55. Always Reassess

Good morning and welcome to your fifty-fifth meditation. Last week we discussed taking the time to make sure that what you are doing in your life aligns with what is fundamentally important to you. This week will act as a kind of sequel to that episode. Because sometimes, if you do give yourself that time, you may realize that what you are doing and what you care about do not in fact line up. Maybe you spend 50 hours a week working a job that is meaningless to you, and from which you derive no joy. Maybe you are in a relationship that has made you feel disconnected from yourself, and you have unwittingly changed your life around for the worse to suit the other person. Maybe you find that you can’t really relate to the friends or family with whom you spend the most time anymore. All this stuff happens all the time. That’s life. And it often happens without us really noticing it. But we have to notice it. And to do so we have to give ourselves the time and space from our everyday lives to have a little critical perspective. And once we’ve noticed it, then we have to change it. We have to get out of our relationship, we have to break with our friends, we have to find a new job, or even a new career. Otherwise we will just be swept along, and feel worse and worse, and more alienated from ourselves as a result. These kinds of groundswells in our lives are easy enough to talk about, but much more complicated to actually execute. It might feel awful; you might experience crippling doubt, or withdraw. It might be lonely. But remember, we are creatures of habit. It is so easy to accidentally condition ourselves to become dependent on behaving in certain ways. And the longer we do it, the more the habit seems impossible to break. We will even rationalize that if we were to leave these people and things now, that we will have wasted our lives until that point; so we might as well see it through.
But just think, these people, these things, make up everything that your life is. If you come home from a job that you hate to your partner to whom you no longer relate, and then go for drinks with friends that you don’t really want to hang out with, then that’s it. There isn’t time for anything else! That is your life in its totality. It’s not that you’ll have wasted your earlier years by leaving these people and things, it’s that you’ll have wasted your life by sticking with them. And in these days of reduced job security and a rapidly changing economy, being nimble is an asset. So reassess, reassess, reassess. Always take the time to make sure what you are doing aligns with what you value. Always be learning. And never be afraid to start from ground zero. If you do these things then you will always be in touch with who you are, you will be excited about what you’re doing, and you’ll never want to stop. Because if you did, you wouldn’t be doing it! Keep it up. You’re doing great. Have a wonderful day.

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