I am constantly amazed at how many people continually settle for what is instead of what can be. It actually boggles my mind at times. Just yesterday at a meeting, when talking about a Civic Engagement endeavor, someone said, “Sean, what you are looking for is a Cadillac and a Chevy will do.” No criticism to Chevy owners, I’ve got one. My response was, “a Cadillac would be nice, but what I am looking for is a Rolls Royce or Ferrari. And we can do it!”
Unfortunately, we see people settling more and more and it seems to be contagious resulting in settling on top of settling. The time is now folks! Let’s change the tide, turn the ship around, and carve a new path, a path where we are willing to compromise and at the same time unwilling to settle for anything less than the best that possibly can be. Our community, our state, our country and the world all depend on our ability to go for the best that can be and not to settle for anything less.
“Excellence can only be attained when you care more than others think is wise. When you are willing to risk more than others think is safe. When you dream more than others think is practical. And when you expect more than others think is possible.” Jim Gentil
Here is the challenge. When you settle for something less than what is possible the result is less than what you really desire. Settling can even have negative impacts that are totally unexpected. When you don’t settle you come closer to setting yourself up for success instead of failure. If you do fail, and we all do, take notes, think about what you learned, stand back up, dust yourself off and get back on that horse.
When you think about it for just a minute, why would anyone be willing to settle for less than what can be? Is it because the goal is too much work? Is it because they really don’t care? Is it because they would have to step up and put their ideals on the line? Is it because they might look bad in the public eye? Is it because they are empty inside? What is it?
Nothing of great historical importance has come from anyone who has settled. If ever there was a time in history to not to settle for anything but the best for all people, it is now.
“Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you have tried and failed in, but for what is still possible for you to do.” Pope John XXIII
America would not be an example of what is possible if our founding fathers had settled for the status quo of English rule. NASA would not have gotten the space shuttle back to earth if they had settled and left the small pieces of mesh hanging from the under belly of the spaceship. My mother would never have been able to have this non-traditional person educated if she had settled for me getting educated in the traditional school system. None of these people settled and it is my sincere hope that you won’t settle either.
So, what can you do to increase your ability not to settle in a time of so much settling? I have written and said it so many times before, “anything is possible, and when we believe it and live it, this thinking will manifest itself in everything that we do.” Ask questions like, “Why? How can we do better? Is there another way?” Keep asking questions until people begin to think differently. Offer up solutions, think-out-of-the-box. Never ever give up. Stay flexible and at the same time remain on task. Show what is possible by taking on the challenge. Take a risk. The biggest risk in accomplishing what you want in life is to not take a risk at all.
“Life is an adventure! Live it while you can. You can never have today again, tomorrow only comes once, and yesterday is gone forever. Make your choice wisely, then live the adventure you create.” Anonymous