Often, we are faced with situations and opportunities where we can either stretch—go out of our way to do our best and strive to deliver a 100% or just settle with doing the basic-acceptable thing.
But stretch or settle – is that even a choice?
We’ve all grown up learning that we should always give our all to whatever we do.
When we don’t give our 100% to every situation, are we not letting others down?
What if we miss opportunities when we decide to settle, and not stretch to our limits?
Suppose we don’t stretch; will it help us to give more of ourselves to a bigger priority?
How happy are we with making this choice?
Are we ready to deal with the consequences?
The simple answer to all these questions is yes, you have a choice.
In reality, it is absolutely critical to identify our priorities.
When we do this, we are aware when to stretch, when to settle. Not all situations need us to pour all our energies into them. One of my favorite examples is the 80-20 rule—in my freelance writing work, I often deal with clients that suck 80% of my energy while making only 20% of my income. If I am wise, I will find a way to balance that with work that is not more enjoyable.
Identifying priorities also helps us recognize what we are passionate about, what we enjoy doing, so we can channel our energies there.
We also see what is worth fighting for, where we can grow.
Reflect: would you waste your energy over a negative comment to the point where it paralyzes you and interrupts your routine significantly? I hope you said no. So, no stretching there.
When you have your priorities in order, you also identify where you can grow, and how stretching can make a difference, both for you and for others.
Here’s something more to reflect on:
- What stretches you?
- When do you feel okay with settling?
- How does it feel when you do what is expected of you?
- When does it hurt?
- Are there situations in your life right now where you are undecided how to react? List them. Try and categorize them into stretch or settle response.
How does it feel?
Some things are worth the stretch marks. Others are not.
And whatever you choose–stretch or settle–remember to enjoy the process.
You can tell this kid in the picture is pretty focused and won’t settle until she stretches, right?
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#WednesdayWisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of stories, quotes, anecdotes, and humor.