We all make compromises. You go to Chinese when you wish you were having pizza just because your friend wants to. You agree to take the smaller office to allow your friend at work the larger one. You say, “Sure, I’ll come in on Saturday” when you’d rather stay late and finish it Friday night. Knowing how and when to compromise effectively is a part of being successful – a big part.
But are there things you shouldn’t compromise on….ever? One expert says yes. Career Coach Kathy Caprino recently wrote in Forbes an article titled, “What You Should Never Compromise On While Building Your Career.” And frankly, she’s spot on. She advocates a “no compromise” attitude on important topics like your integrity, self-respect, and your health. But our favorite is something you may not have thought about. It’s something we think only those approaching retirement should consider – your legacy.
What is your legacy? It’s what you will be able to say about yourself when you’re 90 looking back — what you’ve stood for, given, taught, imparted, and left behind. Not what you dreamed of being, but what you have been. It’s the impact you’ve made on the world, your family, and your community. This is not a dress rehearsal, but the real thing here, and so many professionals forget that they have this one chance to build a life that’s meaningful for them. Instead, they compromise their legacy in a vain effort to grasp “success,” accolades, security, or power.
Ultimately, she’s subscribing to one of our favorite Janis Joplin quotes pictured above: “Don’t compromise yourself, you’re all you’ve got.” Take care of you now, and take care of your future now. It’s all a part of what makes you who you are.