the point in being happy about something when Ill just stuff up the next goal I have. My thinking has changed alot in that way my latest goal is something I want badly and I am trying to do all I can to make it happen. The thought of being with someone I love as much as her gives me enough of a will then anything could
@Stiletto (4600)
27 Apr 07
Until about 5 years ago I was definitely a "settler" and really wasn't that happy with the way any aspect of my life was going as far as career and relationships and life in general went. I think it was really part of the "taking stock" exercise I did when I was approaching my fortieth birthday that changed my mindset completely. I quit my job, my relationship, moved house, stopped doing some things I used to do and started doing new things instead. My friends were all convinced it was my mid-life crisis - maybe it was! Anyway although my life isn't as comfortable now as it used to be for the most part I'm a much happier person because I'm doing what I actually want to do and I'm working toward the things that I want to achieve. I won't ever consciously "settle" again in any area of my life even if it does mean I'll end up a penniless spinster!
27 Apr 07
To be honest I am more of a compromiser. I think that many people that i've come across that know exactly what they want and where they want to be have an air or self importance and arrogance about them, not everyone is like that, far from it, but I have seen it, and it's not the sort of thing I share. I think because I am shy I tend not to push myself out there in people's minds too much, although when I am doing a job I am very passionate about it and want to do the best I can. It's hard, but it's not limited to work, the things I've said above relate to people I've met outside of work. I suppose a lot of it comes down to the drive for money, but I have always said that life is more than just money, money makes it easier but it doesn't make life.