Welcome to my takeaway from episode 136, my conversation with Sheree Clark. Life is full of trade-offs. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve said this, I’d have a lot of dollars just from saying this.
Here is a recap of the three key discussion points from my conversation with Sheree.
1️⃣ Courage is necessary to thrive in midlife.
2️⃣ Regrets can be valuable learning opportunities.
3️⃣ It’s not about settling but compromising.
The truth is as we progress through our midlife seasons, we encounter more and more circumstances where compromise is simply a reality. The compromises are tradeoffs that have some meaning and purpose.
The more we progress through our midlife seasons, the more tradeoffs we end up accepting. These are compromises we willingly make for a specific reason.
Maybe you hate getting up at 5 am to go to the gym, but it’s a tradeoff because it’s important for you to go to your kid’s soccer practice in the late afternoon after work before you go home to be with your family.
Maybe you hated to sell your boat and give up weekend recreational boating, but it’s a tradeoff so that you can spend a part of your weekends mentoring prison inmates. The impact you’re having on those men has far more meaning to your legacy than recreational boating.
Maybe you hate changing your diet, but it’s a tradeoff because three months later you’ve lost 15 pounds and now you’re on a clear path to lose another 10 pounds due to the changes in your diet.
Maybe you didn’t want to relocate to a colder climate, but it’s a tradeoff because you get to be near your siblings and their kids and spend birthdays and holidays together with your closest family.
I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point. The more we progress through our midlife seasons, the more tradeoffs we end up accepting. These are compromises we willingly make for a specific reason.
Sheree is clear to point out that midlife can be a challenging and difficult time because there is no clear playbook. It requires courage to break away from things you know, or expectations and roles placed upon you by others. It’s these expectations that may wear you down because you don’t get joy from them. Even if you once did get joy from them, if you don’t get joy from them anymore, it takes courage to do something different.
When we take action by making a change that suits you, feeds your soul, gives you joy, fulfills you, this action might come at a price. Even when you pay a price to make change that fulfills you, it’s a tradeoff. It’s a compromise. As Sheree says, you’re not settling. You’re compromising to get something meaningful. And, this takes courage.
The point is that compromise in the context of finding fulfillment in midlife should not be frowned upon. In fact, compromise in this context is inevitable. You can’t expect to go through life without experiencing compromise.
So, my challenge to you is, you guessed it, what change have I reminded you of that you should consider making in your life as a trade-off that will take courage, and will give you joy or fulfillment?