Realizing that you are a young adult means taking responsibility for your own happiness. When I was a little boy it did not occur to me that happiness is inside of you- in your mind and spirit. You can have everything in the world but if your mind is not happy, no object in the world can change that. Every toy in front of me and every game console I owned meant nothing as I always wanted more because I did not understand the principles behind my parent's purchases for us. This is one instance of me not settling for less but not being happy for what I have. Later on in life, I learned the value of values which is to be happy for what you have and not settling for less. Not settling means being happy for what you have but also knowing there are better options out there that you deserve. This requires understanding the value of your own work connected through life experiences.
The quote itself sounds obnoxious and condescending. How can you be happy but not settle at the same time? If you are happy, aren't you settled for that moment? Everyone has a purpose in life and we are all trying to work towards it. Being happy means enjoying the current moment for its essence. In the case of my younger self, being happy should have meant appreciating the luxuries that my parents bought for me since they did not have any of that growing up. The principles behind their motivation to buy was, and still is, our happiness.
Working hard day in and day out brings on great amounts of stress and negativity. We cannnot get away from work but we can choose to be happy in the present moment while working towards our purpose. It is a balance that requires refinement over time. As a young adult, the principles of the value of values is more important than ever. Sometimes we truly are just not happy with our jobs. That is fine. We can work towards something greater but cannot forget to actually live life. That means genuinely enjoying the moments like when your best freinds gets married instead of focusing your mind on your job or career.
To live as a young adult means putting meaning into every action you take. Once you understand that, happiness becomes a product of your values allowing you to understand the work it takes to not settle for less. You have to obtain what you have rightfully worked towards. Connecting this back to your life experiences, you gain greater insight on what motivates you to be happy.