5 things you should know before making a big change in your life

My personal experience

I am a person who has experienced great changes in recent years:

  • I went from being a student in Spain surrounded by friends to work in the United States in a city where I did not know anyone
  • I went from working as a programmer for a big company to leave that work to build on my account as a blogger / writer / marketer
  • I went from stable living, with fixed residence, car, and a schedule of 9 to 5, to travel the world alone and with a backpack as only luggage

That is why I know very well the phase of which Daniel talks about asking you over and over again if you’ve screwed up to the bottom, and repeat that “and me who would send me, with how calm I was before!” In fact, I wrote in more detail about it in one of my more personal posts .

Personally, I think it’s perfectly normal. A great change is followed by a period of transition, which is often accompanied by emotional instability and doubts. Consider it a stage that must be overcome, similar to being sad when you leave a relationship.

What I do not see normal nor healthy is to live for months (or even years) repentant and with doubts about your decision. If you find yourself in that situation, you will probably have erroneous expectations or beliefs, or you might embark on that great change for the wrong reasons.

That is why today I would like to share with you the lessons I learned during those difficult periods of my life and the beliefs that helped me overcome them without losing my head.

For simplicity, and because it was about what I wrote in A Dead End , I will focus especially on the work area, but the information is applicable to any other major change (couple, place of residence, personal situation, etc.).

If you are thinking about (or just) giving a big change of rudder in your life, what comes next is interesting: I will explain to you the 5 things that you should keep in mind before changing your life at 50, at 20 Or at any age.

1. No job, project or situation is perfect. All roads have their pros and cons

“Follow your passion!”

How much damage that phrase has done …

Many people read the great “do what you love” gurus and come to the conclusion that, hidden somewhere, their perfect work is found. A job that, once you find it, will make everything fit like a puzzle: you will always be motivated, you will do your daily tasks without any effort and you will live with a permanent smile on your face.

If you are the one who has believed that story, I am sorry to break your illusions, but I must tell you that there is no Holy Grail you seek.

The truth is that no job, however good it may seem, is perfect:

  • If you want to get paid more, they will demand more
  • If you want more power, you will be asked for more responsibility (and more stress)
  • If you want more freedom, you will need more discipline
  • If you want something easy, it will be more boring
  • If you want something challenging, it will be more difficult.

Everything, absolutely everything, has its pros and cons, and however much you are passionate about what you do, you will always have bad days, things you do not want to do and moments when you want to send everything to shit. So check your expectations if you do not want to face reality.

The key is to be clear about what you want and what your values ​​are. Ask yourself what is most important to you in your work and look for something that is as close as possible to that description. This way you will be mostly satisfied most of the time.

Conclusion: if you ask yourself “how do I change my life?” The answer is not always “do what you are passionate about”. If you stay close and enjoy doing what you do, you are already more than lucky.

2. Whatever you do, you will always sit on the same ass

When we have a problem we tend to look for solutions abroad, without stopping to think that maybe – just maybe – the problem we have.

This is often the case with work. We believe that it is the only cause of our unhappiness and that “if we get that other job so good THEN everything would be fantastic and wonderful.” However, when we finally got it, we felt as void as before because the problem was not in the Work, but in our attitude to work or in which we had unrealistic expectations, as we saw in the previous point.

This same situation applies to many other external aspects of our lives, such as relationships (if I were with that girl THEN …), money (if I gained 1000 euros more THEN …) or material possessions (if I had that new car SO…).

It is true that often the problem IS the work or something external (I am the first supporter of going to Thailand for a season to leave a toxic environment), but it is something about what should be thought quietly before making a drastic decision.

A good way to distinguish between the two cases is to ask yourself the following question:

“Am I running away from something or do I really want that?”

Be brutally honest with yourself; After all, you’re the only one who knows the right answer. And remember: trying to flee from yourself using a job as an excuse is useless, because whatever you do will always sit on the same ass.

3. There is a big difference between that you like THE IDEA to do something and REALLY do it

The first few months of a love affair are often wonderful. In love, you idealize the other person and believe that you have found the perfect match. Your mind is only able to see its virtues and conceals its shortcomings, and as long as illusion lives in the worlds of yuppie, where everything is pink and unicorns trot happy through the streets.

But little by little, the fog is clearing and comes a day when you realize that that special person was not as perfect as you thought. He also throws fart, has his bad days and there are aspects of his personality that you do not like. That’s when arguments start, fights and those fun things.

