Hello everybody, welcome to episode 93 of 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 here on the show. I’m your host, certified life coach Greg Audino, and we’ve got a terrific episode today for anyone curious about life purpose or making a big change in life. We’ve all been there, and we’re likely to be there again. So let’s look into the truths of big change and what kind of thinking we have to approach it with. Here’s today’s question…
QUESTION: “Hello, I’m in a predicament and am hoping you can help me. I am in my mid 20s and have yet to find my purpose/passion. I’ve lived in the same state for almost all my life and I am within 15 minute – 2 hours drive from all of my family members. My question is…would it possible that my narrow minded thinking and comfort of my environment impede my growth? Would simply moving states, changing careers, and distancing myself from the security blanket of my family help me grow? Or will my problems follow me to another state?”
Many People Never Leave Home
Excellent! Thank you for sending this is in. This is a very good question that I can really relate to. I will say I have no shortage of thoughts about this one so forgive me in advance if this episode comes out incoherent and poorly strung together. I feel like I normally see a lot of gray area in these questions and just in everything, but I actually have a very strong opinion on this one. Lucky you, I guess.
So, where to begin? A lot of people never leave home. I’m from a small town (it sounds like you are as well), and I see it all the time. The vast majority of my closest friends never left their hometowns, whether they be people from where I grew up or people I’ve met along the way.
It’s hard to argue that staying at home offers as many opportunities for growth as traveling a bit. Frankly, it doesn’t. Traveling for vacations, trying new hobbies, meeting new people, learning new things, testing our mindsets; these things all help immensely which is why there are many happy and well-cultured people that don’t leave home and still lead very diverse lives. But living elsewhere truly saturates you in a new environment and takes at least the OPPORTUNITY for growth to a different level.
Stimuli That Helps You Grow
Because of the things I mentioned, and honestly, less challenging things, many people are more than happy to stay at home and that’s fine too. There’s no right or wrong, but moving away at least for a bit does provide more stimuli that can help us grow. All change helps us grow, including any of the changes you mentioned about moving states, changing careers or distancing yourself from family.
So is it possible that the comfort of your environment is impeding your growth? Absolutely it’s possible. I think the more unique problem, however, is that you actually have the itch to try something new and up until now, you’ve not scratched it.
I would definitely say that the people who have the deep desire for change and never act on it are much worse off than those who never make deliberate changes because they never want to, because the latter do not have to deal with the “what if” question, and this is the type of “what if” question that people wrestle with on their deathbeds.
I don’t say that to sound extreme or scare you, but it’s reality. If you want to hear more about that, check out an amazing article entitled “Regrets of the Dying” by Bronnie Ware, a woman who chronicled the regrets of those she met while working in palliative care. It’ll really make you rethink things and perhaps reignite some concepts you may have of your life purpose. It’s certainly influenced me.
You can also check out the full book by Bronnie Ware here:
The Problem With Being Fueled by Passion Alone
The only roadblock I see in people who make drastic changes is that they’re often fueled by passion alone. Even changes like this teach us major lessons over time, so they can’t be knocked fully, but I’d at least tell you to about this move or whatever with some logic if you decide to pull the trigger on it. With that in mind, let’s break down your specific change a little further:
The major consideration you have to make, to me, is more about “when” than “if.” This basically means being level-headed enough to be mindful of extenuating circumstances – fleeting situations that you want to be home for.
If a loved one is very ill and might not make it much longer, now probably isn’t the time. If you have a baby on the way, now probably isn’t the time. Consider if there are any similar examples that pertain to you right now, anything pressing that, long-term, you want to know you tended to.
While I’m not telling you what to do with the very little information I have about you, it does seem like making a change would be beneficial to you should there not be a serious extenuating circumstance like these. And the good news is that those circumstances change all the time, meaning you can always go later on, which there’s plenty of time for.
Life Purpose: Get to Know Yourself
Here’s the thing, you’re in your mid-20s. I was just there. I know it may feel like these decisions have to committed to for the rest of your life, but they don’t. And for someone seeking their life purpose, it’s especially easy to put that kind of weight on it. That’s not helping you – you don’t need that kind of pressure.
Try to forget this deep yearning to find life purpose. That seems like a question that’s very much out of our hands. But the more things you try, the more likely a sense of purpose is to unfold naturally, because you’ll be giving yourself a chance to get to know different sides of yourself. And when something feels right, you won’t find yourself asking such a question anymore and you won’t feel as big of a need to shake things up.
So if you make a big move, let it simply be about trying something new and objectively growing from it. That’s enough to provide significant fulfillment. It doesn’t have to be about something as grandiose as discovering the meaning of life, nor is it about guilt-ridden concerns of betraying your current lifestyle and turning your back on your family. It’s about you doing something that feels right, and that’s ok.
You Won't Know Until You Try
I can’t tell you if your problems will go away when moving, but you won’t know until you try. If they’re deep seated problems, they won’t, but you haven’t mentioned any of those. It sounds like you have a good family life, and if that’s the case, you’ll always have a sense of home base to return to. You’ll be welcomed back should you choose to come back, which is the final thing worth mentioning.
Not only does this change have to be forever, it can be completely reversed. We try things and we learn from them, on all scales.
You may very well decide to move and come back, change careers and switch back, whatever. There’s nothing wrong with this. No matter how you come out of this change (should you choose to make it), you’ll undoubtedly be equipped with new life lessons that will support your life purpose, and a more confident idea of what lifestyle is right for you to base your time on.
And that’ll do it, friends. To the asker of this question, I sure hope it helped. I get what you’re going through and I assure you that the opportunities you want for change aren’t going anywhere. They’ll be there for a while, and though it may not feel like it, you have all the flexibility in the world right now.
Everybody else, thank you for listening. You know we always encourage you to send in questions of your own, don’t be shy. You can email them to us at advice AT oldpodcast DOT com
Keep em’ coming and get that stuff of your chest. I appreciate all of you being here, we’re done for now. I’ll look forward to talking to you again soon, and I hope you all tune back in. Until then.