Trade offs are part of growing up … changing … becoming more successful in life. We tend to stay within our comfort zone until we begin to feel dissatisfied. As we grow and get better, we use different but similar tools. We go from being in a stroller to a 3-wheeler to a 2-wheeler, maybe skates, scooters until we arrive at motorcycles and cars and some stretch further to become pilots. We grow and become more proficient.
When you realize the clothes in your closet have shrunk seemingly overnight and notice your knees ache, your feet or maybe even your lower back hurt – it’s time to consider a few trade offs. It’s simple enough to buy larger size clothing but that doesn’t get to the cause of the problem. You learn about potential diseases waiting for you around the corner. It’s probably past time to cut way back on fast foods, sweets and breads.
In the first scenario, the trade offs feel good except for the bumps and bruises. In the second, it’s a lifestyle change requiring a serious commitment and persistent action on a daily basis. Eating healthier foods and exercising on a regular basis is a real change – especially in the beginning of the journey. Giving up comfort food – those munchies – while watching your favorite TV shows or playing video games is really tough. However, once the education starts and you realize many of your previous choices have not been good, you’ll make better ones and realize you’re becoming a better and healthier person. You’ll feel better because you’ll have more energy and won’t ache. You’ll look better because your clothes will fit nicely and you won’t look as though you poured yourself into them.
Trade offs can be seen as opportunities. Ask yourself “What are the pluses and minuses (pros and cons) of this change?”
Change is personal, possible and profitable. Refusing to change means staying the same – no growth (or shrinkage as needed in my case in the 2nd scenario).
Some trade offs worth considering:
- Am I willing to give up financial security for a better opportunity?
- Am I willing to give up immediate gratification for personal growth? There are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going.
- Am I willing to give up the fast life for the good life? Repacking Your Bags by Richard J. Leider and David A. Shapiro says “Living the good life means living in the place you belong with the people you love doing the right work on purpose.”
- Am I willing to give up security (personal, financial or emotional) for significance? Most people can make a living which is a safe thing. But making a difference leads to significance and making you the best you can be.
- Am I willing to give up addition for multiplication? There is an attitude change from “What can I do for others?’ to “What can I do with others?”
How to Apply The Law of Trade Offs in Your Life
- Write your own personal list of trade off principles.
- It’s just as important for you to know what you are not willing to give up as it is to identify what it is you are willing to give up.
- What trade do you need to make right now that you’ve been unwilling to make? What’s the next thing you need to trade for and what do you need to give up to get it?
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