My daughter, Brittany, loves life – full of fun, humor, and enthusiasm. In fact, even now in her mid-20s she still loves to build forts. You remember…when you were maybe 8 or 9 years old, building forts in any room in the house that had enough blankets, makeshift weights, and furniture to anchor things was a complete thrill! Some of you are wanting to get crackin’ right now.

On one particular day, she had just spent a bunch of time building quite the castle downstairs in our rec room. She was planning to surprise her boyfriend with her creation right about the time I came home. As I walked in the door, my wife told me that Brittany was both happy and sad for me to be home.  Happy because she loves me and sad because she knows me. What she knew is that the first thing I’d do upon coming home is work out, downstairs, likely with Tony Horton yelling at me through the TV, which is the very real estate upon which this fort was built. A classic win/lose or lose/win situation. Right? Not this time.

I went downstairs to inspect the creation, and it was awesome! Kind of wanted to skip the workout and hang out there with them both. Maybe not. I came upstairs and said – I’m working out AND the fort stays! Simple solution:  I modified my workout with similar results, but without Horton yelling at me. Heck, I can do that myself on occasion.  You might say I compromised, which isn’t really a win on my part, but I didn’t. I still accomplished my workout goal – same focus, different method, and got it done first thing – as planned.  Classic Win/Win - Stephen Covey’s 4th Habit in his classic 7 Habits book.

I know it’s a silly example, but a real one. And it goes to show that there is often a third option when we are willing to explore. Not every winner has a loser and not every loser has a winner.  That’s a false paradigm.  We can both win and do it without compromise.

Now go get your kids and built a fabulous fort. Doesn’t matter how old they are!