Have you ever settled for something? Your job? Your relationship? Your self development?
When you were 22, just out of school, would you have imagined you'd be working where you are today? What did you dream your job or business would be 10, 15, 20 years later? Did you settle? Why?
May be you’ve settled with the belief that the world is a bad place, “Everyone only cares about himself”
May be you settled with the belief that you can’t survive without your current job.
Or that you don’t have the qualities to run a business
Everyone one of us had at some point settled for one thing or the other.
It's natural to settle for certain things.
Guess what? I don't care about discovering the best restaurant in Lagos; so I'll settle for this Calabar woman’s Place for now… until I tie the knots.
…But there is a risk attached with settling for the important things in life.
Settling that leaves you with comments like, "Ugh, why did I stay in that relationship for so long?" Or, "If I had just quit that job 2 years ago, I would have been in a WAY better place." You ever talk to someone who's in their 50s or 60s? By that time, the thing they "settled" for has crystallized into regret.
A from the Pinewood caterpillars...
A particular specie of caterpillars, travel in long procession, head to tail with each other.
To study their behavior, an entomologist placed these insects on the rim of a flowerpot so that they form a circle; No head no tail.
Then placed their favorite food in the middle… and withdrew to observe them.
Each caterpillar meekly followed the one ahead thinking and settling with the assumption that the one ahead of it is heading for the food.
Round and round went these insects for seven days and seven nights, until they began to drop died from exhaustion and starvation.
Poor, pitiful but silly creatures; all they had to do was to stop the senseless circling and just head towards the food.
But the question was, “who is going to take the lead?”
What will they say when I don’t settle like the others? I don’t want to look odd.
The word "settle" is a totally loaded term in our culture.
But there is something that happens when human beings settle for things that matters in life…
…growth is impeded, the spirit dampens down, priority is misplaced and dreams are forgotten.
We begin to go in circles with other settlers like those caterpillars; each thinking the other knows where he/she is going.
Then followed by exhaustion, lost hope, anxiety and slow death of the human spirit…
Each time you settle, you are simply telling yourself, “I’m done. This is how far I can go.”
One last story
Some years ago, my business was generating sizable profit on weekly basis. According to a salary survey by jobberman in 2012, I was earning a lot more than 87% of employees in Nigeria.
Then I began to settle. The more I tried to remind myself that I need to go beyond this, the more I procrastinated. After all, I was comfortable.
I woke up one day to realize that the revenue from my business had dropped by 90%. Which means that if I was earning N10,000 before, I was now making N1,000.
It was as if I was standing on a stage; the flashlight focused on me, with the audience watching. Beside me stood my dance partner called, Reality. I had no choice but to dance to the finish.
I had to pay my team members salaries.
How would I take care of my bills?
How would I recover from this lose?
My bank account was taking a steep dive. More expenses than income…
Then, I began to recall how I started with absolutely nothing. No job, no money.
How I would never take No for an answer until I got what I wanted. How I would venture into any business no matter the limitations that presented itself?
How I worked as a construction engineer, real estate agent, sale person, etc almost at the same time.
How I wrote 86-page book with my Nokia 3230 phone (because I had no laptop), gave the book away for free and used it to build my online publishing business.
At that point I asked myself, “How did I end up settling?”, “How?”
I had to pick myself back up and this time, resolve to take a regular medication called Settlers Immunoxide; whatever that means.
You see, money is nothing if it’s not working for you or improving the lives of people.
Sometimes, what you need to realize how bad your decision to settle is, is a hard push from the back.
But you don’t have to wait for that to happen to you.
Don’t settle. Aim for more knowledge, more income and more happiness. Above all, more knowledge of your Maker…
P.S. Settlers Immunoxide? Yes! It's my antidote for settling. Don't bother going to the Pharmaceutical Store. You wouldn't find it.