Knowing When It is Time for a Change is an Important Life Skill
I enjoyed an opportunity a few days ago that I see more often late. It might be a coincidence of the people around me, or it might be a trend more generally. Either way, it’s a good thing.
This was a farewell for someone who was leaving a job she had enjoyed for years. It turns out she had been thinking for some time that it was time for a life change. She had a good position and enjoyed her coworkers. Yet, she felt a call from inside to turn a page and set out on a path she expected to be challenging and rewarding. Good for her.
Knowing, or at least sensing, when it is time to turn a page in life is an under valued and under pondered phenomenon. Not everyone is good at it, some of us don’t even think about it. That is a shame. That likely would mean missed opportunities.
Not every such decision will be life changing, of course, but often they are. As I have noted at other times in this blog, there is great value in occasionally “stopping the train.” Take stock, and ask yourself, “Is there something else I want to or should be doing?” I hesitate to over dramatize this by identifying it as a calling, but sometimes that is what it feels like. We should not be shy about answering the call.
Thinking about this blog post led me to looking back at my own milestones in life (so far). By my count, I have had at least eight such page turns. That sounds like a lot to me, but in looking back, each of these decisions changed my life in powerful ways. It was not apparent in each of them at the time that they would be so significant, but I sensed the potential was there. So far, so good. I would not change any of those decisions. I expect I have a few more ahead of me.
One of the interesting things about page turning, as I like to call it, is that how one arrives at such a decision. The process can be wildly variable. In some of mine, there was a lot of deliberation. Lists of PRO and CON were made. Friends and family were solicited for advice. Time was allocated for reflection. Others just leaped up like a clap of thunder. Deliberation would have been an irritating delay for these. My inner voice simply said, insisted actually, “It’s time.” And so, it was.
Someone could go through life and never have that conversation with themselves. They might never hear that call. They may well already be where they want to be and, in some cosmic sense, should be –even forever. But it is also possible that someone never hears the call because they are not listening. That could be by choice or by oversight.
Let me be clear: this is not a suggestion to run off and join the circus. Although, if that works for you…. It is a reminder that life, as we understand it, is a pretty short affair and this may be the only round we get. It would be a shame to spend it poorly only because we did not have ears to listen or the courage to respond.
Listen up. If you hear a voice saying, “It’s time,” or “Turn the page,” pay attention. Imagine yourself however many years in the future you might be at the end of your life. Will you be thinking then, “I should have done it. What might have changed if only I had stepped up?” I hope not.
It’s a New Year. Good luck out there.
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