It is about effort, attitude and willingness.
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Whether you liked him or not, it's hard to discount his achievements.
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I occasionally suffer from "bright shiny object" syndrome, or like a dog who suddenly veers off when he spots a squirrel. When I'm working on one thing, something else will grab my attention; I drop the thing I'm working on and jump to the other. I know that isn't efficient, yet I sometimes don't realize how distracted I have become.
I am urging you to stop settling, don't settle for the job that "pays" enough or gives you that "title" you want, because in the end it will only give short-term happiness. If we stop settling and start fighting for the job/lifestyle we want to invest our years with, we will then get a real sense of happiness and fulfillment.
This may come as a surprise: You are where you are today because of choices you made. In other words, you got yourself into this. You might be saying to yourself: It's not my fault that I'm underpaid, even though the work I do is really hard. Well, who chose that job? Who chose to keep it?