What has changed for you in the last few years? Someone asked me. She probably thought I would have a long story to tell. The kind people give when they have started a new phase or taken a major turn in life. The ups and downs like we call them. To say the truth maybe she was right. If I was to talk about it candidly it would become a late night story. Maybe it will feature in my next book.
This time however I did not have a story to tell. Is it because the story is not there? No. It’s because I have learnt how to look at life from a simple perspective. To appreciate the small things that matter. I actually believe life is simple but we work hard to complicate it. Maybe it’s not our fault it’s how the world shaped us. However, like I always say, changing your perception is a choice and you cannot keep blaming the world for things that you can control.
My answer was hence simple; summarized in a statement. “I no longer walk around with painkillers, I bet I do not have any in the house either.” These are the little things that we take for granted. When we are accustomed to a busy, stressed life we think it’s normal. We take burnout and continued low moments as the norm. We do not realize or think we can have it any other way. It is great however when you experience the other side. It is like seeing light for the first time. Everything becomes clearer and every moment matters.
Unfortunately, when we think whether we need a change of a situation we look at the big things. We think we should only quit a job because it is not paying enough or we are emotionally and physically drained to a point of being unproductive. I had a good laugh with a friend on this the other day. She recounted her Monday mornings a while back with both anger and a sense of humor. In her words, “I would alight at the bus stop on a neutral mood, not sad but not happy either. However, for every step I took towards the office an ounce of sadness manifested in me. By the time I got to my desk I would be almost depressed.”
The most interesting thing is that she did not take it seriously then. She actually hung on for three years before making a change. If you had asked her then why she changed jobs she would have said, ‘for a better pay.’ Truth be told she had needed a change earlier if she had listened to her emotions. The sadness had nothing to do with the pay.
I closely relate this to a comment I received from an acquaintance in the recent past. I was making a general inquiry on how the daughter is doing after separating with the partner. Out of the many words said one statement stood out; “The peace in me right now is tremendous.” Did the person know they were out peace before? No. Just like many people the thought would have been, we are having normal relationship challenges. When you view something as normal you do not think you need a change.
It is however important to keep yourself on check. If anything we only live once. It is in your best interest that the majority of your life is filled with happiness and fulfillment. This does not mean that we quit on every challenge. It however means that you need to know your limit. Just because someone else is taking a toxic boss, toxic work environment or toxic relationship does not mean you should. Our tolerance level and values differ not to mention that you owe yourself a good life that is only defined by you.
If you are still wondering whether it’s time for a change, ask yourself;
- Do you dread going to work or meeting with that person?
- Is that work or person adding value to your life – Is the work/person making you a better person by learning, challenging and supporting your personal growth?
- Is your body giving you warning signs – constantly feeling fatigued, anxious, stressed or experiencing burnout.
- Is there something for you in the future – Is the work contributing to the person you want to become, is there space for your next move? Is that person featuring and fitting in your future plans?
If you genuinely answer these questions, then you will know whether it’s time to start looking around or love that person from a distance.
Know when to walk away from things that don’t align with you anymore.