July 5, 2012

Why Do We Settle for Less? ~ Greer Van Dyck

I have been thinking about people and their ability to settle for being less than totally satisfied with any given situation—

People who unwilling to make themselves vulnerable and uncomfortable for the sake of coming out on the other end potentially happier.

This seeps into many of life’s arenas. For example, a woman finds herself deeply submerged 10 years into a marriage with three children, and is absolutely unable to bring herself out of the misery that she embodies and has embodied since the beginning for one of many reasons: she never developed her own skill set separate from the life of her husband and family and being the caretaker, she is afraid of raising the children on her own, she doesn’t believe she can support herself and her children financially, the list goes on.

Think about that as a life. And that isn’t an uncommon story. So many people find themselves deeply unhappy, longing for a much different life, but stay because of the “easy factor.”

Or take the man doing the 9-5 job every day. He has been working in the same back office cubicle, 40 hours a week, with the same routine and the same motion. He wakes up every morning, dreading the alarm, making that commute, returning home to a wife or empty home, makes it an early night, and repeats the routine for 40 years.

Then comes this realization as he is retiring: I have just dedicated my entire life’s work to an expected routine, an expected grind without exploring so many of the world’s opportunities because I was willing to settle for what I felt was expected.

Or take a friendship.

You find yourself being taken advantage of by a friend. He or she doesn’t necessarily do it intentionally, but you find yourself a victim of their lack of accountability (been there), being subject to relentless negativity (been there), been the nurturer in the relationship but never the nurtured (been there), there are so many aspects of a friendship where there can be “well intended selfishness.” And there you find yourself, staying afloat in relationships because you have never had them out of your life, and can’t imagine them not part of your world.

So obviously, through the winding paths of this existence, there can be many circumstances where you can settle. Settling isn’t always a bad thing, but I feel as though it is detrimental when you find yourself marinating in regret—stewing over in your mind the reasons for why you turned left instead of right, why you chose to stay rather than go.

Lesson of the week:

Don’t settle if you feel your heart searching for a greater truth. Don’t be afraid of the vulnerability of the unknown. Know that you will find your course, but the course doesn’t always come to you. Be the seeker. Don’t be wrapped up in expectation. Don’t choose a life course because it is something others want for you. Don’t settle for anything that causes you to be less than happy.


Editor: Ryan Pinkard
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