Whenever we settle for the mundane or the unacceptable, our inner light dims a little more. If we are not narcissistic, it turns out that we’re better than we realize. If we fully understood this, we probably would never settle for anything unacceptable. When we replace the word “settle”, in the preceding sentence, with the synonym, “accept”, this becomes crystal clear. Why would we accept anything that is unacceptable?
The truth is, we often do accept the unacceptable–the unacceptable acquaintances, the unacceptable circumstances, the unacceptable way of life, and so forth. Perhaps we place too much stock in society’s unreal opinions and fickle trend-setters. Perhaps we even base our identities upon popular notions of how others say we should believe and behave. The pressure to conform can warp our minds.
Even though one might be tempted to accept the mundane or the unacceptable, a small, nagging voice inside the head tries to warn against doing so. It doesn’t pay to ignore the conscience. After all, we might miss something important, or fulfilling, or glorious if we settle for less. Meantime, others tell us to be cautious, compromise our dreams, conform to the norm. They tempt us by saying nobody else has to know we settled for less.
The crux of the matter is exactly the fact that while nobody else may know we accepted the unacceptable; we will know. We will always know that we sacrificed our integrity for something of much lesser value. Yet, despite knowing this simple fact, each day, hundreds of people settle for far less than they deserve. So many of us accept living a mediocre, partial life.
This fact should not be a cause for mourning; it should be a wakeup call. Every person has enormous potential to live a life of integrity and satisfaction. We all have more personal resources than we’re aware of. When we uncover our unique aspects, the epiphany shows us that we are worth more than what we have previously settled for.
I’m not saying we should be distracted by unrealistic fantasies; but we are capable of far more than what our self-imposed limitations imply. Although we know our true limits and capabilities, we tend to either exaggerate or downplay this inner wisdom.
Part of living the good life entails shedding naiveté surrounding self-evaluations regarding our true worth. It’s wise to take time, now and then, to mindfully take a personal inventory of our skill-sets, interests, resources, time-frames, and allies. We can then be better judges of ourselves and our capabilities. When we locate our strengths and find ways to compensate for our weaknesses, we end up setting higher realistic standards for ourselves. Thus, the personal inventory informs what is acceptable, what is mediocre, and what is unacceptable.
When we truthfully know what is acceptable and fulfilling, we are less willing to accept the unacceptable. When we only accept the acceptable, we’ll be amazed at what we can accomplish in our lives.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes Major League Baseball Hall of Fame player, Reggie Jackson. “Once you realize how good you really are, you never settle for playing less than your best.”