DO NOT SETTLE!!

I was talking to the cashier at the grocery store the other day, a senior in high school. I asked him if he was planning to go away for college next year. With a big sigh he tossed my bananas in a bag and said, “I really want to go to RIT but I don’t know if I can get in. My parents told me not to expect too much. There are a lot of people competing to get into a school like that.”

Seriously?!

“I would shoot for the Moon,” I said as calmly as I could, “and see where you land.”

His shocked eyes met mine. “Oh, I never do that,” he said, nervously looking away. “I pretty much never get my hopes up.”

Seriously?!

If I had never “gotten my hopes up” I wonder where I would be today? I am pretty sure I would not be married to my best friend, travel around the world like I do, be a self-published author with books that actually sell, or have such a good relationship with my children.

Although, to be honest, hope has nothing to do with it. Wishing has nothing to do with it. Luck has nothing to do with it. I just knew what I wanted, and I knew I could have it, and I was not going to settle for anything less.

If that sounds arrogant, I do not care. You can have it all too, and unless you know this for yourself, you will keep settling. The Universe wants for you what you want for yourself.

Here is the hard and fast rule to getting what you want; DON’T SETTLE! But, how do you know what you really want? Well, you want what’s good. We all do, and if it doesn’t feel good or right, it’s not. You want the thing that feels good and right.

Another hard and fast rule; If you’re trying to convince yourself that something or someone is good and right for you, or justify it in some way, it can’t work out for your highest good. It takes courage to know you can have more. It takes confidence. It takes losing things and people sometimes. It even takes patience.

Try, when trying is necessary. Take action when you need to. If you want to go to a particular school, against all odds, work to get your grades up, then apply. Know that you can.

But sometimes you need to wait for it, and be willing to give things up…

This is how I found my husband many years ago. After a string of bad relationships, and trying so hard to make each one work, I literally just stopped dating. I told myself I was going to wait until I met the person who would put me on a pedestal. Arrogant? Pretentious? So what. But it’s neither. It is LOVE FOR SELF to know what you can have. I didn’t care how long it took to find that pedestal, or the man who would put me on it, but I knew I wasn’t going to suffer with longing while I waited.

So, for the next six months I worked, went to school, did hobbies and spent time with my girlfriends. I had fun living, only thinking of myself and what I wanted to do to enrich my life each day. It was liberating! In the meantime I did not know who I was waiting for, I just knew I wanted him to be good. Better than good. Fabulous! And I knew the right person would find ME.

When he did, I got more than I could have ever imagined in this man who became my husband. He is of great QUALITY. He has integrity. He has honor. He is kind, loving, caring, and fun to be around. Not just to me, but to everyone he knows. During the 27 years we’ve been married we have had a life filled with more love, laughter and fun than I knew existed. But when things needed fixing between us (and sometimes they really did) we worked to fix them, mainly by fixing ourselves first, never wanting to settle for less than.

My daughter was confronted with what I now call this “life changing choice to have and be better” in her freshman year of college. For a whole year she tried to make the friends she was hanging out with “good friends” by being a good friend herself. But it never worked. One day she decided not to ignore the signs any longer and stopped hanging around with these people, cold turkey. She was alone for quite a while after that. She didn’t hide in her room or behind her family though. Instead, she made herself her own best friend. She took herself to the movies, out to eat, shopping. That was very brave, if you ask me. Some adults wouldn’t dare go to the movies by themselves, let alone a teenager! But she learned about herself, what she wanted and what she could have.

Today that woman’s life is filled with QUALITY people who are not only her best friends, but her soon-to-be family. I have never seen her so happy. Or so confident.

Recently she was told by more than one doctor that she would never be able to lose weight or have a baby because of some “designer diagnosis” she was given when she was sixteen. What did she do? She lost 40 lbs and got pregnant. Boom! And when they listed all the things that could go wrong with this baby in her first trimester she said to me, “Mom, I’m not going to let them scare me!” Guess what? They had to eat their words, because at her last sonogram they had to admit there were no risk factors at all.

In order to have what you want you have to be brave and DARE. Dare to know what you can have. Dare to BE the best version of yourself, in order to have the best version life has to offer.

If this sounds cliche’ I suggest you get over it. If you think this can’t be you, I suggest you get over that, too. If you’re afraid of change, I’ll leave you with this one last thing and then you can choose how you want your life to go; the things you lose in the process were never yours to begin with, and they never did serve you in quite the way you wanted them to, did they?

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