You’ve probably noticed the number of blogs, posts, motivational speakers, and websites and so on that all riff around a fairly simple theme. “Be Happy” is the refrain, and make choices in your life that suit YOU.
One of the most powerful ways to consider the different elements of your life is the “near miss” serious accident, or the time when everything comes crashing down so you have to pick yourself up again.
It goes like this – If you KNEW that one year from now you were going to die, how would you spend your next 365 days?
And of course it’s a fascinating set of questions. How many people love their work so much they would continue? (A more positive way to ask the same question is if you won the lottery tonight, would you go to work tomorrow?) For that matter, deep down, how happy are you with your “other half”? When you start to think about it, there may be a lot of things that you would love to go and say and do and change now.
All of which brings us to the next stage – what is stopping you? And if you think that question is hard, I’ll come back to it in just a moment.
Let me ask you this. How happy are you in your life right now?
There – I said it!
Life isn’t a rehearsal. You know that already, but what are you doing about it?
Let me tell you, if you hate your job, and have for some time, whatever the reason, why are you still doing the same thing?
“I need to pay the bills”
“What else would I do?”
“It’s really not so bad”….
Really? REALLY? Yes it is so bad. And of course you would figure out a way to pay what you need to pay to live. I’m not suggesting anything rash like bowl in there now and quit, but I AM asking you – I am pointing out to you – you spend the majority of your useful years in a job, and if you hate that job, what a terrible waste of the brilliant you, the energy the creativity that you can have on this planet.
What’s more, if your partner, your wife or husband, boyfriend or girlfriend, your significant other is, to be frank with you, not the person you want to spend your life with … why stay with them? (I’m assuming you have been through any conversations you need to be going through, and considered everything you can consider, and it still isn’t working) If that’s the case – what are you waiting for? For them to change? For you to not mind so much?
I spoke with a client recently and he told me a gem of a comment to describe his wife – he said “She’s lovely really, kind, helpful, we really get on, I just wish she was more physical with me…”
I asked what he meant, and he explained that despite asking, trying different approaches, being honest, talking everything through, she really wasn’t someone who liked sex that much.
He had been with her for 10 years, and as far as he recalled, it had always been like that. What’s more, he was only 35 … that’s a fairly major point of difference for a really long time don’t you think?
A woman I know once told me she loved her husband “except he was so boring…” You see the point I’m making here?
The people in these relationships might need to do something different. It might be some deep seated issue or they might just be with the wrong person. Guess what… big deep breath here … YOU might be with the wrong person.
And it’s the same in a job where you KNOW it’s not what you want to do, a lack of fitness where you know what you have to do to change things, over eating, drinking too much alcohol, even stupid trivial things like going to the same pub “because its Friday night” – LONG after you realized you no longer enjoy going that much.
If we want a different outcome, if we want things to be better than they are now then we need to start making changes – and this is sometimes tough. Really tough. I’ve studied relationships which are emotionally and verbally abusive, and in many cases people who finally get the courage and momentum they need to leave such relationships talk about leaving the FOG.
F = Fear
When I read that it made a lot of sense, and you might find it helps you too.
You have changes in your life you want to make, so look at what’s stopping you from making them. Change is often uncomfortable, but if it isn’t right, you know it needs to change.
Fear – you’re afraid of what will happen if you leave your partner, what society or friends or family will say, what will happen and so on. That’s natural, but understand that Fear of those things doesn’t mean it’s not the right change to make.
Obligation – that person was with you when times were tough, the company gave you a chance, you owe it to your friends … and so on, but your true obligation is surely to making your life as extra ordinary as you can?
Guilt – Those leaving abusive relationships say this is one of the emotions that drive them back. Starting to worry about the effect of them leaving, or being concerned about the way you stepped away from the situation can cause guilt. I say so long as you were true to yourself, and did your best for others without sacrificing “you” then there is nothing to feel guilty about.
FOG certainly clouds the vision and the judgement, and it’s the reason why people take so long to make a change. Let me tell you, once you’re through the FOG and start to see things for how they really have been, you will be pleased you made the move.
I know when people start to think about parts of their life that aren’t going how they wanted it can be tough. And speaking as someone who drank way too much for too long, stayed in an awful relationship, and got caught up in the “busyness” of my own business, that FOG can be pretty thick to see through.
Stay with it though, and decide what you want. This is your life. Right now, you’re living it. Every time you go home to someone that deep down you no longer love (or worse, no longer loves you), each day in a job you hate, with people you don’t respect, those places you keep going to, people you spend time with and so on, you are chipping away at your oh so limited time on this earth.
365 days left? What would you change now?