When you fall madly in love with someone at age 15 you do not fall in love with the person, but with the idea that you have of that person, and with the work happens exactly the same. The problem is that there is a big difference between that you like THE IDEA of a job and actually DO that job:

  • It is easy for you to be attracted to the idea of ​​entrepreneurship and self-employment. It is harder for you to like the FACT that your salary is directly proportional to your effort, and that if you shit it you are the only one who will suffer the consequences.
  • It is easy for you to be attracted by the IDEA of being an official. It’s harder for you to like the FACT that you’re going to work on the same thing the rest of your life, that some of your teammates will not give or stick to the water and still earn the same (or even more) than you, Shift government can take away the extra pay when you feel like it.
  • It’s easy for YOU to be THE CEO of Microsoft. It is harder for you to like the FACT that you are going to have to endure a lot of responsibility, stress and endless workdays.
  • It is easy for YOU to be attracted to being the president of the government. It’s harder for you to like the FACT that whatever you do and whatever the party you are, there will be people and even TV channels in full that will hate you and hurt you every day.

Most things seem much more attractive than they really are. So before deciding on a job you do not know and that looks wonderful, I recommend that you talk to someone who has already followed the path you want to follow.

Ask the question Josh Kauffman recommends in The Personal MBA :

“I respect a lot what you’re doing, but I imagine you have your good things and your bad things. Would you mind sharing them with me? Knowing what you know now, is it worth it? “

This way you can examine the decision without idealizing it and take it ONLY if it is really what you want to do.

4. Whenever possible, try first

In the world of software, tests are the order of the day. All programs are tested in a controlled environment before going on the market to verify that they work properly.

Fortunately, you can do the same with your life. Before you make an important decision that does not go back, you can do small tests to see if it really is what you want. This is something that I recommend especially if you are thinking of leaving your job to start an online business .

Now that it has become fashionable to be an entrepreneur, everyone wants to build something on the Internet. The network of networks has a low cost of entry and the idea of ​​having more control over your life and create something for yourself sounds very attractive, but as we saw in the previous point the emprender is a complete pack that comes with other components that do not Are so beautiful: decisions, responsibility …

There are a lot of people who are out of trouble and prefer to work 40 hours a week in exchange for a safe salary at the end of the month and disconnect as soon as it leaves the office, and it seems phenomenal to me. So if you’re not sure if an online business is for you, the best thing you can do is start it in your free time and see how it works. If after a while you like more than your current job and you are generating enough income, then you can make the change.

Obviously, you can not always test before choosing. Sometimes we have to jump into the void only with the information that others have told us that they already did. In that case, the next point will be extremely useful.

NOTE: Vivendo al Máximo does not recommend applying the simultaneous test technique with your partner, nor is he responsible for the results that this may entail.

5. Always remember your why

At the beginning of the year, my friend Miguel asked me to share with him my favorite personal development advice . This is what I said:

Most people live on autopilot. They do ‘what everyone does’, or they get carried away by their first impulse.

One day they get out of bed, they do not like what they see around them and then they wonder: how the hell did I end up here?

To avoid this, be very clear why you do what you do.

When you make an important decision like changing jobs, you can not let yourself be carried by your first impulse or imitate others. You have to think for yourself and be clear WHY you have made that decision if you end up taking it. Here are not half-measures: you must have it brutally clear. Even so, doubts will inevitably arise, but if you are connected to that WHY they will not be able to with you.

In my case, I quit my job because I knew it was not compatible with the lifestyle I wanted to lead in the future. If I really wanted to have time to travel or pick up my kids from school, I knew that sooner or later I would play something different.

If you are in a dead end, you should have no problem finding your WHY, and I think the last post gave you a few ideas.

CONCLUSIONS

Returning to Daniel’s comment about how to deal with the transition period and the doubts that sometimes we have to face after making a great change: I think that rather than using special techniques, ideally work your beliefs and meditate your decision well To take it.

Here is a summary of my recommendations:

    1. If after reading the first 3 points you are still clear that you need a total change of life, FORWARD. I’ve never shared that “bad is better known than good to know”, so you have all my support.
    2. In case you have the opportunity to do a previous test, do it (point 4). It will help you to know better how you will feel if you end up making the decision.
    3. Once you have taken the step, you will be going through a transition period. It is normal. When you have doubts, remember why you are doing what you are doing (point 5). Never lose the connection with your why, it is your main source of motivation when it costs you to move forward. And if your strength falters and everything fails, listen to this song (I.e.

Finally, add that if in spite of everything things do not come out as you hoped and you have to go back to the starting box or even to a worse situation, you do not have to embarrass yourself or live the rest of your repentant life repeating yourself Everyday that you are useless.

The grass always looks greener on the other side, and it is very easy to look back and think that everything was easier than it really was. You did the best you could with the knowledge you had at that time, and you should tell yourself what you would say to your best friend:

“Dude, do not worry nothing’s wrong. At least you tried. Get the bailao out of you! “

A hug and a lot of luck on your way.

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