Perks Vs. Benefits

Author’s Note: A day late on the delivery, wasn’t feeling so good this week, sorry guys. As always, if you connect to what you read please Like and Share the post. Appreciate it!

Don’t settle.

A classic piece of advice that is easy to give but a lot harder to follow. Nobody wants to believe they are settling, whether it is for a job, a significant other, or a life. But the most common problem arises not in deciding whether or not to settle, but in knowing when you are settling.

So what are the symptoms to look for when trying to diagnose the settling affliction? First, is your gut feeling trying to tell you something? Our instincts are the most primal sense about us, picking up when things are going right or wrong often before we ourselves even get an inkling. It’s not an instinct you can fake – unlike our egos who can lie and placate our conscience to no end, letting us believe only what we want to – your guttural response is beyond selfish control. But it is definitely still in your best self interest.

You will know if you have been getting served those gut feelings, whether it be from pangs in the middle of the night, or a sudden clenching of the stomach, a momentary panic of the mind – your body will catch your attention when it is trying to tell you something. And you should pay that attention. Like a summons to attend jury duty, the matter doesn’t just disappear if you throw the order away, or feed it to the crack beneath your sofa. Indeed, the longer you wait to ignore the whole ordeal, the messier and more troublesome the whole thing will get. Don’t let it – listen to what your self is trying to tell you from the offset.

If you’ve seen the writing on the wall, and you’ve heeded the battle cries, you can tell that some part of your life is showing you signs of wear and tear. But now the question remains – is it mendable, or does the whole thing need to be shown out the door? Do you stick it out, or look for a change? In other words, are you settling? If this is something you feel stuck on, you are not alone. Welcome to the common conundrum keeping many folks up at night (and keeping Big Pharma’s pockets fatted with all the profits from their sleeping pills).

“Should I stay or should I go now?”                                                                                                                                                   – The Clash

We have come back to the main problem at hand, the art of knowing not if but when you are settling. The trouble arises when not all comparisons between choices are made equal, that is, when you compare one’s perks to another’s benefit. If you really want to make an informed decision, it’s time to separate the apples from the oranges, and figure out what is the real value of the two different forks in the road you are facing.

You want to make a change, or maybe just want to know your options, because you know that something is clearly not quite right with your current status quo. But when you start dipping your toes into the vast sea of choices, suddenly you start getting more than what you bargained for. First of all, don’t panic. It is easy to get knocked over by the tidal wave of choice, which can leave you sputtering and scrambling, swimming back to the safe shores of your current situation. Don’t be so hasty, first take a second look!

What we are frightened by, really, is the illusion of choice – too many kinds of jobs are out there, too many different people that can be dated – but there are not a lot really of either that are perfectly suited to youPut yourself in the equation before deciding to write the world off for being too vast, then resigning yourself to sticking with what you know. Because what you know does not equate to what is right for you, otherwise why would you be on this journey in the first place? You owe it to yourself to wade through some of that vast beyond in the name of discovering what is right for you, discovering what that something just might be.

So you’ve reconciled yourself with the parody of choice, and have settled on some potential prospects. Now comes the parade of second guesses. You start to eye your corporate expense account, or the amazing boss that you have who’s really more like a mentor and friend, or what about your colleagues? Those people who treat you like family, who make waking up each day and heading into those same tasks that you dread bearable, even fun! Everything we place ourselves a part of will always have some sort of enjoyable aspects, after all, if they didn’t we wouldn’t be staying in those situations for so long. Call it the perks of the job, of a relationship, of a way of life. But be careful, those seemingly cushy aspects may just as well pummel you as pamper you, making you feel special while distracting you from the real goal of actual fulfillment.

Think of going to a restaurant, imagine one place serves you a mediocre main meal but embellishes this with a host of mini side dishes – might still seem like a pretty good value right? Now imagine a second restaurant, who serves you a main meal that is perfectly tailored to your tastes, exactly what you have been craving for, fills your belly and your heart altogether at once. This meal does not come with all the extras attached, but are you really going to think of its value any less? Can those little sides even compare to the overall experience of having that perfect dish in your mouth?

The point is, don’t get sidetracked. All things in this life we find ourselves committed to will have its perks, but perks cannot compare to the real substance of what we do, the benefits – to ourselves, to the world, to others. If you are getting the inkling that somewhere in your life you are settling, do go forth and explore your options. Narrow them down and, when you inevitably have to compare your options, line up your comparisons by benefits only, leaving those things that bring something to your general happiness, sanity, and well-being. Now which option really sings?

Ignore the siren call of the perks – sure, travelling on the corporate dollar is great, but that will get old, and lonely, fast. Writing for stand-up because you have always wanted to be a comedian? You can bet your bottom dollar that will fulfill your heart more than air miles ever did. Besides, if you are reaching for something that you truly want – a dream job, dream partner, dream life – there’s no doubt that the perks coming along with that will beat out anything you could have previously imagined!



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