We have this assumption that people "settle" for less than what they could have. The reality is if someone really (believes) they can have better they will do better. We are always where we (choose) to be.
Cost VS Rewards
If I presented you two cars in a parking lot and told you that you could have either one of them. Car (a) is a 2014 brand new Audi 6 and car (b) is a rusted out 1972 Ford Gremlin, odds are you would choose the new car.
However if I told you that you had to run a marathon in order to get the new car or you could simply take the old car right now; Depending on how you feel about the "cost versus reward" you might choose the old car or even (decide) to go without a car. Either way it would be a (choice) and not "settling". Essentially they don't believe it was worth expending the (effort) to get the new car! If someone decides it's not worth their time and effort it's not so much they "settled" as much as they've decided whatever it is not worth the price.
Whenever someone tells you that they "settled" it's always good to ask them why they (chose) to settle? Odds are when they answer you it will turn out that they really (believed) it was the BEST they could do under the circumstances.
On the other hand when we tell others they are "settling" what we are really doing is imposing (our belief system) on them. It's an uphill battle when we have to "sell them" on the fact that they can do better or deserve better.
Traits such as ambition, desire for change, and determination are not likely to be found in people who don't believe they deserve the best of what life has to offer.
Anyone who is flipping burgers at McDonalds and tells you they could have been a millionaire but "settled" for that job is lying to themselves! "I could have been a manager but I didn't want all that pressure and responsibility." Taking the "easy"way out" is a (choice).
Being where you want to be is not "settling". It's doing what you believe is best for you! If someone decides (it's not worth the cost) to get the "top of the line" and decide to get a lower end product that is a personal choice. Some people are always looking the (least expensive) way to live.