Article #40, December, 2005
Change - Intentional or Accidental?
All your life, people are trying to change you, to mold you into what they believe is best for you. Your parents, teachers, spouses and bosses all seem to want you to change. Even your children want you to change! So, do you really need to change?
The answer is: it depends. Answer these questions and see:
- · Will your actions hurt yourself or anyone else now or in the future?
- · Are you happy and fulfilled?
- · Will your current actions have a positive payoff at some point?
I recently met a woman who was very interesting to me because her life is extremely different from mine and she seemed very happy. She is an MBA student and her father pays for her schooling. She just recently, at age 26, moved out of her parents’ home for the first time to move in with her older doctor boyfriend, who pays for her apartment, and she has 2 other boyfriends. She is in excellent physical condition and is training for a marathon, and drank 4 pints of beer during her lunch. She has never had a real job and is concerned about her resume being empty.
Probably, she can answer most of the questions above with positive answers, but her life would never work for me. Should she change? Should I change?
The point of the story is that we can – and should - only answer that question for ourselves.
For most of us, work absorbs the vast majority of our waking hours. Are you happy with your work? You always have choices! Discover what it is about your work that makes you happy and what makes you unhappy or unsettled. If you need more revenues to make your life the way you want it, analyze what needs to be done to achieve an acceptable level of revenues and resolve to do those things. Make everything else a B priority.
What if more money won’t make you happy? What will? It is possible you just need to do something different. Because people live a very long time now, it is unlikely that we will be happy doing the same job or career our entire lives. Pick apart all the jobs, careers and businesses in which you’ve been involved your entire life. What really turned you on? What made your skin crawl? I must work with people and I love business and wearing business suits. I cannot work outside or even in a cold or dirty office. I need to analyze. How do you complete “I need to - ”?
Study. Focus on what will make you happy, not what doesn’t make you happy. Maybe there is nothing at all wrong with your current career, you just work too many hours or spend too much time commuting. As Dr. Phil advises, it’s better to be running toward something than to be running away.
After the analyses, then what? Making changes is scary, sometimes risky and often overwhelming! Break it down into bite-sized pieces and approach the change systematically. You can’t lose 20 pounds or start a new business overnight – it takes time and dedication. If you want it for the right reasons, you will achieve it. Don’t wait!
Picture yourself in the future. Your grandchildren want to hear about your adventures. What will you tell them? You worked at the same company for 46 years and drove to visit your family every year for your vacation? You jumped around from one poorly paying job to another, barely getting by and living in the same city your whole life? NO! They want to hear about how you borrowed money and failed at 3 businesses before you had a success. They want to be inspired by your scuba adventures in Cozumel and the Great Barrier Reef! Be their inspiration!
Do YOU need some inspiration? Send me an email with any question on any topic and I’ll get you fired up!