The Pull and The Push

We recently went through several major life transitions: we added a family member (Cruz!), we moved from the east to the west coast, and I started a new job. We have seen a lot of change in a short amount of time. I don’t think we are completely through this time of transition, but I wanted to share a couple of insights we’ve gleaned along the way.

So, today: how do you know when it’s time to make a big move?

A former student asked me this in a coffee shop back in November when I told her we were moving. It’s a great question.
I answered by saying: “well, you just know.”
I said that somewhat in jest. She responded by saying: “that’s such a Steve Boutry thing to say,” which means I did actually leave a legacy!

Of course there’s more to it than that, but I begin with that story because I have learned to put more and more stock into my intuitive/gut-sense, and, honestly, sometimes you just know.

When you start to get that sense you should start to pay attention to what my brother-in-law calls the pull and the push.

The pull: there should be something drawing you into a better future. A compelling vision for what might lie ahead.

Wanderlust, boredom, and/or frustration with you current situation are warning lights that something might wrong, but they are not reasons to make a big change. Pay attention to them, process them with wise people, but don’t make a big move just to make a big move, or because you are ticked.

Sometimes, though, you begin to sense that a vision is forming, an idea is taking root. Opportunities start to knock. You begin to see a different future. That’s the pull! Lean into it.

The push: there will also be some things (people, circumstances, etc) that make it clear it’s time to go.

The push is tricky because not every irritating thing is “the push.” There may be some relational difficulties you need to work through. There are hard conversations to be had. Make every effort to be at peace with those around you. Sometimes, after working through some of these issues, you may find that you should stay!

But do not think that just because you have a vision (a pull) that you will sail on to the next thing unscathed. The push will leave a mark, and that mark might hurt, but sometimes we need that to get moving.

Navigating the pull and the push is an art, and deserve a post of their own, but the quality of your character in a time of transition is measured in handling the pull and push well.

You will never know with one hundred percent certainty that “now is the time.”
Trust your gut.
Pay attention to the pull.
Be ready for the push.
And make sure you have some wise guides around you to help navigate the waters.

And then jump with both feet in confidence and enjoy the ride!
More on the “ride” tomorrow.


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