Years ago, I was meeting with a very successful personal coach in Bellevue, Wa. He had a level of success pretty much unrivaled and it was always an inspiring time to sit with him.
Once, he asked me about my thoughts on various business people I’d met and I’d told him one of my key frustrations, a non-negotiable as it were, was when people were either late or failed to call me back on a timely basis. Basically, anything to do with what I perceived to be the failure of an individual to honor my time was a huge offense to me.
He smiled for a moment and then proceeded to tell me that there are no non-negotiables. The only concern I should have about the behavior of another is if it is an affront to my ethics or morals. My counter was that this behavior does offend me. His counter was “why?”
My answer was simple. If one didn’t see the value of my time or follow up in a timely manner, I should consider that an example of that person’s failure to find value with me. He agreed, but only on the point that perhaps we don’t fit, and that’s okay. In other words, I am “holding the golf club too tight.” If a person, in love or business, doesn’t fit in the right ways, perhaps it’s best to move on, but his point, all the stronger stated now, was “that doesn’t mean it’s a non-negotiable.” If you hold everyone’s disappointing behaviors as 100% failures, who will you find to work with, share time with, or love? It creates impossible scenarios where business opportunities are few and far between.
What am I trying to achieve by holding others to my own personal set of behaviors and patterns? I do understand that nobody is like me and I am like nobody else either. I have to pick my battles, and like a marriage, I have to understand that even the best friends in the world are going to disappoint me. Which goes back to another topic I wrote about recently, Making peace with the Gap. Perhaps you should read that too?
Sometimes…well, it’s just hard.