There’s no denying that we live in a world that expects instant gratification. When you add in a never-ending (and often exhausting) obsession with the “bigger, better deal,” you’ve got a combustible combination. It’s no wonder so many relationships and businesses fail — we are confusing anxiety with hustle, not listening to our intuition with perseverance, and burn out with loyalty. Today, I am sharing seven questions to determine if your dedication is worthwhile or if it’s time to take a walk in a new direction.
1 | Is the see-saw moving up and down?
Many people have referenced the up-and-down movement of the children’s playground fixture in terms of maintaining a work-life balance, but the metaphor serves us well in all areas of our lives. Relationships must have equal effort to keep moving; our bodies need activity and rest, parents must find ways to be individuals, and so the list goes on.
When you’re thinking about walking away from something that feels imbalanced, think about ways to get things moving again. Can you make more of an effort to spend more quality time with your partner or perhaps ask a co-founder to carry more of their share? What are the ways you can incorporate wellness into your daily life? Don’t just assume you need to go play elsewhere. It’s not always about jumping off and letting it all drop.
2 | Is it out with the new, in with the old?
Yes, that was written correctly. Here’s what I mean; so many people have acquired a terrible habit of simply “replacing” things instead of investing in quality and then spending the time, energy, and money to get things running again. The bottom line: everything stops working at times. That doesn’t mean it’s broken.
3 | How strategic is your hustle?
In New York City, everyone proudly displays their “hustle.” While some people might read this as being fraudulent or sneaky, in NYC, it translates into a goal-getting hard worker who works day and night to make their dreams come true. It suggests a focused, around-the-clock activity that is the foundation of being a “boss.” What many do not realize is that true hustlers are strategic and strategy takes time to plan and execute. It’s great to be efficient but dragging your feet will slow you down; finding the right speed between patience and push is essential. Think about it: Most accidents, erroneous emails, slip-ups, and stresses come from an increase in speed.
4 | Do you know that the path of least resistance leads to mediocrity?
There’s a fantastic line in Jesse Itzler’s book, Living With a SEAL, that talks about one of the best life lessons he received from David Goggins. Itzler paid Goggins, a celebrated Navy SEAL to live with him and his family for a month and agreed to do whatever he was told to do. One of the first pieces of advice was, “If it doesn’t suck, we don’t do it.” The point, of course, is that most things worth having and achieving will take work, sweat, and discipline. Train yourself to get used to going after more difficult goals, rise to challenges, and scale the advice down to do what “sucks” on your to-do list first.
5 | Have you checked your “why?”
One of the very best ways to evaluate whether to stay or walk away is to think about your motivation for wanting to do both. Are you staying because you are executing a strategy that is working (albeit slowly) that you hope will bring you closer to your goals or wanting to exit because it’s not moving fast enough? Are you panicked about something or allowing hope to become a prison? Write down your motivations for quitting and staying the course and you’ll likely have much more clarity and a better understanding of where you need to enhance and change your way of thinking.
6 | Are you moving to different levels?
Progress just means you’re moving forward, but toward what? If you want to know if you’re on the right track, take a look at where you started and where you are now. Have you moved up or back-and-forth? Are you only moving forward time-wise or are you growing and achieving small goals that are raising your game, status, and profile in a positive way? I like to think about my childhood obsession with Mario Bros. for this one. Playing the same scenes over and over was great in the beginning as I became an expert in those areas, but eventually, I was bored and frustrated, especially when I played against others who were progressing to level four when I was still dying midway through level one.
7 | Finally, how do you feel every morning?
Feeling dread as you do when you have to clean a messy house is different from the type you feel when you have to walk into a dead-end job. Listen to your gut, pay attention to your body, and don’t devalue that inner voice; it speaks the truth.
Photo by the stylish @sosageblog. Check out her wonderful Instagram.