Written by Susan Leigh.
Have you reached a point where you need more in your life? You’ve achieved much of your master plan, accommodated detours, coped when unexpected things cropped up. All those goals and dreams that were once so important; have come to fruition and you’re now feeling ready for something new.
In fact, you may have started to realise that the last few years have been spent in cruise-control, comfortably meandering along. Maybe your children have left home, your business runs itself, you’ve more free time, less overheads and there are no tangible challenges or goals to continue to inspire or motivate you.
You may have started to notice in some family members and friends that they’re becoming increasingly disillusioned with themselves and their lives. They may even seem bitter or antagonistic towards those friends who continue to be energetic and dynamic, who’ve introduced more into their days over time.
Seeing friends who value working, who enjoy new interests and challenges, setting themselves testing new projects can sometimes cause resentment, envy, jealousy and even prompt sarcastic comments regarding how much they do. Comments like, ‘at their age, their time of life why do they bother, what do they hope to achieve, why not sit back now and take it easy?’ may be heard.
But watching busy, energetic friends can also inspire us to want more out of life. It can motivate us to make an effort to see the benefits in having a go. We can be reminded that nothing ever stays the same. We could use this as an opportunity to reassess our own lives, especially if we find ourselves saying, ‘Is this it? I need more in my life’. At a time like this it’s great to mix with people who are demonstrating what’s possible and can introduce us to a new awareness of our potential.
Remember though, that when we do compare our lives to other people’s many aspects may be very different. We all have our own story. What provides motivation and purpose for one may not work for another, or even be relevant. We need to nurture our own goals, find ones which sustain and fulfil us on our way.
Equally it’s important not to be too reliant on others to keep us on track. We each have our own lessons, learnings and insights to make. Yes, others may be able to offer support but they’re not going to be as heavily invested in our life and success as we are. Expecting others to provide ongoing interest, encouragement or monitoring may ultimately result in frustration, resentment and even the development of a possessive, co-dependent relationship.
When you need more in your life it can be good to first take time to explore and try out new opportunities to see what best suits you. Maybe offer to help a friend, local business or charity. Volunteer and see what’s involved. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to get used to the new demands, routine and discipline, to become familiar with the skills required; then you can discover how you feel about making it more permanent.
Taking on more commitments doesn’t mean overwhelming yourself though. Pace yourself and enjoy this new stage of life. Pre-determine the amount of time you can realistically afford to invest but also accept that once you make a commitment other people may come to rely on your regular input and involvement.
And don’t forget that the longer you stay in your comfort zone the smaller it becomes. When you decide you need more in your life be enthusiastic about regularly scaring yourself a little with new adventures. It’s a great way to remind yourself that you’re still alive!