Don't Get Used To This
Barely Getting By
Remember your first job, first apartment, and living paycheck
to paycheck? In the beginning, just being able to make rent
and survive in the real world feels like enough -- and it
is, until you learn that there is something more beyond merely
Even as a career matures and a certain level of financial
success is attained, there are events, crises, and circumstances
in life that can put you back in survival mode at any given
time. Sometimes it's necessary to be in that mode temporarily
because anything more is just too much to conceive of or work
toward until certain things are addressed and stabilized.
The danger over time, however, is to allow getting
by to become a way of life.
ago, a career counselor had me develop her version of a zero-based
budget. The purpose was to identify the amount you need
to earn in order to cover expenses and be "at zero"
vs. in the red. That's not the target, though, just your minimal
requirement. It's the place you start from, to have a handle
on what's necessary. Next, you increase that minimum requirement
by at least 10% to arrive at your target salary level. A
great rule of thumb, but do most people round up or round
down when calculating what's possible?
Perhaps money isn't your particular challenge. You might
be rounding down and settling for just enough by:
Working at a job that kills your spirit;
Feeling fatigued too often with low energy as your norm;
Accepting dullness or decline in your relationships;
Delaying the pursuit of what you want out of life.
Settling Isn't Gratitude
Why would anyone plan to just get by? A
few reasons, yet I can think of a rebuttal for each:
- Who am I to want more? There are so many people
worse off in the world. Yes, all the more reason
to become all you can and contribute all you
- Fear of failure, avoiding disappointment.
Risk is scary and failure is humbling. Regret over what
might have been is worse.
- I should just be grateful for what I have.
Yes, you should be! But raising the bar doesn't cancel gratitude.
In a culture of excess, it's good to realize what is enough.
The bigger house, the bigger job, and the flashier car aren't
always what they're cracked up to be. Making conscious choices
and having your priorities straight is a good thing. Settling
without even thinking about it is not. Settling by
default is a spirit-crushing, self-defeating, potential-robbing
bad habit. How's that for a description?
Plan For More
Get into the habit of aiming for 10% more. You might even
find you're ready to add twenty-five or fifty percent to that
minimum requirement. Expect more, ask for more, picture more,
and prepare for more. Do more to make it happen. The declaring
and the acting go hand in hand.
This Week's Call To Action:
- Notice where you're settling and make the decision
to go for more. When you name it for yourself,
even before anything changes, it's a defining moment. If
you haven't already done so, I invite you to download the
workbook I created for you: Make
This Your Defining Moment. It's my vision for each
and every one of you to sound
your internal trumpet and go for more!
"The biggest human temptation
in life is to settle for too little."
Here's to you,