Are you settling?

When was the last time you had a dream?

A deliberate daydream, to be exact. A dream fashioned purely from the pairing of ambition and imagination. A dream about surpassing your boss and being an industry heavyweight. One that is unfazed by car loan repayments and future home down-payments.

Perhaps you haven’t let go of those aspirations, but are you still steadfast in your beliefs? That you will succeed, whatever your definition of that coveted term may be. That you will persevere despite the odds, against the odds.

Or are you settling?

“The job industry is getting tighter.” “The economy is slowing down.” “Upper management doesn’t understand how I feel or help me towards my goals.” “I’m getting too old for this.” “I have responsibilities to my family and partner to fulfil.” “I’m too busy.” “Cost of living is increasing.”

Approaching the big 30, I’ve noticed many engaged or married couples at my age group starting to settle, becoming “realistic”. Money is exchanged for hours of their lives, which is exchanged for personal consumption, tiding over “bad weeks”. Long weekends would be worshipped, although Sunday nights would be painful revisits to decisions on quitting the current job.

Sooner or later, a baby will be make his/her into the world, alongside lost hours and money. “Maybe we shouldn’t have gotten the Mercedes, but we didn’t know nursery fees are so high!” “Better keep my job for the stability and be content with what I have.”

Whatever happened to your dreams? That youthful exuberance during university? That insatiable hunger to succeed? That determination to never just be a faceless cog in the behemoth that is your company?

Ah, success.

Easy on the lips, isn’t it?

Were you naive? Were you unrealistic? I would like to think not.

Success is never delivered on a silver platter, when you’re waking up on a late Sunday afternoon, post-Saturday night drinks. Not a single successful person was granted the status of immortality in his/her field by virtue of procrastinating, complaining or “settling”.

Ironically, there are many who were given the platform and tools for success, but appreciated them the least.

Want the key to success? Grit.

Work hard, but spend your hours wisely; work not for money, but for yourself and your skills. Work is never meant to be tiring, if you like what you do. Never be content with your current lifestyle. Never settle.

So, stay true to your dreams, and make strides only matched by hunger and ambition.

As a person whom I held high esteem for once said:

Stay hungry, stay foolish. – Steve Jobs


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