It’s a conundrum… hang in there or make a fresh start? Whether the decision is about a relationship, job, move, organization, or other… it’s often hard to determine the best course of action.
Wishes may clash with and confuse intellect. When is enough enough? One measure to consider is: How long have I been in this situation and what is the accurate measure of my own happy or unhappiness?
It is difficult, in a relationship to accept that you are powerless to change the person you are drawn to. It is common to believe that if this individual is “handled” properly, a change will occur. If the necessary change is about behavior, there’s a shot at success. Should the wish be to change the way another, in a fundamental way, views the world and his/her station therein, you are wasting your time.
The basic worldview is established starting at birth, a time when one is pre-verbal. By the time an individual reaches adulthood, it is pretty darn hard to shake up long held unconscious convictions.
What about a career? Let’s say that what you really want to do is become a professional dancer. Of course, the goal is to excel. With practice and instruction improvement is a possibility. However, if you have persistent, resistant inflexibility in your hips, joints, and limbs, you are probably not destined to join the corps de ballet. An appearance on Dancing With the Stars is a long shot as well.
Check your passion. Every situation carries with it aspects that cause dissatisfaction. Is the effort required worth it? When examining the pros and cons it is wise to separate your deeply held wishes from the advice of others. It’s not that the advice that is offered is not sound, it’s that the individual delivering his/her advice is influenced by his/her belief and experience, which may not be in sync with your own. Make a list of pros and cons — you might be surprised at what this exercise reveals.
Consider your place in the diorama that is your life. Are you starting out? climbing the ladder? considering the possibility of retiring? Sometimes it may feel that certain pleasures must be postponed until the “perfect” time. How does one calculate when the time is ideal?
The answer, of course, is that it is, often, impossible to figure out timing, Some sages say that there is never the right time to have a baby. That could cause a big problem! Others, believe, with rigidity, that work always comes before pleasure. While that may be sound, saving dreamed-of joy for another time may prove to be profoundly disappointing. Are you sure you will maintain your health while you wait ten yeas to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro? Are you saving your best shoes for a special occasion? Suppose the party is canceled? Do you believe it is too late to continue your education? The time will pass regardless of your choices — why not put that time to good use? As long as you are mentally and physically capable, why delay expanding your horizon?
Once again, there is the caveat to maintain focus on the present. Other than providing experiences to learn from, residing in the past can only serve as a trap to impede your forward motion.
Do you live for the future? Planning and dreaming are grand. However, it is a mistake to “borrow” tomorrow. You can be quite sure that you will encounter detours and road blocks as you go along. No one possesses the foresight to predict the future. It is possible to worry about circumstances that will never arise.
Those who choose to maintain the present order, may be wise to select that option. If safety is perceived in the status quo, and that is the overriding concern, standing still might be the best choice. It is not mandatory to grow, explore, view life through new eyes. Not everyone is meant to be adventuresome. But, refusing to explore because one is frozen in place by the fear of uncertainty, will limit options that may lead you to a life you love. Weigh the risks and rewards and make a choice that suits you.
Loyalty plays a role in life choices. Do you believe that you owe it to someone to continue on a path that feels inconsequential? A friend helps you acquire a job that you really dislike. How long must you stick with it? Your family objects to the move your company has proposed to upgrade your standing within the firm? How will you handle that? You are a coach and have promised your school and team that you will never leave (a dangerous commitment). A stellar opportunity arrives elsewhere — what will you do?
There are no correct or incorrect answers to these questions. There will, most likely, always be someone who does not want you to make a change. Scan your own heart, mind, and soul when you make your decision. It is your life after all.
Fear is just one of many emotions. Curiosity, determination, excitement, and relief are others. It is not a favor to oneself to allow any one feeling obscure the others.
On the other hand, there are those who are almost enamored with change. When an individual’s new love turns out to be a mere human, these folks walk away. Some are so attached to obtaining perfection (which, of course, may be hard to define), that they never experience the relaxation that accompanies satisfaction. If nothing is ever good enough, what is the quality of life for that person?
An open mind is your good friend. Look at dilemmas from many different viewpoints. At least consider that there is more than one answer to a problem. Humans carry beliefs with them that are unconscious. These are mostly absorbed from the people you have grown up with — friends and family and teachers, etc.
Your great grandfather most likely missed the computer age. What would he think about today’s dependence on information from the internet? He just might see the “younger generation” as lazy and encourage a dependence on libraries and encyclopedias (hard copies).
Of course potential life-changing decisions require serious consideration. At the end of the day, if the choice is “wrong”(which is hard to determine), step back and find another route — there is just about always another road.
Angone, P. “Three Signs it is Time to Make a Big Scary Change” allgroanup.com
Beck, M.”The Art of Perfect Timing” oprah.com
Collins, A.”How to Know When It’s Time to Make a Change” opencolleges.edu.au
Grandizio, E.(07/06/2017) “Embrace the Disruption — Change is Necessary” huffpost,com
Gura, I. “Twelve Reasons Why You Should Seek And Embrace Change” thedailypositives.com
Petsinger, K, MD (10/06/2020)”Six Signs It’s Time to Change Your Life” lifehack.org