I had a revelation the other day about pain and what people often refer to as “being stuck.” When I heard someone ask the question, “are they in enough pain to make a change?” It suddenly came to me how often I have stayed where I am in my life, in a mediocre relationship, unhealthy in my body, a difficult work place, all the time complaining about being stuck. So the thought that perhaps I wasn’t in enough pain to take action and make a change struck me as a possibility. If I were to put a hand on a hot burner I would quickly make a change. The pain would propel me to action. But all too often we live with a dull ache and do our best to keep it at a dull ache, but maybe that’s the problem. Maybe we need to reach out and touch our lives and it will either be rich and textured or it will burn and we’ll move.
I am reminded of trying to explain a concept to my career coaching clients about the kinds of skills they want to offer in the workplace. I always say that skills that you love doing are good for you, skills that you hate doing inform you, it’s the skills that are just fine that are the killers. They don’t create enough pain to take action to find work that is a better fit. They are fine. And a life of “just fine” is quite numbing . . . a dull ache . . . It’s something to think about as I reflect on where my life is fine and help my clients reflect on theirs.