If you’ve thought about altering your life in a significant, positive way, then you’re a candidate for change.
Most people who’ve given up “normal” in return for a better way didn’t do it in one giant step, though. The first action point is to pay attention to inner clues that tell you when it’s time for a change and usually, if you’re bold enough to pay attention, they let you know how.
I’ve isolated a number of “inner clue” thoughts that can gauge where you are on the do-Different path and have listed them below so you can assess your readiness for Different.[*]
Read through the list and say “yes” every time a statement or question sounds like one you’ve thought about a lot, “sometimes” if it’s occurred to you now and then, and “no” if you’ve never had the thought at all. Then tally up your responses. At the bottom of the post, I’ll tell you what it just might mean for you.
· There must be a better way to do life.
· If money weren’t a problem, I would live way differently than I do now.
· I’m really tired of my job.
· My current routine is killing me.
· Why should I have to wait until retirement to live the way I want to?
· I wish I had more time for my spouse and children.
· I would like to live somewhere else.
· I dream about doing something else to make a living.
· It seems like everyone around me is in the same rut. OR Why does everyone around me seem content with the way things are, but I’m not?
· I feel stuck.
· I’ve made plans about how to change my life, but I haven’t done anything to make it happen.
If you said “yes” to 1 or 2 of the statements or questions above, you’re probably doing fine with your life as it is. Most of us think about these things sometimes. And everyone has a bad day here and there or a fleeting thought about changing course. You’re likely among them. Continue on!
If you said “yes” 3 to 6 times, you’re starting to think seriously about doing Different. You may not be ready to jump whatever ship you’re on right now, but as you keep on keeping on, you may find the “change embers” growing hotter. Keep this list, and check yourself every few months to see how you’re doing.
If you said “yes” 7 to 9 times, you’re serious about making a change. If you haven’t already, subscribed to my blog, read the books on my Recommended Reading Page, take long walks, and pray or meditate about your sincere desire for change. You might also want to run your thoughts by someone you feel comfortable confiding in (or send me an email if you want to). Another possibility is to consider making a temporary change. My post "Getting On with Life by Taking Time Off" explains how a short-term change can help determine whether or not you really want a permanently Different life.
If you said “yes” to 10 or more, it’s time for you to do Different. You need to get busy and make some serious plans. If you don’t, you’ll regret letting life go on like it is. But just one caution: You’re so ready to change that you need to be careful not to do something “stupid” just for the sake of change. Change requires passion to drive it, but it also requires skill, sound thinking, good planning, and ongoing patience. (Some inspiration for your next step might help. Take a look at my post "Life Beyond the End of the Trail.")
[*] This is not a scientifically-evaluated or research-backed psychological test. It’s based solely on my personal observations and should not be considered prescriptive of any mental, medical, or psychological condition. You should seek professional help if you’re experiencing a problem such as depression or other clinical disorder.
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