For some reason, people like to ask me for help when they want to make a change.
Being someone who is always in a state of development, I guess people look at me as someone who is willing to take the risks and make changes. They ask me for advice about what they should do, and how they should make a change.
When I meet with them, I ask questions and I discover something interesting. They aren’t really wanting specific solutions or how-to advice. What they’re seeking is the permission to do what they want.
In essence, they have wanted to make a change of some type for a while, but they haven’t. And they are getting to a point where they cant stand the thought of being who they are, or living as they do any longer.
The common question they ask me is “How do I know if it’s time?”
I have faced that same question many times in my life. I’d get myself into a position I thought I wanted to be in, and then I’d soon realize I wanted something more.
For a long time, I told myself I was just inconsistent and flaky. That I wasn’t able to be satisfied with what I had. I’d try to convince myself that I should just learn to settle.
That was until I learned about self-actualization.
The concept was originally created by Abraham Maslow to describe people with a positive desire to continue to grow and develop themselves.
Maslow explained that when the basic needs of life – security, safety, love, companionship, self-esteem – are met, there is still another level of need. The desire to actualize, to become a better version of yourself, is actually intrinsic. It is growth that is desired for it’s own sake.
I believe that every single person has this need, but often it is buried. Usually it’s because we aren’t told it’s normal to want to be more. Once we get to a level of respectable normality, everyone around us tells us we are on track, and that its time to relax.
But the truth is, we don’t want to relax. We want to grow.
I think this is exactly what is happening whenever a person comes to me asking for suggestions of what they should do. I am by no means some guru who has all the answers,
I’m just a person who is very focused on self-actualization. I think they see in me this self-given permission to just go for it.
So when they ask me: “Is this the right time to make a change?”
My answer is simply: “Yes”
If you have the desire to do something more with your life, something that is driving you from within to improve, then you simply have to do it.
If you keep resisting it, you’ll end up slowly killing yourself. You’ll still be alive in the world, yet part of you will feel dead. You can ignore it all you want, but the need to grow is what drives you at a deep level.
Ignoring your need to grow is one of the surest ways I know to feel deeply unhappy.
The very thought of doing what you want to do is exciting. It fills you with a sense of life, similar to what young children have.
Not everyone I encourage to make the change ends up going for it. Some of them say they will wait a little longer, some get half started, some get scared and regress. But occasionally, one of them breaks through to another level.
To me, that is a source of true joy in my life: watching another person actualize.
So, the question I have for you is this… are you waiting for the time to be right to do what you want?
If so, then know this: the time is now.