Saturday, July 4, 2009

Don’t Settle for Mediocrity….Be Extraordinary

Along the way, we settle,” began Seth Godin’s post. And I thought about this, along the way sometimes we do settle. We settle in relationships and we settle in jobs. In relationships we just don’t want to be lonely….in jobs we just need to make some money.

The personal development books will tell you, you don’t have to settle and any motivational speaker worth his/her salt will tell you the same. But then you take a step back and look at your life and wonder “Gosh, how do they really expect me not to settle? These are just easy words; they don’t have to live my life.”

And you know what, that’s true…they don’t have to live your life. But I’m going to throw my hat in the ring and also say settling is bad. I’m a realist although if you met me you’d probably think I’m a naïve optimist :-). I want everything to be amazing but I recognize things aren’t always so simple for everyone in the world so giving up-in-the-air solutions is a sure-fire way for people to turn away….I’ve seen people lose their faith because they aren’t given practical solutions beyond “Trust in God”.

And I trust in God but sometimes when dealing with real issues you need a lot more than those words.

Let’s take a look at jobs. Sometimes you do have to settle for a job which isn’t ideal because without it you might not be able to repay student loans or support your family. However that job doesn’t have to be the end of the line; there may be skills you can glean that help you get to where you want to go. There may be connections you can make. Don’t look at the situation with a closed mind; view it as a stepping stone to getting you where you want to go.

Relationships are a little bit more tricky…it’s obviously completely unfair to be using someone as a stepping stone to someone else. But with these I’d have to recommend that settling is not an option. If you know what you want and what makes you happy then you deserve nothing less and anything less will make you unhappy. Of course you shouldn’t have a laundry list of things that need to be checked off…people are only human remember!! But I’m sure there are some key traits you don’t want to compromise on. So don’t…..and these key things are usually better as character traits instead of superficial qualities.

So what makes me qualified at just 26 years of age to be speaking such things? Let’s say I’ve been there and done that. Settling never makes you happy.