Micro-settling – What is it and why do we do it?

Micro-settling is the act of making small concessions not based on what we want, but what someone or something else wants.

In the short term, there is nothing wrong with micro-settling, and oftentimes it is the polite thing to do. Imagine being out with a group of friends, and you are craving a specific type of boneless buffalo wings. No one else in the group wants to go to the restaurant that serves these wings, however the general consensus is an American style restaurant that serves a kind of wing – just not the one you want. Not “settling” for this second choice wing would make you a doofus who was not socially well adjusted.

In the long run though, too much micro-settling will make you miserable. Alternatively, and even worse, a series of micro-settlements on important matters will lead you to a place or to be a person you hardly recognize. If you micro-settle on relationships, physical location, your finances, or your dreams, you will 100% become miserable. It may not manifest in the near future, but eventually the compounding micro-settlements will hit you in the face like a right hook from Tyson Fury.

Why do we micro-settle?

Safety. Comfort. Ease. None of which in small amounts are a bad thing. However, placing too much stock in these can have disastrous effects. See the graphic below.

These small decisions in and off themselves do not seem that bad. Until they accumulate and you’re not where you want to be. The graphic above shows this happening over three decisions. It will not be this quick. It is much more likely to be a series of 100 small decisions that make you wake up in a life you did not choose, and a life you do not like.

Often, the first micro-settlement that is made is our career or job. We take a position that is safe and pays the bills. It has upward mobility and great benefits. We enjoy the work most days and the company may have a nice vision that we can get behind. This is all ok. But, if it is not exactly what you want to be doing, it is a micro-settlement.

It is important to note however, that a micro-settlement at this stage does not mean you will not be living your ideal life. Plenty of people live fully and according to God’s plan for them in jobs or careers that may not be 100% of their passion.

It is important however to keep a long term view of what your ideal life is. You must remember that there are things and events that you are 100% in control of. Think about what it is that you want out of life and work for those things. Make decisions with the end in mind, and never take your eyes off the prize.

For the things out of your control, surrender them to God. He is more mighty and powerful than words can capture, so just trust that no matter how big the ask, He will listen, and He will provide what you need.

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