Well….. here it comes! My birthday in a week signals my long-awaited ‘retirement’ at month’s end from a profession of decades. I am doing this not to rest and sit on my butt, but rather to do things a ‘regular’ job prohibits. There are longings that have to be sated; an old me that needs a make-over. My choice to close one door is so the entrance to many other possibilities can open to me.
Master the “art of possibility,” says Sills, author of The Comfort Trap, by projecting a new you on the big screen of your mind’s eye. “There are two poles related to change,” Sills says. “One pole is being unsatisfied and uncomfortable where you are. The other is a compelling vision.” If you’re so miserable you’re crawling out of your skin, you may not need a fantasy to push you out the door. Most of us are in situations that may not be great, but are nevertheless stable—which means we need something to run toward, not just an excuse to run away.
The first step to conjuring this vision, says Sills, is to tune into your discontent rather than numb it: “After two bags of Doritos, some TV shows, and maybe even a scotch, you don’t remember how bad the job is, and soon you’re overweight and you think that’s the source of your unhappiness.”
Once you’ve figured out why you’re unhappy, try to trace any hint of interest or passion that flutters up during the day. Think back: “As a child, how did I envision myself as an adult?” If you can’t pull a dream scenario out of your head, ask, “Which of my friends’ lives would I most like to live?” And “If I had to stay in this job or relationship, what would I want to change about it and what would I want to keep?”
The image may prime you to act, but taking the first steps will still be difficult. It’s easy to tell your mother, “Can you believe he got drunk on my birthday?” But it’s hard to say to him, “We’re done. Don’t ever call me again.” Make it easier by thinking through the small consequences first. For instance, you can rehearse what you’ll say to your friends when you ask them to set you up on dates.
Once you start realizing your fantasy, keep altering it to match reality. Otherwise, the vision could remain dangerously intangible.
Prepare yourself by imagining scenes full of misgivings, too. “In the last two weeks of your job,” says Sills, “all of a sudden you’ll fall in love with all of those coworkers who annoyed you.” Change equals loss, but if you don’t have a series of things you’ve walked away from, adds Lubetkin, you’re probably not leading a rich life. By Carlin Flora http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200611/you-20
After giving my resignation early in the new year, I felt freed in a way never before felt. With some coaxing I agreed to stay on in a limited part-time capacity for the remainder of the year and for a while regretted it. Now I realize that regrouping over a few months will be better than trying to start a different life all at once.
I am grateful to feel little fear or apprehension about what is to be, although where I’m headed is anything but clear. What I am certain of is ‘retiring’ from one path so that another can begin is absolutely the correct thing. I am pulled, compelled really, into the unknown and find the uncertainty exhilarating. Beyond extended travel, finishing my first book and spending time with people I care about there is no grand design for my future. By following the yearning of my soul I will no longer be an obstacle to my destiny. I am grateful to have the courage and determination to make this leap of faith.
Love what you do and do what you love.
Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it.
You do what you want, what you love.
Imagination should be the center of your life.