Don’t Settle for Less

This statement sounds like a cliche’ but I’m here to attest that when a person settles for less than their best, they will never know what possibilities they could have achieved. When China became one of the hot spots for our trade agreements, my mom refused to buy anything that was made in China. I always thought that since it was cheaper than it was a better deal until my mom reminded me that the quality that China produced often had to be replaced within a year or less. Standards and cost of living are very different there. Labor is paid much less than what we have in America and they have been able to mass-produce more for less. That doesn’t always mean that it’s better. It just means that it’s more. More abundance equals more availability to the public which also has translated into more money that is made off that production.

The protests and riots that have erupted with the death of George Floyd are another issues. The African American community is tired of being killed with no real consequences. It’s happened far too much and gone on for way too long. The outcry is defined by generations of men and women of all races to insist on recognizing #BlackLivesMatter. Some protests have been peaceful. Others have not. But the fact remains that this movement is a movement in the right direction. Why should the Black Community settle for less? They have every right to demand to be heard. Is it inconvenient for folks? Maybe. But the reality is that when movements have been too nice they don’t tend to make the same impact as those that have had incidents to incite change.

Look around you. Are you truly happy with your surroundings? Do you want a better life? If the answer is yes, then what can you do to ensure that you aren’t settling. There are people in my life right now that I have a strained relationship with. Part of that is my choosing and part of it is miscommunication that has occurred. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last few months, it’s that our lives are defined by the folks we surround ourselves with. I’ve had enough of folks who gave me whiplash in dealing with their mood swings. When COVID-19 approached, there was so much distortion. Many people were furloughed. Anxieties and depression ran rampant. Stores shut down while restaurants couldn’t allow dining in experiences. People were forced to change their habits. I don’t know about all of you but the last few months have allowed myself to re-evaluate what I want.

I want to help incite change in this world. I want to bring awareness to the fact that words and actions matter. I also want to continue to learn everything I can so that I can get out of a low entry management position and move into a more challenging venue. I want to bring joy to others and uplift their spirits. I don’t want drama. I want to see people treating each other as equals and accepting each other for who they are. The anger and bitterness that overtakes so many people is something that feeds off itself. When kindness, love, and generosity are spread, there is so much more to be gained. I don’t want to settle for less than the best I can do. The same is true for the relationships that I have with those close to me and those that I am not close with.

There’s a woman that I thought was my friend. She’s struggling with a lot of issues. She’s older. When I say older, she’s in her 60’s. She works part-time at a job and has a vast amount of life experience in various positions and careers. She truly knows her stuff but she isn’t respectful to others. She thinks she is. Yet, she tries to get others in trouble with our bosses, she spreads gossip like wildfire and helps feed drama to other employees. It’s exhausting dealing with the long drawn out conversations that have emerged. Over the last few months, it got me to thinking. I’m not getting any younger. Why do I want to settle on positions that keep people from exhibiting their true potential?

There are so many groups that have fought for equality and freedom. It’s almost too numerous to mention but the point is that those groups didn’t want to settle for less. They wanted the ability to live their lives the way they chose. Look at the LGBTQ community. Do you think they settled for less with their continuous fights for the right to marry? I can pretty much solidify the answer as no. They fought for what they believe in. In many ways, that’s what we all have to do. If we want a better life for ourselves, we have to fight for it. If we want a united country, we have to fight for it. Right now the divisions are stark. That doesn’t mean that we can’t find a way to heal but it’s going to take a while for that to happen and it’s also going to take a tremendous amount of love, forgiveness, and communication to begin so many rifts. The day we can’t communicate with each other is the day that we might as well acknowledge that there won’t be any room for negotiation with anything or anyone.

Life is complicated. We have to fight for the things that matter but in doing this, we prove that we don’t want to settle for less. There’s a lot of perfectionists in this world. There’s a reason that they can multitask and lead. They are focused, driven, organized, and able to recognize what can be improved. My hope for everyone is that you never settle for anything in this world. You don’t have to settle for a mediocre relationship. You don’t have to settle for the status quo. Make goals for yourself. Start networking. Keep an open mind. The more you plan, the better prepared you will be to obtain the things that you want. Be prepared for the unexpected. Start trying to save a little at a time. I’ve found that if I invest 10% of what I make and live off the other 90%, that I can start a little nest egg for the rainy days. Part of what every self help video and articles I’ve ever read says that it’s really important to discipline ourselves to make our dreams come true. If you are a couch potato when you come home, how do you expect to better yourself if you have no ambition? My point is simple. Believe in yourself. Give yourself the pep talks when you need them and recognize that you are a person of worth. This world can be cruel. But if you are willing to show compassion, kindness and growth, then you don’t have to settle for less because you will start to exhibit the best. That’s all anyone can ask. Give yourself a chance. You never know how far you can go if you don’t even try.

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