The Non-Negotiables: Redux

Two years ago I wrote about a set of standards that I set for my life. These weren’t goals, they were qualitative boundaries for how I would (and would not) conduct my life as I pursued my goals. This list was my list of “non-negotiables”; if you took me, you took them. They were a part of the package.

Now that it has been a couple of years, I felt compelled to review them. I can say with  pride that I held onto some of them with great integrity. However, in other places, I negotiated – sometimes for the sake of “efficiency”, and others just out of weakness. Never being one who is satisfied at his current level of evolution, I offer (for myself mainly, but I hope these are helpful for you too), my revised list* of non-negotiables:


  • I am faithful to my wife.
  • I say what I want.
  • I will meet head-on those who bully and abuse.
  • I am dangerous to those who oppose truth, goodness, and reason.
  • Compassion for my family trumps my need to be right.
  • I replace doubt with acts of grace.
  • I am a risk taker.
  • I live in accordance with my faith, and no one else’s.
  • I do what I believe is in the best interest of my family, even if they disagree.
  • I do not ask for permission.
  • How I live will give more credence to my integrity than my words.
  • Fear does not keep me from taking risks.
  • I do not indulge my addictions.
  • I am a man of my word, period.
  • I do not show anger to my Mother.
  • When name-calling begins, the discussion is over.
  • I spend time with people I respect.
  • I will not feel guilt in resting from work.
  • I ask for help when I’m not being the man I want to be.
  • I do not hide from confrontation.
  • I honor my daily spiritual practices.
  • I welcome feedback from those I trust.
  • I only apologize when it’s appropriate, not simply to please others.
  • I choose which of my friendships to maintain.
  • I do not sell out who I am to placate others.
  • I do as I see fit.
  • Hell will break away at my feet.

These are my non-negotiables, they come with the package.




*The list is posted in two highly visible places in my life as burying them deep in a blog post will do them no good. If you make a list, I suggest you do the same. 

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