See it Say it Sorted!20th May 2018
This was an artcile I wrote for Affinity Magazine but the message is useful for us all.
If you have travelled by train recently you will have seen the exhortation ‘See it. Say it. Sorted.’
I find it fascinatinging that most people plan their vacation with more care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that’s because escape is easier than change.
Of course this refers to anything unusual, left luggage, people acting strangely or anyone of a number of other things. But actually it’s not a bad way to think about our own lives. As humans we all have a tendency to drift through days, weeks, months and even years. We all lead busy lives but it’s easy to be so busy with the mundane everyday things that we never really get to thinking about the bigger picture.
Yet I know that there are a lot of people who live lives that are not fulfilling, essentially they are not very happy and often people around them may wonder why on earth they don’t change. But for most people change is a bit scary. However talented we might be we can’t see into the future and for a lot of people a life that is predictable, even if not fulfilling, gives them a certain security. If that is the case that is you choice but please be aware that the truth is that however ‘fixed’ you may see you life, if you are not happy there will always be some areas you can change. But the first step is simply to see it.
It can be an uncomfortable feeling to gradually realise and ‘see’ that your life or more likely one aspect of it is not making you happy. Sometimes we actually need a bit of space to see it. Some relaxation, or time away, might mean you come back and suddenly you notice things you didn’t before. Or it may be some sort of anniversary that brings you up short. Someone I got chatting to recently said they’d been in their current employment for 14 years – they laughed and explained that they’d only intended to stay for a year or two then try to get a promotion but in her words ‘life happened’. The thing is life will continue to happen and while sometimes unexpected things happen, either good or bad, for many people life just keeps ‘happening’ and they suddenly realise that a lot of time has passed and they haven’t done what they thought they would do. Now if you are brilliantly happy then that is fair enough but if you are not then the only way it is going to change is with you doing something and step one is to see it. Notice the feeling and recognise the aspects of your life that you are not happy about.
Open your eyes. Look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living.
While seeing it, and becoming aware that you are not fully satisfied is undoubtedly the first step, of itself it won’t actually make anything very different. If I noticed on a train someone acting suspiciously and said nothing then if there was a malicious intent my seeing it wouldn’t change the course of what would happen. But saying it might. So step 2 is all about you voicing what you have seen. Obviously in the transport scenario you need to tell the right person, someone who can take action and has the authority to do something about it.
What if I told you 10 years from now your life would be exactly the same. I doubt you’d be happy. So, why are you so afraid of change?
But when it comes to your own life you can guess who that person is! Yep that would be you. But a helpful step can be to acknowledge what you see to someone else. There is a power in voicing our thoughts, taking the time to voice aloud and say to someone what you might have previously noticed but only thought, can have a powerful effect. In some ways it makes it much more real and often will put you in a position where you are able to take the next step and do something about it. Perhaps to start to make those changes to ensure that you are living the life you want in the way you want.
It might be just one word but of course getting to the ‘sorted’ stage can be a tough journey. Having noticed things aren’t how you want them and voiced that to someone then of course you have a choice. You can do nothing and continue as before. It is your life and you can live it as you want, but remember you only get one go at life and while it is easy to blame others or situations for your unhappiness but actually being happy is you r responsibility. Even acknowledging that some aspects of life can be hard to change there is usually a lot that you can change. But it’s challenge as many people find change daunting and sometimes forgo the chance of happiness to maintain the status quo. Yes the future can be uncertain but that is what makes us alive.
It’s better to look ahead and prepare, than to look back and regret.
So like the passenger on a train if everything is looking good and you are feeling happy with things then do nothing but if you start to notice, that life isn’t what you want then see it, say it and be prepared to get it sorted. It might take courage to face a change but letting life drift by and realising you have been putting up with things you aren’t happy with for years will often lead to regret.