It’s human nature to constantly want more out of life: a better car, a new job, more money, etc. Striving to get these things shows courage and determination - never settling and to reach for more success. What I find very interesting, however, is the difference between settling and being content with what you have.
Settling is considered a negative term – it implies that you have given up and will make do with where you are in life. However, being content does not imply the same thing. For example, before becoming a cake decorator, I was working as a waitress. While working at this job, I strived to be better, to find a better job and to make more money. Eventually, I was promoted to manager. Once in this position, I was very happy with my work – I was making good money and I liked the people I worked with. But the people around me were constantly asking me, “when are you going to get a better job?”. This question would always upset me – I was happy with where I was at the time but was made to feel ashamed for being content. I will admit, it wasn’t the most glamorous job: I would have to clean up after people and would work late hours, but I enjoyed it. If this job was making me happy and was paying the bills, why was I made to feel embarrassed by others? I eventually concluded that being content does mean settling. I was happy where I was at the time and therefore appreciated what I had. From there on I adopted the philosophy that success shouldn’t be measured by power, wealth, or status, but by happiness.
I eventually moved on from my manager job, but not out of embarrassment, I left once I decided that it wasn’t for me anymore. From there on I strived for something else but kept my philosophy that my happiness should be my number one concern when measuring success.
However, this can be a slippery slope. While I do maintain that if you are happy, then you shouldn’t feel the need to reach for something better, but you should never settle. The difference between being content and settling is that being content means you are satisfied, while settling means you are accepting a life of being unsatisfied. If you are unsatisfied with your personal or work life, then that isn’t being content. While in this situation, it is important to strive for something bigger and brighter. For example, if I had stayed with the waitressing job, I would be financially unstable and unsatisfied with my professional life. My want to find something better led me to the manager job that I enjoyed so much. Determination for success is an important trait to have if you remember to strive for happiness and not just wealth and power.
Overall, determination is a powerful personal trait that can lead you to bigger and brighter things. But, be sure to let your own will fuel your determination, and not base your success on what other people deem it to be.
1 : It’s human nature to constantly want to grow and get more out of life
2 : Success shouldn’t be measured by power, wealth, or status, but by happiness
3 : You should determine what happiness means to you and not base it on what other people deem it to beCategory: Values / Subcategory: Growth
Tags: settling, being content, happiness, success, courage, power, wealth, status, philosophy, satisfied, unsatisfied, determination, will power