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When we settle on Big Things (like our relationships/jobs)

Ramit Sethi

If you want to see how people have settled in life, read on.

“I settled for a passive/aggressive relationship…”

IWT reader who settled on their relationship with their mother

“I always wish I met more girls…”

IWT reader who settled on their girlfriend

“At first it seemed great… Now it’s SEVEN years later…”

IWT reader who settled on their job

First of all, let’s all stop and realize one thing: WE ALL SETTLE. It’s a normal part of life, and you’re not a freak for feeling guilty. There’s a difference between a delusional 21-year-old who thinks he’ll never have to settle…and someone who’s 30, 35, or even 50 who realizes life is about measured tradeoffs.

If you settle on certain things about your romantic partner — for example, you would prefer someone who loves your favorite music, but he doesn’t — BIG DEAL! I’m bopping my head to Bruce Hornsby right now. And you still love me.

But if you settle on the IMPORTANT parts of life — your partner’s values, your social group, your job — you’re in for a long, tough life.

Sounds simple, right? “Ramit, you’re basically saying, ‘settle on the little things but be uncompromising on the big things.’ DUH.”


“You should be lucky to have any job in this economy.”

“You should just settle for a nice guy. You’re too picky.”

“You look great now. Stop stressing about your workout.”

We’re going to tackle MANY different ways we settle this year…

…starting today with your JOB.

If you settle for a job that doesn’t challenge you:

  • You know the especially horrific feeling of waking up, looking at your alarm, and starting off your day dreading the next 8 hours. UGH.
  • Your skills are deteriorating every day since you’re not being challenged by learning new skills or meeting people who are at the top of their game. Think about that.
  • You spend more time at your job than with your family, your friends, and doing almost anything else. WHY would you settle for less than the best?

In other words, who else has looked across the office at the guy 30 years older than you — the guy who’s doing the exact same job as you right now — and dreaded the thought of doing the same job for the next thirty years?

It’s normal to settle for small things. It’s NOT acceptable to settle on the Big Wins in life.

Yet somewhere along the way, some of us got stuck. How do we find the job that challenges us, lets us express our creativity, and pays us the amount we deserve?

How do you find a dream job? Do you need more credentials/experience/degrees? What if you’re not even sure what your dream job IS?

These questions are so overwhelming that it’s easy to get stuck.

Not on my watch.

You can stop settling and actually have a job you love, where you’re respected and valued and paid accordingly.


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