No More Compromises

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I’m continually amazed by the way good questions lead us so naturally to good answers, and how beautiful questions lead to even better answers. When we open ourselves to the things we don’t know, we open the doors to discovery and greater understanding.

I’m Scott Lennox and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a weekly consideration of things that matter every day.

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While certain compromises are necessary from time to time, there are things that are not negotiable.

Join me this week as we consider what those things might be and how to keep them in place in our lives. Stay with me.


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Allow me to begin this week’s consideration with an entry I wrote in one of my journals years ago. The moment was a pivotal one that put the beginnings of significant change into motion in my life. In a quiet way, I knew that once I did it there would be no turning back. Here’s what I wrote.

The day has come, as I knew it would, that I am no longer willing to settle or compromise. I’m no longer willing make excuses about life, about myself, or about doing the right things for the right reasons. I’m no longer willing to explain myself to anyone, nor will I insist that they explain themselves to me. I’m not willing to debate or explain or downplay my relationship with God as I understand God. And as always, I refuse to impose my faith on anyone else or allow them to impose theirs on me.

I’m not willing to explain how or why I live the way I do. And I’m no longer willing to make compromises about it. I know who I am, and I know what I am.

Because of that, the day has come for me to accept “What Is” and to live and love and work with greater commitment, leaning into what I know is possible, and staying open to what is good.

from one of the author’s daily journals

How well I remember the day I wrote that. It was a clear spring afternoon, and I was sitting on my back porch after several days of rain. I’d been through a long season of changes that included confronting some of my own history. To say the least, parts of it were troubling to look at, but there was no more turning away from it. It was time to face all of it and it was time to do what needed to be done.

I can say with utter clarity that the day I wrote that entry was the day I intentionally chose to live with a much stronger sense of purpose and integrity, and with greater sincerity and compassion.

You might say it was the day I chose to “get real.”

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My working definition of the word “integrity” centers around deep coherence. In the simplest terms, integrity is seen when the inside and the outside match. In behavioral terms, or shall I say “in terms of the ways we live,” I’m fond of the expression that integrity is what we do and how we act when no one else is watching.

Our word “sincere” comes from the Latin words sin, meaning “without,” and cere, meaning “wax.” Coupled together, the word means “not covered over.” What you’re looking at is open and is exactly as it appears to be.

To better understand this, think of a letter that’s been wax-sealed. The only way read it is to break the seal. It’s private and it’s meant to be seen only by the intended recipient.

On the other hand, a letter that is sin-cere—without wax—is open for anyone to read. There’s nothing hidden and no reason to hide it.

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The time between my writing that entry in my journal and living what I had written was not a particularly long one. But as you might imagine, the process of change took deep thought and much consideration. It also required no small amount of practice. To be sure, I made mistakes along the way, yet as I became aware that I was making them and then made the necessary corrections, I felt the positive and healthy changes that were happening.

My friend and mentor Tim McKibben and I frequently talk about the necessity of “honesty, accountability, and transparency.” (By the way, that acronyms to H.A.T. if you find such things useful.) Tim rightly says that if we want to live in healthy ways, those three elements, honesty, accountability, and transparency, are some of the most essential planks in our personal foundation.

As I took the wisdom of his counsel to heart, I began growing those traits organically, especially as I was being intentional about it. To my surprise, several changes stood out. I felt more settled and more resonant with myself. I discovered more about what I’ve come to know as my own non-negotiables. Moving in the direction I wanted to go became easier. And something deep in me began to relax. I became softer and more approachable.

It’s not my place to tell anyone what their priorities should be. On the other hand, it is my place to ask provocative and useful questions, questions that encourage deeper thought and greater clarity.

Here are two essential ones.

When was the last time you consciously and intentionally sifted out the things that matter most in your life—the things about which you are no longer willing to make excuses for or compromise?

What happens when you live authentically—when you’re aware of your own nature, and you choose to live in ways that are truly resonant with that nature?

This week’s Beautiful Questions are made to encourage and deepen that inquiry. Once again, if this is something that matters to you, I invite you to take your time with them.

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Question One: Are you willing to write down the top ten priorities in your life and list them in order of importance? (And by the way, what are your top three?)

Question Two: As a form of daily meditation that brings you to greater clarity, are you willing to consider each of your non-negotiables?

Question Three: As a way of creating greater transparency, are you willing to share your list of priorities with at least one other person who will listen without judgment?

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I can think of few things that are more important to each of us than this week’s consideration. Write and tell me what you discover. I’m listening.

As I say each week,
My Light with Your Light!

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I’m glad we can engage this way every week as we consider things that matter and what to do about them. If nothing else, I hope you feel inspired to look more deeply at ways of caring for yourself. You deserve that.

You can be further inspired by visiting my friends at Kosmos Journal. That’s K O S M O S Journal. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and engage global transformation in harmony with all life. You can easily find them online at Kosmos Journal dot O R G.

And each week at, you can read the illustrated transcript of each podcast as you listen. We’ve also included an archive of all previous podcasts, including guided relaxation audios that can help you practice letting go on a daily basis.

If you find these podcasts useful, I encourage you to share them and tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world.

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced, and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

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