Have you ever been in a circumstance where you know you could do more, get more or be more of an asset and instead you decided it wasn’t worth the effort? I’m sure we all could think of some examples of this whether it was at work or home. Just the other day I was working on a project and I had been spending a fair amount of time on it over the last couple weeks. I was probably about 80% finished with it and realized that one of the core pieces to it needed to be formatted in a different way to make the rest of it flow properly. After looking at it for a while I found that it was going to take me about 10hrs of time behind a computer to ultimately correct this issue. I also realized that I could just leave it, most people wouldn’t know the difference and it would save me 10hrs of time. That was my decision…do what was right and what I know needed to be done or skate by with a half-ass product that would pass inspection by 98% of the people looking at it. It sounded really good to just let it slide. But I didn’t because I know that would have planted the seed for problems down the road with other decisions.
We are faced with these decisions every day. Do we tolerate subpar or not. It’s really easy to let things slide because its easier, more comfortable and what the majority of other people do. It’s “normal”. All of this stacks the cards against you to do the right thing. And once you settle for less than what is right or optimal it becomes even easier next time. It literally becomes a habit. It’s a habit that is hard to break. You start justifying it in your head every time. You start hanging around people who justify it for you as well. You start avoiding people who don’t. From there it’s a slippery slope to settling for a half-ass life as a whole.
Ultimately, being aware of your decisions you are making on a daily basis is the first step. Once you realize the small things create the big things then you can start to turn the ship. Something as simple as chasing your piece of trash that blew out of your car across the parking lot because it’s the right thing to do is a step. Do you just let it blow away and be someone else’ s problem because it’s “not a big deal” or do you own it and do what is right knowing that little seed changes your headspace for the bigger decisions yet to come. Things like being honest with people, not stepping out on your wife, approaching your work like you own the place even if you don’t. That piece of trash is no different than the rest of these decisions. It plants the seed and all the other decisions after that which do seem bigger and bigger are watering or reinforcing that decision. They build on each other.
Bottom line is this…when you start settling in your life you ultimately are saying to yourself that you aren’t worth any more than the level you settle at. Start setting the bar higher and you will get more out of yourself and out of life around you. If you are tired of being stuck where you are at stop settling in the little areas of life for less than excellence. What you accept is what you get period. So stop complaining about the decisions you’ve made to get the life you’ve created. Start small. Clean up your house.