Compromising your principles won’t lead to happiness

“Do not compromise yourself and put your goodness in the same impermanent category as whatever circumstance happening. Be the best you in every circumstance.” 

― Steve Maraboli

Impressionable teenagers are often guilty of compromising who they are and what morals and principles they hold dear in order to gain acceptance amongst a demanding group of peers.

If you think back to your own high school experience (hopefully as a wiser adult)  I’m sure you could identify instances when you turned your back on the “real” you in order to be invited to a party or social gathering or to seem “cool” to the girl sitting behind you in Algebra class.

We’re all human, and part of that very awkward period of life known as “adolescence” is struggling to “fit in” to a world where superficiality and popularity trump character and kindness.

Adulthood typically defines who we are in this world – the principles we value, the decorum we support, the respectable behaviors we practice. Those qualities come to mean more to us than trying to “fitting in” to a lifestyle we oftentimes only craved for momentary happiness during a time filled with uncertainty.

But just because we’re considered adults, doesn’t mean we’re not coaxed back to acting like teenagers when the trials of life yet again lead to a need for acceptance. Suddenly we’re back to compromising the morals and principles we hold dear in order to gain acceptance – only this time it’s not from a demanding group of peers. This time it’s from ourselves.

Brandon Sanderson once wrote, “Sometimes the prize is not worth the costs. The means by which we achieve victory are as important as the victory itself.”

What are the costs of your actions at the end of the day?

When all is said and done have they truly made you feel better about yourself, or are they only a temporary fix you convince yourself is enough right now?

Alan Casden once remarked, “Never compromise your principles, even if it leads to difficulties in the short term.”

Be the best YOU in every circumstance. Don’t try and “fit in” as something you’re not in order to gain acceptance from others, or yourself. The happiness will be fleeting and before long you’ll start to feel like a high school teenager longing for contentment in all the wrong places.