This quote reminds me of the many people who do end up "settling for less" in their lives, and I must include myself here. Because of poor choices, bad decisions, and the layout of life's cards for me, because of those things, I "settled for less" - or thought I did. Hindsight is 20/20, and nothing can change our past. Even though I may not understand, at the time, I do believe everything happens, for a reason. There are lessons to be learned, if we only observe and listen.
Nearly everyone I know can remember a "passion" they had as a child - something they "knew" they were destined to do. I don't recall ever having that ... however, I do recall having so many interests that I could never "hone" in on who or what I wanted to be "when I grew up". A few things that impacted my life early on were writing, music, dance, photography, and art. Back then, it was ingrained in us that those were all things that a person can't "live on" ... you did those things as a "hobby", not as a living, to survive. I was never able to have lessons, but those things have been a "constant" in my life, on some level. These things were a comfort, a way to escape the harsh realities of life.
I'm over 60, and still pondering that very question. I wanted things that were "intangible", or so it seemed. For instance, perhaps from being a child of a broken home, I wanted to be a "peacemaker" so people would stop fighting - in their homes, on the streets, and around the world. It's no wonder I was an activist and protester during the '60s and '70s. And, how do you "teach" someone not to hate, or not to think you're better than someone else, or how to be satisfied with "what God gave you" (so to speak). Vanity is so overrated, a whole other story. Or how do you teach someone not to not judge others, or how sometimes we need to "do what's right" and not do "what we want" for self-gratification, or the high cost of self-centeredness, envy, greed, or desire for power? As a child, those were the things I saw going on all around me, by adults, government, and society. Of course I, too, am guility of some of those very actions and feelings throughout my life - even knowing they have a price.
I'm not "papered" ... no college degree ... but somewhere in the mixture of all those philosophical meanderings and moving about, I came closer to discovering my little niche' in life. After leaving my "hippie" lifestylings in California and returning to my home state of Iowa, my job search took me to an ad by the Omaha World-Herald. They were on strike at the time, and I needed work. Yes, I became one of those ill-gotten "scabs" that crossed the picket line, for months, until the strikes were over. Yes, still a rebel at heart, but more because I wanted to be independent and on my own. This action changed my life. From the time I crossed that picket line, I knew that I'd finally found a way into the world of advertising ... graphic design, writing, and photography. It didn't begin there. It began as with any new position, by proving myself with excellent typing skills, high accuracy, excellent proofreading abilities ... all those things opened more doors, eventually.
The most interesting about all of this ... I'm a poor reader. My retention skills are weak, hence my preference for non-fiction, and enjoyment of reading short things, with impact - such as all the quips, quotes, and words of wisdom I post regularly. My school report cards prove my point. Anything having to do with "English" i.e. sentence structure, spelling, words (vocabulary), penmanship, or grammar, my grades were A to B- ... reading, and book reports ... D- to F!!!! I still constantly struggle with it, but continue to force myself to read (although I have to admit I still pick up "short" stuff first).
In spite of this handicap, I'm proud of myself and thankful to my mentors, for being able to have earned myself the titles of news reporter, editor, and photographer ... as they say, "I did it my way." The only thing that could make it better would be adding music and art to my accomplishments, again, doing it "my way". I'm still a slow learner, but pray I live long enough to attempt them both! And, my life goes on ...
"Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure."
~George E. Woodberry
"Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor." ~Truman Capote
"The trouble with using experience as a guide is that the final exam often comes first and then the lesson." ~Author Unknown
"There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience, and that is not learning from experience." ~Laurence J. Peter
"It is the old experience that a rude instrument in the hand of a master craftsman will achieve more than the finest tool wielded by the uninspired journeyman." ~Karl Pearson