Defining Work and Success for Yourself

Back in July, I participated in a TED style in-studio event called Inspired Success. I spoke on defining work and success for ourselves. Each of the speakers received their video file this week. I wanted to share mine and also give you a bit of background on the experience.

Getting involved as a speaker for this event was pretty random. I went to a networking lunch in June. A woman there suggested I contact Sunday about speaking for her Inspired Success event, after hearing about my work. So I called and Sunday bravely took a chance on someone she had never met!

Then as we got closer and closer to the July event, I had a lot of second thoughts about participating. The “Inspired Success” theme wasn’t resonating with me so my speech was feeling really inauthentic. I almost canceled two days beforehand! It was the “breakdown before the breakthrough” as Sunday coined it. Wednesday afternoon, I sat down and wrote what I really thought and this is what came out:

Success is an elusive concept and shouldn’t be our focus.

While I felt pretty awkward suggesting that “success” shouldn’t be our primary focus at an event called Inspired Success, the audience was wonderfully supportive. In my speech, I suggested “success” is sort of a vague idea – it’s really arbitrary, not guaranteed to be replicable and can feel really empty when we “achieve” it. Instead of success being the end goal, I suggested that meaningful work and meaningful relationships are often the things we’re really looking for. In order to see “success” in these areas, we need to redefine work. Defining work properly means we learn to see value in more than just our paid employment. We need to see success in more than just dollars and fans. In fact, we need to re-engaged with our Creator and understand his calling in our lives.

Delivering the speech felt amazing – the women at this event were truly an inspiring group and the positive energy in the room was incredible. They’re doing fantastic work in our community. I felt so lucky to get to connect with many other Seattle entrepreneurs. I’m working Carin and her WISE Women group. I love Rachel‘s vision for her Leadership Launch program. Debbie and Anna have both blessed me with their wisdom and insight.

I’m so glad that I participated after all. I learned a lot about myself in the speech-writing process and was really encouraged by the stories from all the other speakers. It was another one of those moments where I felt like my calling was affirmed and the overriding emotion at the end of the day was simply gratitude.

Inspired Success is now an on-going community and Sunday is hosting her second in-studio event tomorrow in fact. If you’re a Seattle area woman leader, check out the community on Facebook here and get involved!

Management Advice: Stop saying “BUT”

So here’s your very simple but difficult management advice for today: stop using the word but! Whether you’re parenting or working or hanging out with friends, the word but needs to go.

management advice Why?

I was first clued into this concept when reading a parenting book called How to Talk so Kids will Listen which is excellent and you should read even if you’re not a parent. The authors explained that anytime you use the word “but” you end up negating everything you’ve just said. Let’s do a quick example:

I say “Hey Canon, you did a great job with clean up time but you forgot to pick up the toys in the family room.” What does that sound like to you? Did he really do a great job? It sounds like I’m trying to let him down easy, that actually no, he didn’t do a good job cleaning because he forgot a key part of the process. What does he hear? That I don’t mean what I said and I’m really just criticizing him.

How could I say it better? “Hey Canon, you did a great job cleaning up in the playroom. Can you also grab the toys in the playroom?”

It applies equally well in the workplace context. I was reminded of this principle reading Fierce Conversations this week. Susan Scott writes, “Multiple, competing realities exist simultaneously: This is true and this is true and this is true.” When we say “yes, but” we don’t acknowledge the competing realities, we just try to keep persuading other people that our own version is correct.

What to say instead

The word “but” negates other views and can come across as blaming. Scott recommends trying to replace every “but” with an “and” so that both realities are acknowledged as valid pieces of the whole picture.  Instead of “You see it that way, but I see it differently” try, “You see it that way, and I see is differently.” A really simple switch that has the potential to keep discussions civil and people feeling like they are heard while still also allowing for differences of opinion. Win Win. Other options include:

  • “The problem I see is”
  • “At the same time”

Watch out though, as these can also come across as condescending based on your tone. And is probably the safest bet. You can also just stop your sentence and replace that “but” with a period. Start the next sentence as a question instead. Because asking questions is always a good principle for parents and managers anyway. That was bonus management advice right there.

The Coaching Habit – a great book for everyone who leads

The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay StanierThe Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier (CEO of Box of Crayons) is super practical, super funny and easy to implement immediately and in small chunks. In fact, he also has a video that goes with each chapter so if you prefer watching to reading you can still get all that practical advice without having to turn pages.

Who is The Coaching Habit for?

It’s for busy managers and leaders who want to be “coaching” their employees and helping them develop their potential. The key word is “busy.” Stanier provides seven questions for managers to ask and gives you scenarios to understand how asking these questions might play out. He makes you think about what moments might trigger the need for one of these questions, and help you prepare for how you want to coach differently.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of management and coaching books out there. If you’re like me, it makes you feel a bit panicky about all that knowledge you haven’t yet absorbed. This book is a great place to start and might be all you need for a long time! Stanier knows you’re busy, knows you don’t have time to implement huge complex changes. He even gives you some great tips about how to build your coaching habit so that it feels doable and really sticks.

