For millennia people have been known to leave their familiar surroundings and travel the world in search of the best places to start over. When I was a boy, my parents brought me out of the Soviet Union, seeking a better life in the West. And while they did it out of political necessity, I find that I myself have inherited the temptation for starting over.
The concept of starting over, represents a psychological shift in life. We associate it with shedding the old ways of life in exchange for something magical and invaluably better. There are plenty of reasons to want to start over. A desire for a more meaningful relationship, a more rewarding career or just a change of pace. It’s a reset button.
There were many times in my life, when I wanted to start over. Partially, I was motivated by my inability to find purpose in my endeavours. I had a meaningless job that I would quit. Get up and move to a new town, a new environment, a new life. I would embark on these many changes, just to end up facing myself and my reality over and over again.
Gradually I realized the saying “wherever you go there you are” held true. I could run away from the confines of my physical life, but not from the underlying factors of my displeasure. Eventually I had to make a stand, to identify the underlying causes of my dissatisfaction. And when I did, my desire to run was no more.
This is not to say that starting over has no merit. There are times when starting over indeed is a necessity. For you, the best place to start over is right where you are at this moment. You don’t have to go far across the world to distant lands. Don’t have to go to a different setting, or town, or state. Your physical location is secondary to your mindset.
Foremost, starting over is a change in perception. Because without this internal change, the external change is meaningless. I recommend addressing the following key factors in order to determine your life’s direction. If these lead you to other questions, explore them to your satisfaction.
Who are you?
Perhaps this is a bit of an esoteric question. In this instance, I am referring to how you see yourself. What makes you tick? Who are you at this very moment, how do you define yourself? How do you want to be perceived now and in the future?
What makes you happy?
Ask yourself what puts a smile on your face. Is there something you can do for the rest of your life, and be happy? For a moment, don’t focus on the material success or social status. We’re talking about lasting happiness and satisfaction. Isn’t happiness for the rest of your life worth the sacrifices?
What do you want from life?
If you had the opportunity to do anything in life, what would it be? Think about your goals and dreams. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but have been putting off? Is there a desire you that have, something you’ve always wanted to create, learn or start? Now that you’re at the crossroads, maybe the best time to start.
What is important to you?
Ask yourself about what motivates you. What gives your life purpose? What do you stand for? Look at your life up to this point. What have you achieved, and what is it that you wish to achieve? Much of what we do, is a mundane experience. What do you consider to be your life’s highlights?
What is the best place for you?
And for those of you who are determined to go exploring the world, identify what attracts you to that particular place, country or a city. Why is it the best place to start over for you? Is it the culture? Is it the climate? Does it have a special cause that you want to pursue? Do you speak the language, are you an expert at something that this place is in need of?
Whatever you decide to do, and wherever you decide to do it at, make sure that it come from your heart. Be brutally honest with yourself. Remember that no one else knows better what’s best for you, then you do yourself. Because in the end, you will find yourself there, wherever you are, whoever you are, and you want to make sure that you like what you’ve become.
Live well. Vlad