Dealing with Strife – Part 1

Keep Every form of STRIFE from your life.

Strife is not really a familiar word in the modern vocabulary.

It seems like strife has been anesthetized by more contemporary HR terminology such as conflict resolution strategies, equality for all, and team dynamics.

However, strife is prevalent in many families, friendships, and businesses.

Best intentions, best practices, and policies & procedures provide guidelines for dealing with conflict. But what do we have in our toolkit to prevent it? 


So let's jog our memory and rediscover the true meaning of Strife...

Strife = angry or bitter disagreement over fundamental issues.

Synonyms = conflict, friction, discord, disagreement, dissension, disputes, arguments, bickering, animosity, gossip, bad blood, disharmony, and a falling out. 

So, have you noticed any STRIFE in your life? 


The opposite or antonym of strife is 3 simple words 

  • Harmony
  • Peace
  • Cooperation

Who’s up for that?

So, why does strife appear so often in all our relationships both personal and professional?

This is mainly because of the following reasons...



Sometimes we have to compromise too far. We can compromise to a level we feel happy to live with, and then we can compromise to a place we feel pressured to live in but don’t want to be. This pressure is often to make someone else’s life more comfortable or easy but our life has become more stressful and uneasy. Though, with too much compromise we can get to a point where we are no longer living in a 'Win-Win' scenario; we are now living in a 'Win-Lose' scenario of life. We have moved to the losing side of the Eustress equation.

If we compromise to a level we are not happy to live with, we will soon begin to resent this decision. Pretty soon we will begin to create strife with others because we are no longer happy or living settled and congruent with what we want, need or desire. We live compromised through unhealthy compromise. Therefore, if the goalposts have moved too far in your relationship with a family member or work colleague and you no longer understand what you are aiming at, you need to reconnect and communicate a healthy 'Win-win' compromise with the other person.

Proactive intervention with others will always be better than avoidance. As mentioned a couple of weeks ago “Avoidance is a really ugly dance.”

Silence does not mean compliance.

If you are currently silent about a compromise you have made, but on the inside, it is gnawing away at you, then you need a healthy way to restore 'Eustress' to your life, and using Strife is not your best avenue. Strife will only amplify a problem not solve it.

Focus on what it will take to bring 'Harmony, Peace, and Cooperation' and then design your communication intentionally, to achieve your preferred outcome, and create a 'Moving Forward Plan.' When we live down to life rather than up to the potential we can lower our standards.

If what we once stood for has been eroded by resistance internally and externally it can create a race to the bottom.



When we live down to life rather than up to the potential we can lower our standards. If what we once stood for has been eroded by resistance internally and externally it can create a race to the bottom.

If we don’t stand for something we will fall for anything.

When we set our goals for standards to the lowest common denominator, it's because we feel like we need to be 'Inclusive' so everyone can fit in. In this process, we erode values, morals, ethics, and standards. The reality of creating a successful community, family or business and moving forward to discover the maximum potential of a group of people, is a common goal or vision. Without vision, people will be 'Casting off restraints'.

So, conversely, what would happen when people have an 'Inspirational Vision' they are deeply connected to and together each person is focusing not just on what they want but what will be a benefit to everyone. Who will be a beneficiary of this vision being accomplished? 



Our Vision is what aligns our decisions toward creating great outcomes. Inspiration is a key ingredient to people enjoying the discipline they live under rather than resenting it.

If we ENCOURAGE people, we in turn receive back - Excitement, Enthusiasm and Engagement.

If we FORCE people, we might find we are met with Resistance, Reluctance and Resentment.

Proactive living, and Planning a life you really want to live in, is up to you. It is about setting a 'bar height' that stretches, challenges, and matures you and your team. It is also using goals for motivation, amelioration, and positive change. And choosing change advocates so you are not doing it alone.

The future we embrace is directly connected to a vision we carry of a preferred future we want to find ourselves in, and our perceived ability to achieve it.

We will have to move from the familiar, complacency, and comfort zone to live up to standards that refocus our family and team towards what they could be. Our Complacency and our Comfort Zone are the seedbeds of strife. Most people who have become comfortable in life resist change. When people have become comfortable on their couch, vision has just left them behind and left the room. When people try to protect their comfort, strife emerges from their trying to protect the status quo. The one constant of healthy living is growth and change.

While this may sound like a paradox it isn’t because Proactivity + Growth + Amelioration = Health and Vitality.


If you really want to Planalife you want to live, through a Business On Purpose, you will have to minimize Strife and maximize Peace, Harmony, and Cooperation.

Thinking through Compromise, Standards, and Vision is part one of this 2 part series.

Next week we will look at what it means to be a Peacemaker. How important it is to have focus and be moving forward? Finally, how to have Data Collection Points, Regular Updates and Course Corrections, Dashboard Checks, and Change Management Plans. 


Have a great week and remember, 'Something Changes when Something Changes'.

What's the first something you need to change?

Have a great week… Ian

Image of the words that say 'Start making changes'


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At PLANALIFE we help people navigate the integration of a Business and Life plan that will dovetail with marriage and family to help our clients find the very best from a balanced life.
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