Question of the Month

Ask J - December, 2007

Question: Hello J. I'm 42 years old and until now I've led a life that could mostly be described as internal--I read a lot, watched a lot of movies, hung out with basically the same group of friends. This was fulfilling for me when I was younger, and I was always very happy, but now I'm finding myself restless, bored , and depressed. I want a more external life with new experiences and new people. I want to be "out there" in the world, and I want to have the adventures I feel I missed out on due to my introverted childhood/young adulthood. But I'm having trouble figuring out how to start this change of life, and I'm finding it overwhelming. Could you offer any advice that could help? Thank you.
- Linda S., New York, NY

Answer: Linda, the quick answer to your question is a quote from Nike, "Just Do It". But let's take that a step further.

Understand that this one life we have here is usually broken up into different phases. It's plain to see that from fetus to where you are now required you to develop into a new person at every step. The same force that compelled you to take your first step is that very same force that is compelling you to take this next step now. Don't ignore it, question it, analyze it, Just Do It.

You have developed a comfort zone or "habit" as a means of living your life. Your self image and your habits are tied together. Change one and you will automatically change the other.

The word habit originally meant garment or clothing. Your habits are literally clothing worn by your personality and not by some random act or by chance. You “wear” them because they fit you or at least they use to. They are consistent with your self image. Now that you have consciously and deliberately developed a different self-image, you now have to outgrow the old habits and grow into this new person.

You did not miss out on anything. You've lived the life that was necessary for you to live at that time and now it's time to BE different.

Don't think of this dramatic change in your life as something needing to be accomplished today. Take your time to explore who you are now. Grab a pen and a piece of paper.

  1. What is it that you desire to do now?
  2. Who or what people are doing those things and can you see that particular group of people being a part of your life. I know it's difficult sometimes for an introvert to step out into the world an make new friends. It's easiest when you are in a place where a common desire is expressed.
  3. Remember, you get what you give. If you want friends than be friendly.

It seems to me that you know who you are and now what do you do with that knowledge? Start slowly, get up 15 minutes earlier, if you put on your right shoe first do the left, try brushing your teeth with the opposite hand. I know these seem trivial but it is the small things that bring about big change.

Finally, the world needs you to step it up. You have a special purpose that only you can fill. We are waiting for you to do something great. Whatever it is you decide to choose....Just Do It, Just Do It, Just Do It. Every time you get a little apprehensive about getting out there, cite that mantra and get moving.

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