Last updated on March 4th, 2019 at 10:46 am

When we become young adults, we’re usually encouraged to make a life plan. Often, that plan consists of getting a steady job that allows us to pay off our debts, support a family, and generally give us the luxuries that we dream of. Working five days a week gives us the freedom to own a house, a car, television, or whatever we decide is significant in our lives. At first, we might tell ourselves that building a solid bank account is of the utmost importance, but at some point, there may be a conflicting voice in our heads telling us, “This is not what I want to do for the rest of my life.” Something is missing. What we perceived the future to be is not what we’re experiencing. This is often referred to as the “midlife crisis.” In clichés, it’s depicted as a middle-aged man who, out of depression, suddenly has the urge to buy a motorcycle or learn to play guitar. This, however, is not always the case.

Inner feelings of conflict might surface at any age. They might occur in any gender and aren’t necessarily the product of depression. These conflicts do, however, make us feel uncomfortable, like something is missing or is not quite right in our lives.

Sometimes we might fully know what we need to do to move forward. It might be a change in career, a new hobby, a shift in location or a more personal change, but even with this awareness, the conflict persists.

To put this new idea into action, for example, changing occupations from an accountant to an artist, something in your lifestyle or otherwise must change along with it. This could be as risky as quitting your job or investing your life savings. Because of this risk, many are often stung by the reality that we can’t have our cake and eat it too. But sometimes, a change might be worth the risk.

When we feel this conflict in ourselves, the first thought that comes to mind might be “is it lucrative? Will it make me money?” The problem with this pattern of thinking is that this was the exact issue that brought us to the conflict in the first place. Not everything that is desirable is lucrative. Similarly, not everything that is lucrative is desirable. But when it really comes down to it, is it more important to face death with a fat wallet and a platinum credit card or with a peace of mind and happiness that can only come from fulfilling our own dreams?

Our second concern might be “is it plausible? “Am I able to do something like this?” If we have an idea and the motivation, there is no limit to what we can do. Going back to school, for example, after working for several years can be daunting, but if someone has the desire to achieve something, that desire will push us through our perceived obstacles.

Some of the time our conflicts can be satisfied with minimal risk. An amateur author can write on their spare time while still working a full-time job and carrying out family responsibilities.

If you’re deliberating any risks or changes in life, a few things must be considered before jumping off the deep end:

Be knowledgeable

Research the change that you’re contemplating. The Internet contains a bulk of information on just about everything and so can help guide you to the path that’s right for you. If you know anyone who is doing the same thing you’d like to, ask them some questions to get a better idea of what you might be getting yourself into.

Network

Reach out to a community of people who are involved in the same area. They might be able to provide you with some advice about how to get started and what tools you might need.

Take a minimalist approach

If you’re concerned about a major change in your lifestyle, try out your risky move before you throw yourself completely into it: do some volunteer work, start with it as a hobby, take a trip. Trying things out is essential to knowing whether you’re making the right decision and how far you want to go with it.


image: Boudewijn Berends (Creative Commons – BY)