You know those times when it feels like the things you want the most in life are stalling?
And though you’ve been trying and trying to get that new job, that new home, that new relationship, etc. the uncomfortable pattern of waiting, and circling, (and waiting…and circling some more…) continues with mounting levels of frustration.
I have a friend who has been going through this roller coaster for months. In this particular case, it’s been the hunt for a career change. The road has been replete with teasers of getting closer, quickly followed by the crushing sense that nothing seems to be actually progressing. Interviews have occurred and continue to occur. And yet no end date for a decision has been clear for his “dream job.”
In our professional life this can be especially devastating as we - in the West especially - measure so much of our self-worth by our profession. And as we daydream about a potential new gig it’s as though we can smell its freshness just over yonder threshold. The sweet promise of new coworkers, new opportunities, new projects, new ideas, new paychecks and new adventures. The chance to be rid for good from the drama of your current office, the craziness of your boss, and the same old daily complaints.
And for him, it feels as though freedom from the heavy burdens of his current situation is just a new job’s length away.
But there is an interesting teaching in the yogic sciences that goes something like this: no matter where you go, the problems that have “haunted” you before, will continue to haunt you again. Whether it’s worthiness, interpersonal, or financial, the same issues that have plagued you with $100 in the bank will be the same ones that bother you at $1,000,000.
So what’s a guy to do?
Allow me to offer a few suggestions…
FIRST: Face the issues of your current job head on. Find ways to unpack, address, and maneuver through the things that and continue to “haunt” you about your current position. Behave in ways that break old patterns - and do so with a bit of grit at grace. Make new connections with others through your current role. Let your present career be your best resume. And if you can muster the Jedi-mind-strength to find gratitude in the lessons of difficult people and situations, you can command the forces of positivity and growth to flow with you instead of against you.
SECOND: Take responsibility for your mental, physical, and or spiritual expansion. While these moments of stall-out in the perpetual waiting rooms of the mind offer plenty of time to master the art of surrender, they also provide a chance to take action in other ways. Crafting your own continuing education plan - complete with a reading list, a schedule of events, and maybe even a monthly check-in with a mentor for accountability - is an option to continue to allow for growth on your own terms. Or if you need a break from the professional aspect, allow yourself to indulge in some other sort of cross training - be it for a half-marathon, spiritual study, or an interesting certification that will only add to your multi-faceted exceptionality.
THIRD: Prioritize the things that will add to your bank of well-being. Instead of thinking “Oh, I’ll do X when I get that job/promotion/engagement,” allow yourself to take action now! You’ve always wanted to go to Iceland? Why don’t you start budgeting, planning, and saving today. There’s a Florence & the Machine concert coming up? Grab a ticket as an investment in amplification of healing energy and inspiration. I’m not telling you to have an irresponsible field day with your finances but I am telling you to give yourself a break. Holding things back for that next step is a treadmill that can be damaging and exhausting. Let yourself (responsibly) enjoy the life you have now - today. Because as we learn time and time again, it is so precious and so very short.
FINALLY: Recognize that you are not powerless and there is something bigger at play. Wherever your religious beliefs may lie, that notion of patience being tested and tested again isn’t a new one. It happened to Job in the Bible. It happened to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. It happened to basically every spiritual teacher that has ever lived. It happens to us all in some way or another. Your choice to surrender and trust is actually a power move if it grants you greater mental peace. Find your own way to consciously let go of the obsession and demands of having things a certain way at a certain time, take action in other ways and allow space for something more cosmic to take over. That kind of alignment with divinity makes one truly unstoppable.
So yes, thank you, Drake, I do believe God has a plan. And I trust in that divine timing. But I also believe every single one of us is blessed with the free will to take responsible action for our own fulfillment. To walk towards joy and bliss with so much vigor that the final touchdown of a goal when and where we want it subtly becomes less of a concern.
And one day soon, we’ll just see how perfectly orchestrated and timed out this whole thing was after all.