For a long time, and I mean a very, very long time, I thought that having unrealistic standards was a very stupid thing to do because I’d end up hurting myself a lot, and hey what do you know? I did. I really did. I thought I should just settle for whatever comes ‘pretty close’ and, well, let’s just say that it wasn’t the best decision I ever made because I had to compromise all the time, and I couldn’t help but think that something was missing all the damn time. It did not feel real. I didn’t feel alive.
But, you know, the problem with always settling for ‘pretty damn close’ is that it can’t ever make you happy. This isn’t about trying to ‘make do’ with what you’ve got. I’m sure it applies to a lot of things in life, but sometimes, this ‘make do’ attitude just doesn’t work because you just have to do whatever you can to get to where you truly want to be. Thinking about it, I don’t think I would have been here today, typing away, listening to music, if I had just caved under the pressure to settle for engineering instead of writing.
Funny how that worked out, right? I had to put my foot down and say ‘Hell, no!’ so that I could pursue Arts and try to make a living out of writing. It’s not an easy road. It’s certainly not one that anybody in my family has ever done. Then again, I have always been different and I’ve come to embrace that because it’s nice to stand out and have a different perspective. If I had settled for what seemed like a ‘realistic’ option back then, I wouldn’t be where I am today and the very thought terrifies me.
In fact, I can only ever think of all the good that has happened to me every single time I’ve refused to knock my standards down a notch. Whether it’s about my friendships, relationships, career choices, right down to the most trivial things in my life, I’ve learned over time to never just settle because life’s too short to have things that just ‘cut it close’ instead of having the real thing. You can try convincing yourself all you like, but in the end, you’ll always think about what ‘could have been’ and how things would have turned out differently otherwise.
What I’m trying to tell you here is to never lower your standards. Not even if it hurts to spend some time looking for what you want. It might not feel like it’s worth it, but believe me, the feeling of having exactly what you wanted instead of always feeling like you fell an inch or two short is pretty amazing! It’s also very addicting. You’ll never want to go back to just settling for things anymore. Yes, we’ll have to work harder to meet our standards. But in the end, it’s always going to be you living your life.
Nobody can live your life for you, keep that in mind. We might let ourselves ignore things that do really matter to us just so that we can go back to pretending as though everything is fine, but that’s not how it works. Either you want it and you’ll do everything in your power to get it, or you don’t because your heart’s not in it. That’s one of the more important ideas that I’ve stood by for a while now and it has turned out to be an amazing decision.
If you don’t see it right now, you will someday. I promise you that. Just keep in mind that you don’t have to lower your standards, no matter what. Especially when it comes to the more important things in life.
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