Questions for Self-Reflection on When to Make a Change

Moving to a new place has shifted my priorities. Like hitting the reset button, it allowed me to start from a clean slate. It felt freeing to walk into an open space of an empty apartment. We notice all the angles of our new abode, and creativity fills in the gaps. Every single item we bring in are things we allow to be in our physical environment. In the same token, I’m attentive at what flows into my emotional and mental state. Ideas pop up, and new possibilities are abundant.

New is scary sometimes; other times, it’s appealing. As creatures of habit, we naturally resist change. There is a learning curve to get fully acquainted at new ways of doing things. We must be willing to let go of outdated perceptions about ourselves and start to discover who we are with a fresh lens. You may archive the successes and failures that have led us to where we are now, as they’re not enough to bring us to new heights. We need to carve out new paths that don’t exist if we want to break free from ourselves that could be sinking into mediocrity, susceptible at drifting through life.

My eldest daughter seems to pick up GPS signal when we’re positioned about a mile at the location of ToyS R Us (in Delaware). She perks up whenever we drive past it and is eager to give directions to it. It’s become a past time for us as a family to stroll its vibrant aisles. It was the largest toy store and what childhood memories are made of. In 2017, when the company filed for bankruptcy, we had to explain to a then 3-year old the complexities of keeping business afloat.

What went wrong? Toys R Us signed a 10-year contract to be an exclusive vendor of toys on Amazon. At the onset of this deal, it may sound like a big win, but it was a disguised death wish. Toys R Us should’ve developed its own e-commerce platform. It should’ve re-strategize from the inside first. The business transaction was one-sided, as Amazon still let other toy vendors sell on its site. Toys R Us sued, but the pressure of piling debt and not being able to stand up to fierce retail competition bent it to game over.

How do we even reframe this on a personal scale? Well, we may give over to many demands with the currency of time commitments, and we spin our wheels holding up our end of the bargain. Do you catch yourself working 70-80 hours per week, and this dysfunctional fulcrum between your personal and professional life compromises your most important relationships? Surely we can do something about preserving our self-interest, so we do not wear ourselves out to the ground.

Here are six questions to ask when you get an inkling that something’s off track and you need to make both tactical and fundamental changes:

1) Have I laid out my priorities, and do I know what really matters to me?

2) Do I invest the most time at what matters to me?

3) Am I afraid to do what I think is best because I may disappoint others?

4) Do I wake up with joy and thrill ready to step into my purpose and how that might look like for the day?

5) Do I devote time for clear self-assessment at how to improve myself in all my roles?

6) Am I intentional at investing in my personal growth and self-leadership?

Right now, reach out for a pen and paper, and write down your answers.

Writing crystallizes thought and thought produces action.

– Paul J. Meyer

Be careful as it takes no effort to drift away further from your life’s purpose. We need to find an anchor that will hold us steady until we can set sails in the right direction. Discoveries are only found in the unfamiliar. I think you will discover something new about yourself today if you take some time to dissect the truth about where you are now, and then thoughtfully map out where you want to be.

An important lesson I’ve embraced in the past year, underscored by the book Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy is that: “Real transformation happens when people take responsibility for their own lives and begin to live intentionally in every area. When they begin recovering their passion and start seeing progress, their lives change.”

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