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15 Little Life Hacks

When did you get used to settling?

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Who here has settled for something? Your job? Been taken advantage of when you bought a car?

Your husband or wife?

The word “settle” is a totally loaded term in our culture.

For example, how many women have friends who say, “Don’t settle! It’s better to be alone than to be unhappy with someone.” We accept that as true…but can anyone identify the invisible scripts in that advice?

We settle for a job. When you were 22, just out of school, would you have imagined you’d be working where you are today? What did you dream your job would be 10, 15, 20 years later? Did you settle? Why?

We settle on our health. (“I could never look like that…plus I really love pasta, ugh.”)

Don’t BS me. We’ve ALL settled.

It’s natural to settle for certain things. Guess what? I don’t care about finding the world’s best soap, so I’ll settle for the one on sale at the store.

But I HATE settling for the important things in life.

I HATE the idea of looking back and realizing — “Ugh, why did I stay in that relationship for so long?” Or, “If I had just quit that job 2 years ago, I would have been in a WAY better place.” You ever talk to someone who’s in their 50s or 60s? By that time, the thing they “settled” for has petrified into regret.

I won’t allow that to happen to you.

So today, we’re talking about settling. And later this week, I’m going to show you how to tackle one of those Big Win areas of life so you AREN’T settling any more.

TODAY: Tell me one area of your life where you’ve settled. It could be as minor as that so-so restaurant (“The line was too long at the place I really wanted to go to”) or as huge as the person you married.

I want to hear your story. Tell me about:

  • Something in your life that you’ve settled with.
  • Why do you think you’ve settled?

Let me know in the comments below.

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  1. Frank Q. Rious Link to this comment

    I’ve partly made peace with procrastination.

    It’s so hard to be something I’m not. But at the same time it hurts to admit I can overcome procrastination only partly and only in the most important areas of life.

  2. I’ve settled in saving a large portion of my income for the year 2014. I do save a portion of my earnings the past few years, but I think it’s not enough, that’s why I decided to save a larger portion of my income.

    Another reason, I’m planning to get married next year. I think it’s a great decision for me and it will be of great help supporting the expenses for that wonderful day.

  3. I have settled with the fact that there’s no significant other in my life for the last five or so years (and I’m still in my mid-20s, lol).

    The problem is that after settling, it’s even waaay harder to step out of the comfort zone and start doing the necessary things that seem unnatural/weird and completely overwhelming at first.

  4. Very important topic you’ve raised today about settling. And I’d like to take it a bit further, if I may…

    Where is the thin line between not settling and not being grateful for what we have? Yes, it’s true that we very often settle out of fear, but many of us simply don’t appreciate things, take them for granted, and all the time want more and more. So how to recognize that we’ve settled and we really can do more, and that it’s not yet another aspect of our lives where we chase up illusions or ideas that are simply too perfect to be real?

    We, people, have that drive that makes us want more, do things faster and better all the time. And overall it’s great as we wouldn’t be where we are without it. But taken to the extreme, it can make us really unhappy. On the other hand, settling doesn’t make us happy either so how to find the right balance between the two ends of unhappiness?

    • Damn, I just have to say this is a great comment. It’s so easy to get caught up in the ideal and not be grateful for the things we’ve accomplished or the people that we’ve met.

  5. I had kids young, so I settled with going to school for something I didn’t really want to because it was easier and time-wise worked better for my family. I worry about regretting it in the future.

  6. I’ve settled with my business income. I make a lot and instead of trying to figure out how to become a million dollar business am happy with where I’m at. Also I seem to have settled being a size 36 instead of 32 which is about 15 pounds difference.

  7. I’ve settled on my laziness. I keep finding excuses for my laziness. All I want is to learn programming and I dream of a job in the greatest tech company in the world, and yet I don’t learn to program. I just got a job as a trainee in a company without pay for three months.
    Or, maybe I fear too much to take a step. I want to combine my talents to achieve my dream job.

  8. Personally, I have been fortunate in that I don’t feel like I’ve had a lot of situations in which I’ve settled (outside of trivial things like what kind of soap to buy or what movie to get from Redbox). I’ve certainly had days where I FELT like I settled in my relationship or in my career, but then a week later I get reminded that I’m actually the lucky one. Jobs and relationships have a lot of ebb and flow in them.

    When we first started dating, my wife was WAY out of my league (I was the reacher, she was the settler). Life happened and some days it feels like the tables have turned (roles reversed), however I’m sure in another few years it’s going to feel like the opposite again. Job can be the same way. I switched paths a few years ago and took a 25% pay cut. Some days that sucks, but then I remember the flexibility and freedom I have now, and I remember how lucky I am.

    All you can do is spend each day working hard to make other people feel like they’re lucky to have you around. Make them absolutely sure that they aren’t settling for you.

  9. I’ve settled for not making enough money…hardly any by my area’s standards. I fixated on jobs that would let me work from anywhere because I wanted to travel and later got a girlfriend that I lived with in London and Sydney. But I ended up making next to nothing because deep down I didn’t think I could or that I deserved it. Now she’s gone, I’m back in the US, and I think I’m ready to stop running from my need to make more. I’ve made progress but I’m not where I want to be yet.

  10. If I could recall the most recent time I have settled for anything would be at a local coffee shop. My barista made me one of her special inventions that she was really proud of, but man! It tasted so horrible. I didn’t bother to ask for a remake because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. She did ask me if I liked it, and I didn’t want to be mean so I just downed the coffee like a King.