Hello everybody, and welcome to another post from Optimal Living Advice, the podcast where we take any questions you might have about the many struggles of life and get them answered for you on the show.
I’m your host, certified life coach Greg Audino and I’m happy to have you here today.
Today we have a question sent in about being at a personal crossroads. Of course, each personal crossroads is unique, but today, I’m hoping my answer will leave everyone with some universal questions and strategies they can use to get through personal crossroads of their own. So that being said, let’s check out today’s question:
QUESTION: “How would you advise someone who feels that they are at a personal crossroads between staying in their current location to enjoy their newly improved health and work on some wellness goals versus using bandwidth looking for opportunities in their desired next place to live?”
Too Much of… A Growth Mindset?
I love questions about personal crossroads. They always throw me for a loop and I put off answering them for a little bit because I get nervous about telling people the wrong thing HAHA.
No, no it’s cool. This question in particular actually sounds like a wonderful crossroads to be at so let me start by saying congratulations on your newly improved health, and what seems like a strong desire to keep growing as a person! All wonderful things.
Of course, I don’t know anything about the listener beyond this question, but it seems to me he or she has a really growth-based mindset as every aspect of what they said is laced with growth and expansion.
And why not? It’s wonderful to be excited about new things and new opportunities and I’d bet this mindset has already enabled them to make wonderful changes in their life thus far. But when it comes to making major life decisions, like living in a new place and taking on a new job, having a really forward moving mindset can sometimes get us into trouble. It’s obviously healthier to have a growth mindset than a fixed mindset, but too much growth — or latching on to what appears as growth — can keep us from making strong commitments to things.
Moving, as mentioned in the question, is a great example. It’s one of life’s biggest changes and upheavals.
Put yourself in the shoes of the listener calling in. I want you to ask yourself what you really want out of this move? Why do you desire to live in this new place? What is the motivation behind it? How do you feel now about any moves you’ve made in the past, and what have you learned from them?
Life Changes and Problems
Whether your answers to these questions leave you a little uncertain or more inspired to move than before, it’s crucial to understand that moves, or any major life changes, only solve so many problems, and for each one they do solve, a new, unique problem will come up. I’m in no way dissuading anyone from making a move — they can be wonderful and the changing of our environment can be a huge catalyst for lifestyle changes. But it should not be seen as a means to solving deeper problems that require more focused attention, which is how it seen too often.
Constantly seeking bigger and better changes in life will make us more and more susceptible to dissatisfaction with anything, leaving us with too few commitments, and a hard time feeling capable of generating new commitments.
This is how too much of a growth mindset can get us into trouble. The more we see how we can improve, the harder is to see the good in what we already have or at least how we can extract that good. For those of us who make wellness a regular practice in our lives, God bless us, this is something we run a higher risk of. So much desire and so many options, can cripple us as we hop from hopeful solution to hopeful solution waiting for the one that keeps us constantly happy which we won’t really find.
But in spite of that perhaps grim and morbid sentiment, no, I’m not saying that everyone shouldn’t make changes. Just be mindful of this change, as I’m sure you already are if you’re reading this. It’s so easy to get clouded with emotion, though, and seek justification in our impulses, so I’m going to give you an exercise I use with my coaching clients a lot that I really enjoy.
Pros and Cons List
Create a pros and cons list for the place you already live and the place you might like to move to. Each side might have some of the same pros and cons, too. For example, perhaps you can enjoy your newly improved health and work on wellness goals in both your current location and the place you’re thinking of moving to. Perhaps you can pursue new opportunities in both of those places, and it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Once you have the pros and cons listed, go a step further and assign a certain number of points to each pro and con relative to how much they mean to you.
For example, one location might only have “closer to family” and “more affordable” as the only pros whereas the other location has “closer to the beach”, “better political beliefs”, “better nightlife” and “more work opportunities.” The second location might have more pros, but if each of those pros are only worth three points, and the pros on the other side are worth eight points and ten points, then the location with fewer, but more meaningful pros will have more points, and maybe reveal itself as a better decision.
Ideally, you’ll be able to fit all of your non-negotiable desires into one place. But what this exercise allows you to do is to hone in on what you really want out of life, be realistic about how well suited each location is for those wants, and make the most out of what will be inevitable sacrifices. Whether it’s a place to live, a job, a relationship, or whatever, there will always be things we’re missing out on when we choose one direction over another at any crossroads.
So no, you can’t “have it all” in that regard, but that’s okay. The biggest nag when making these decisions is the voice that says we didn’t choose the right option. Getting clear about what means the most to you and doubling down on those things is your best bet in making a peaceful, committed decision.
And that does it, guys. I hope this question and its answer were helpful to all of you listeners as well as the person who sent it in. Thank you so much to the person who asked this question. Each question we receive is enormous contribution to not only the success of the show, but to all of the viewers. We’re really all supporting one another by choosing to put ourselves out there, ask for help, and get answers that help others with their struggles and encourage them to reach out as well.
For those of you who would like to submit a question of your own and have it answered on the show, you can submit your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t be shy. Pretty much nothing is off limits. All right? All right. Have a great day everyone, hope you’ll stop in for the next one!