In any kind of negotiation, your ability to walk away is your strongest tool.
Those who can walk away from the negotiation — legitimately walk away, not just make a show of it — are in the strongest position. Those who are convinced they need to make the deal are in the weakest position.
This is true of negotiating when you’re buying a car, closing the sale of your new home, haggling in a foreign flea market, or trying to get a raise.
It’s also true of anything in life.
Know that there’s almost nothing you can’t walk away from.
If you are convinced you need a nice house with a walk-in closet and hardwood floors and a huge kitchen, you now have a weakness. You will give away precious life hours and savings to get it. Someone else who knows that those things aren’t absolutely necessary can walk away, and not need to spend so much money (and thus work hours) on that kind of house.
If you are convinced that you need Stabucks grande lattes every day, or an iPhone or iPad, or an SUV or BMW … you are in the weak position, because you can’t give it up. Someone else might know that those aren’t essential to happiness, and can walk away.
If you know that the person who is treating you badly (but who you just know will change someday, because, you know, they love you) isn’t necessary for you to be happy, you can walk away. If you know that you can be happy alone, and that you need no one to make you happy, you can walk away.
If you know that there’s almost nothing you can’t walk away from, you can save yourself tons of money. Years of time. Mountains of headaches and heartaches.; and boatloads of suffering.
If you know that there is a chasm between your beliefs and some semblance of happiness, then you should walk away from said beliefs and re-evaluate them. We tend to think that we always need to walk away others, when sometimes, we need to walk away from ourselves. Don’t become too rigid in thinking that your beliefs are the end all be all. Sure, you were taught them and some you’ve adopted from others – but like all things, they have a time and purpose and things must change. After all, beliefs aren’t really yours – they are someone else’s that you’ve agreed to.
You don’t need to walk away from everything, but you should know that you can and that just as fluid as the motion of walk itself is, so is life. Be fluid, be flexible and live!