A look at how refocusing your life can often mean sacrifice
At least once a year I try to look at my professional standing and truly evaluate it. I ask myself the following questions (and I encourage you to as well):
- Does what I do still make sense to me?
- Does what I do still make me happy?
- Is what I do providing enough financial security?
- Am I continuing to grow?
All of these questions don’t have to hold the “correct” answer. If what you’re doing doesn’t make you 100% happy but right now it’s the best financial decision, then make that paper. If you’re not making as much money as you’d like but you’re working towards goals that are inspiring you, then you’re headed in the right direction. The problem occurs when you’re spinning your wheels.
If you’re not happy and you’re not making any money, then you need to refocus. If you’re making money, but your unhappiness is overshadowing that, then you need to refocus. If you’re making money and are moderately happy but can’t see yourself growing, then you may need to refocus.
Remember, this isn’t without sacrifice. You may need to say goodbye to a job that you’ve held for years. You may need to move on from people you’ve built relationships with. You may need to sacrifice a bigger paycheck for an extra shot of happiness every week.
Refocusing also may not make everything clear, and that is a pill that’s tough to swallow, because refocusing to make your life better may not make everything better at once. Consider this example: Joe hates his job, but makes good money. Joe can’t stand his job anymore, so he quits. Joe understand that by quitting his job he’ll be sacrificing his paycheck, but he’s got great qualifications and more importantly, the drive to succeed.
Now, Joe’s example is a simplified, black and white story for a very gray scenario, but sometimes oversimplification can get to the heart of the matter. When you make moves to better your life, everything can’t happen at once. But, if you’re not happy – refocus. If you’re not making enough money – refocus. When I was fired and no longer working full-time, I was terrified, and had a few very financially tight years. But my overall happiness and desire to work for myself in my own way was enough to make the other sacrifices worth it.
I encourage you to ask yourself those four simple/difficult/complicated/essential questions and determine if you need to refocus, because life can be too damn good to be miserable for too damn long.