Throughout my life I have seen many people who are hesitant to change. Some were scared to leave home and go off to college. Others worried about missing their friends and finding a job, so they delayed graduating from college by staying for a fifth year. When they were stuck in a job they didn’t enjoy or weren't passionate about they didn’t look for alternatives. In all of these situations, the individuals were afraid of change. The main reason people fear change in their lives is that they don’t want to regret making the wrong decision. Even if they know that they will go on to bigger and better things in their life, they don’t want to leave what they have now because they are used to it. They get comfortable with their surroundings, group of friends and cushy paycheck.
Life can start to evolve into the one you actually dream of when you realize that you will regret what you didn’t do more than what you did do. Mark Twain said it best.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
At the crossroads of major transitions in your life, such as going back to school or losing your job, it can be hard to see past the first month or so of the change. You must remove yourself from the initial feelings of anxiety, anger or fear and look at what your life can now become in the next five to ten years.
Going Back to School
Having to go further into debt to attend school can keep people from doing what they love for a lifetime. If you are set on the fact that it is what you want to do, don’t let money be the reason you don’t follow your passions.
Why not get a 7-day free trial at an all-inclusive training website such as Lynda.com to develop your technical skills with photo editing or graphic design software instead of thousands of dollars on a degree? How about pouring through the full class lectures, exams and videos available on MIT’s Open Courseware before you decide on what to go back to school for? Information is more readily available than ever before and there are free or inexpensive ways online to learn about whatever you are interested in.
Life is about being happy every waking moment and if you aren’t, something needs to change. If learning about what you love to do, whether that is photography, philosophy or physics, will make you happier and give you more opportunities in life, then you should do it. Being cost conscious when you make the decision about how to get your knowledge is just another way to set yourself up for success.
Losing A Job
Getting laid off or fired can be hard to handle because it is out of your control. The best thing to do in this situation is to calmly pick a plan for how you are going to spend the first few months after it happens. Follow your gut feeling about what you should be doing with your life. More often than not, you already know what you want to do with your life, you have just been too hesitant or risk averse to try it.
Use this chance as an opportunity to do what you have always dreamed of doing. If you never give your dreams a chance, you will never know where they can take you. Some of the best achievements can come from desperate situations.
Plot out a course of action to reach your dreams and follow the plan with every ounce of your being. Turn off your phone, cancel your social outings and spend time creating the life you want to live.
You Owe It To Yourself
Don’t give up on your dreams or plans for a better life. You owe it to yourself to work hard at creating a life around what you enjoy instead of plodding through each day living in regret. You won’t regret a life change if you see it as an opportunity for building a better life than you have ever had before.
If someone you know needs to hear this message, please share below. We all need to change our lives in one way or another and sometimes all it takes to get a change in motion is a simple reminder from a friend.