Right before graduating for graduate school I had a conversation with a peer. In a matter of weeks, we would become master level social workers. While many of our fellow peers wanted to continue and advance their careers by applying to a doctoral program or by becoming licensed on the clinical level she did not. Her exact words were, “I’m not interested in those things. I am content here career wise. I want to spend the rest of my life reaching for success in other areas.” Many tried to encourage and push her to advance but she made it clear that she was fine with where she was and was not complacent.
Hustle. Stay hungry. Endure the process. The messages that are constantly being jammed into millennials heads. The fear of getting too comfortable is real. And now that it is the end of the year I’m sure many of you are reflecting over the past year. I am reminiscing on this year’s accomplishments, failures, friendships, employment, school, good decisions, and bad decisions. And as the new year quickly approaches, resolutions to work harder, do better, and to improve and gain more are being set.
As I see the memes, Facebook statuses, tweets, YouTube channels and such I can’t help but notice how counterproductive these encouraging words can be. When I see words used out of context I get a little concerned. I’m concerned because I think many people, including myself at times, fear contentment, not necessarily complacency. Webster defines the word contentment as, “the state of being happy and satisfied.” Complacency is defined as, “a feeling of being satisfied with how things are and not wanting to try to make them better.” It’s not contentment or satisfaction that we should fear or avoid. Complacency or being satisfied with something that needs to be changed is something to be afraid of.
We all have different viewpoints and definitions of success and we shouldn’t be ashamed or bullied into achieving someone else’s definition of success. However, we shouldn’t give up on our dreams of success or settle because we have become complacent or satisfied with less than.
So, as you begin to set your goals and make your plans for the new year, I challenge you to take the time to reflect on who you are and what you want out of life and go for it. Don’t spend another year failing to keep resolutions that mean nothing to you. Or regretting the choices and route you’ve taken because it was something you never really wanted in the first place.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.” Henry David Thoreau
Whether you have that life now or you’re working towards it, live it and be content.
“I’m Just Saying..”