There’s a small, very small, percentage of people who are truly content staying in the same place. That’s generally those who are 50 and older. I don’t mean staying in the same job or living in the same house. I mean staying in the same place, whatever that may be. Mostly physical. If it also means something emotional or psychological, changing the physical can often be the catalyst to a healthy emotional or psychological change. There comes a time when changing the atmosphere is a stronger need than a want.
When should you change the atmosphere?
“Well, when you’re unhappy, of course!”
Not necessarily. When I’ve been unhappy in places or situations, I consider the holy struggle that I believe is mine to share with Christ, and that’s to be put in circumstances that are either meant to help me grow or help someone else. If we left everything that ever made us unhappy, we’d be going on an endless, futile journey. And everyone is made happy by different things. Happiness is important, but it should never be the main thing we consider when we want a change of atmosphere.
A change of atmosphere is in order when you see an end to growth. If you wake up and realize that you are the same person that you were last week, a lightbulb should go off. A healthy place is a place where you are growing, lots, and if you’re not, then it’s time to move on. Also, if you discover that no one has been positively changed by you being there in recent history, then that also should trigger a lightbulb. It may be difficult to separate the absence of purpose from the absence of happiness, but that’s because the two usually go hand in hand. If you are feeling unhappy, take a deep look and try to figure out why. If it’s just because you want to escape some problems or you can’t stand a certain person or you want to try something new, maybe it’s not the best to go just yet. But, if you really believe deep down that you are not growing and no one else is growing, then consider making a change of scenery.
The pursuit of change and growth is always a good thing. What creates problems is if the reason for change is not necessarily a good thing. Remember, character comes before dreams.