A friend once said to me that you should always be running to something not from something. That always stuck with me and now anytime I’m questioning a big decision I ask myself: given what’s going on in my life and the decision I’m debating, am I running from something I don’t want to deal with or to something that feels right?
There is a big difference between the two and the motivation behind the decision can have an impact on the outcome.
I believe the best time to make any sort of big decision is when things are going pretty well for you – or at least if your circumstances aren’t all that great, you have a healthy handle on how you view them.
The #1 thing to do when making a change is to get your mindset in the right place – really get clear about why you are making the change. If it’s because of a bad circumstance, make peace with the circumstance first and then move forward with making the decision.
After all, if it weren’t for the bad stuff in the situation, you really wouldn’t have the motivation to make the change in the first place. Make peace with the bad stuff because likely in time you’ll see it was actually good stuff – it gave you the motivation to move on to something better. The bad stuff is usually a stronger catalyst for change than the good stuff.
But changes just don’t have to happen when things are bad, sometimes changes are necessary when things are going well too. In fact this is likely when your motivations will be the ‘cleanest’.
Last year I decided to make a big move I’d been thinking about for a long time. I packed up my home in Chicago and moved to the west coast – I’d dreamed about living in California for a long time and decided now was the right time for the move.
Because I was in a good place in life – I had started working for a new company, had a great relationship with my boss and colleagues, and was making good money. So, why leave that?
Because after all that, after having all the things I could have asked for from a job, I still had this burning desire to move and follow my dream of becoming a coach. I knew that this dream wasn’t going to die just because things were good at work. I also knew I would regret it if I didn’t go for it – and my motto in life is ‘no regrets’. And that was what starting all over again was really all about.
Had I decided a little more than a year before that to move, I would have been moving for all the wrong reasons. It would have been a way to escape from a less than ideal work situation and a not yet healed post-divorce heart.
Running from something provides temporary relief – but whatever you run from will inevitably follow you – likely just in a new place with new people. Running from something often feels forced whereas running to something feels of excitement and freedom.
Look at your motivations for wanting to make the change, make peace with whatever your circumstances are, and then make the decision.
You’ll be running to your next experience feeling more certain and clear – and who knew running could feel so good?!