The Biggest Sign that You Need Change in Your Life

Feeling complacent is a sign that you need to effect major change in your life.


One of my favorite rags-to-riches stories is that of J.K. Rowling. Not just because she wrote one of the most beloved fantasy fiction series of all time, or because she’s a hero to late-blooming introverts like me everywhere, but because her story captures the essence of what’s possible with the simple decision to effect change in your life for the better.

In short, Rowling was a financially-strapped, single mother during the time she was writing the first Harry Potter book. Despite her less than ideal circumstances, she was determined to become a published author. Seven books later she became one of the most well-known (and richest) authors of our generation.

Rowling had obvious catalysts for change. She had a daughter to care for, bills she wasn’t sure she could afford, and a battle with depression on her hands. The author was at the point of her own story where things could either turn tragic or turn around. Lucky for everyone it was the latter.

You don’t have to hit rock bottom in order to effect major change in your life. Sometimes the hints that we need to pivot are much more subtle. Watching for these signs and taking the necessary action can save us a lot time and fruitless effort.

The Biggest Sign that You Need Change in Your Life

Mel Robbins’ TEDx talk How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over should be required viewing for anyone interested in personal development. She proposes the 5-second rule for getting what you want in this talk—which is a great tool by the way—but just as important is her diatribe on the f-word. No, not that f-word, the other one: fine.

Robbins’ believes that the reason we are so easily dissuaded from going after what we want is that we grow complacent with what we have or where we are. In other words, we’re just fine.

Telling ourselves we’re fine is a problem. It stops us from stating our true feelings and gives us a cop out. We don’t have to act if we’re fine. We can remain where we are and we are neither better nor worse for it. If instead we admitted we felt crummy, we’d have to do something about our situation. But no, we are happy (enough) to stay with fine.

Feeling like this is the biggest sign that you need to effect change in your life. Our nature demands that we feel emotions, good or bad, and our life should be filled with them. A lack of emotions is worse than feeling pain. Uncomfortable feelings signal us to change something. Good feelings tell us we’re doing something right and should continue. If we feel nothing, we may as well not be alive.

Any time we reach a point in our lives where we feel complacent, whether it be at our jobs, our residence, or our relationships, we should take it as a queue to begin effecting change in our lives. Unless we’re fine with leading a meaningless existence.

There’s a Change in the Weather, There’s a Change in the Sea

When I decided to start this blog I set myself a lofty goal of reaching 9,000 unique visitors per month by the end of one year. Looking back, I can’t say it was delusional, but I will say that I underestimated what it takes to achieve that level of readership. I spent so much time in the actual writing process, that I had little time to focus on the marketing aspect while trying to still meet the obligations of a 9-to-5 job and my personal relationships.

That said, I don’t consider this blog a failure just because I didn’t reach my goal. This is weekly post number 52 on this blog. According to the Gregorian calendar that is one full year. That’s a big deal!

My entire life I’ve never been able to follow through on personal projects. I’ve usually quit when things felt like too much effort or the moment I lost interest. But for a whole year now I’ve posted every week on Wednesdays, without fail. This blog, then, is a big success for me.

That said we all need to reassess our goals from time to time. Writing weekly articles has felt more like a responsibility in the last few months than a hobby. My writing has a purpose which has kept me going but I have to be fair to myself too. I don’t want to feel fine writing these weekly posts. I want to enjoy what I do.

In two weeks I get married and a few weeks after I’ll be on my honeymoon. This feels like a queue to reassess what I hope to accomplish with this site. I need to figure out if there’s a fire still burning for this or if it’s time to move on to something new. My hope is that the time off can bring me some clarity and I either come back to this with more energy or I realize something else that I really want to do.

Until then I implore you to reassess where you are in your own life. Are you feeling great? Are you feeling dissatisfied? Or are you just fine? Decide if you need to begin effecting change in your life and act accordingly.

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