Non-negotiable. It’s the one-two punch of the linguistic world, where you insist, with a hyphen, just how much bullshit you are not willing to tolerate to get whatever the fuck you want.
The term has unfortunately been somewhat hijacked and limited to the context of the dating world, where it’s used to write lists that identify if a relationship is going to stick for longer than three days and surpass roughly thirty-seven texts (and be healthy, I guess). Let’s do life and literature a favor and reinvigorate this kick ass hyphenated combo, shall we?
There is an absolute firmness to the term that is best served when applied beyond the slim spectrum of romance. So go bigger: non-negotiables are for life.
They are the “come at me bro” of goals. They don’t need to be particularly lofty, they don’t need to be countless, and they sure as hell don’t need to be compared to your best friend’s or your sister’s or your highly ambitious co-worker that is all about that hustle‘s. (If I never hear someone wax lyrical about the hustle again it will STILL be too soon.) But throwing non-negotiables at life insists that you have expectations and that you will not give up until they’re met.
My non-negotiables have been in flux for much of my twenties. The longer I spend in my twenties, and the more millennial hater articles I read, the more I feel that’s generally how it’s supposed to work. But I’m carving out what for me is a healthy chunk of them and now, in an effort to motivate others to do the same, I’m gonna throw them out into the void:
- Always find a reason to write.
- Enjoy my work.
- Surround myself with quality people, food, and stuff. Yeah, I said it. Stuff. Stuff is allowed to be important.
So, void, there you go. Don’t set goals. Set non-negotiables.