Leadership: Don’t Settle for Something

Steve Jobs“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.” –  Steve Jobs

Keyword : Settling

One day I was talking to a client who was in job search mode. I asked about his prior career path, asking how it had measured up to his original dreams and hopes. His response stunned me.

“What path? There is no match.” he said. “Life got in the way. I was going to be an architect. School was completed and I was ready to launch. But my girl friend was pregnant and we decided to get married. I needed work immediately. I got a job at Sears. Thirty years later, I am still in retail.” (Some details changed to protect anonymity).

While I applaud this man’s commitment to life choices, his acceptance of work circumstances for the long haul troubles me. What do I mean? His first choice to just get a job was noble. But by accepting that career path year after year, he settled for something far less than his original plan.

As we talked more, it was apparent his acceptance of these choices led to a greater sense of dread and disappointment. He knew he was not doing something he believed he would have loved.

The point here is this. Settling in any situation leaves our greatest hopes and dreams unfulfilled. We settle for many reasons; most of which sound something like this:

  • I cannot wait any longer
  • I may not find a better deal
  • I am too _____________ (fill in the blank)
  • I need to do this this way
  • Others want me to go this way
  • Others are counting on me
  • It’s the way I’ve always done this

Have you settled for anything lately? See if there is another choice, a better choice.

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