Negotiating life

We end up negotiating throughout our life. It seems to start in our childhood and never ends. We negotiate with our parents for time to play when we are supposed to study. We bargain with friends for borrowing a cricket bat or football. This extends to every aspect of our life at this stage. We end up negotiating with our teachers to submit our assignments late.

Life seems to lay the ground for negotiations. It begins at home and extends to friends, school and everyone around us. We learn to craft our strategies and win most of the time. We learn to live with failures too. Successes boost our morale and failed attempts makes us learn better.

As kids we learn to master the art of negotiating from our siblings and friends. This then extends to classmates at school and college too. The competitive world around us makes us want more than we need. It appears natural for us to demand more than we deserve in life from our parents and teachers.

As we grow up in life and get into a job or pursue our own dreams as an entrepreneur, our needs to negotiate increases. We tend to believe that negotiating life is more an art than a science. There is no logic to win a negotiation. In life most of our decisions are emotional and than we apply logic to justify them.

It is not very different in life. We tend to live life beyond our means. Our wants exceed our needs and thereby end up negotiating for everything in life. This may look natural and also essential to survive in an over zealous world. But the sooner we realise that we may be hampering valuable relationships, the better it may be for us.

I find negotiating quite normal in life as long as we are within our limits. Now, the question may be – who will define our limits. For me, it is like living your values in life. We do not need a written code of conduct or an external being to guide us. All of us are endowed with an inner voice, which guides us all the time.

As in the photo above, siblings end up negotiating for rewards in response to a favour done to each other in every day life.

We need to listen to our inner voice. This voice will always caution us when we are crossing our limits and which may hamper our relationship with others. It is at this time we need to reflect and learn. If we don’t then we end up negotiating with our parents, teachers and elders, whom we need to give more than we receive at all times.

Life has been a great learning journey on negotiations. I have made innumerable mistakes and burnt my fingers. But every time I learnt a lesson from a mistake, it has helped me take a step higher in my quest for improvement. It is normal to err but it is valuable to learn from our mistakes.

Let us learn to live life to its full.

S Ramesh Shankar

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