Did I mention this book has a really fun readable layout is absolutely hilarious?

What is The Coaching Habit about?

Stanier suggests that most of us spend too much time in meetings or coaching sessions handing out advice that won’t get followed anyway. He recommends sticking with some concise questions to get to the real issue and solve that in less time. The seven questions are really simple (sometimes the most simple things are most effective right?):

  1. The Kickstart Question: What’s on your mind?
  2. The AWE Question: And What Else?
  3. The Focus Question: What’s the real challenge here for you?
  4. The Foundation Question: What do you want?
  5. The Lazy Question: How can I help?
  6. The Strategic Question: If you’re saying Yes to this, what are you saying No to?
  7. The Learning Question: What was most useful for you?

You can be a great coach without letting it eat up your whole day. If you’ve felt overwhelmed with all the options, this book is a great place to start. Read it fast, try one thing today already and see how it works!

**The link to Amazon is an affiliate link!**

Work with your hands

work with your hands poster

“Everybody isn’t a lawyer or doctor. Teach kids it’s ok to work with your hands and build cool things.” I ran across this poster on LinkedIn last week (you can see it here) and a friend commented that it’s a great time to be in the trades.

Later she wrote me how frustrating it is that people seem to think “. . . being a tradesmen is a secondary dream or something to fall back on if you don’t make it as a doctor . . . It seems the general LI public is really ignorant as to the education and commitment that it takes to be successful in a trade and that it’s not something to be taken lightly. It’s like if you don’t work at a keyboard or on a phone, that you’re less of a professional.

  • The fact is HVAC, plumbing, electrical and other tradesPEOPLE do go to college and are required like many professions to obtain annual CEU’s and certifications.
  • The fact also is that plumbers can expect to earn $80-100k annually.
  • The fact also is that we have a terrible lack of tradespeople available and they are now in a position to call the shots in regards to benefits, schedules and perks.

I don’t think that sounds like something that is a ‘fall back’ . . . I’m seriously disturbed by the attitude of people who clearly consider working with their hands lower in some way . . . and we’re going to find ourselves in a dire situation because we haven’t fostered the trades.”

Her comments reminded me immediately of Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford. I’ve quoted him before on the blog (here and here and here). He’s a PhD who became a motorcycle mechanic. He documents how we have degraded work over time by separating thinking and doing. This is a false separation, as my friend knows. In real work, you can’t separate mental and manual function. Mechanics, plumbers and general contractors constantly confront situations that require diagnosis and good judgment. It’s super insulting that we imagine these people are somehow less intelligent than a banker.

If thinking is bound up with action, then the task of getting an adequate grasp on the world, intellectually, depends on our doing stuff in it. Shop Class as Soulcraft p. 164

Work with Your Hands

Nothing beats experience. When you work with your hands, you see what works and what doesn’t. There’s something tangible in front of you and you get immediate feedback on your progress. You see what you have accomplished. This is highly rewarding to most of us. Who has experienced the feeling that you’ve accomplished more cleaning out your garage then you did all week at work?

There are a couple reasons for this:

  1. We see the whole picture. It’s easy to grasp how our efforts contributed. We can see real differences!
  2. We complete a whole project instead of just filling a desk for a certain amount of hours.

I’m sure you could think of more. If you want meaningful work, it’s important to consider how important tradespeople are to our society. They might not get the respect they deserve, but if you run their jobs through Daniel Pink’s Drive test, they win every time. Autonomy? Check. Mastery? Check. Purpose? Check.

Let’s work on erasing the hierarchy of jobs and instead celebrate the diversity of careers. The next generation needs to know all their options.

There is Life After College: A must- read for all!

life after college
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My library hold on There is Life After College by Jeffrey Selingo right after my last blog post. Wow, what perfect timing! You should put it on hold too. Why? Whether you’re a parent, teacher, counselor, student, professor or new graduate, there will be something here for you. A college coach recommended this book in her seminar at my Birkman conference. Selingo identifies three common paths for students: the Sprinters, Wanderers and Stragglers and I found it fascinating that this coach has found markers in the Birkman reports that predict which path students are likely to take.

But that’s not really the point today. The point is this book has information and advice you probably need. You might be a parent frustrated with your kid’s “failure to launch.” Read this book. You might be a graduating high school senior who is unsure about the next step. Read this book. You might be a college administrator trying to figure out what other classes or opportunities the students needs to “succeed.” Read this book.

Life After College

Selingo helpfully describes the current post-college challenges in our economy. Parents, it’s not all your kid. The system has issues too! He provides tons of concrete tips for students on how best to navigate college and understand how employers hire. He discusses internships, alternative learning avenues and hands-on experiences. It’s all the stuff we don’t tend to think about when we’re just starting college. How employers hire and what they’re really looking for.

This kind of book really resonates with me because it asks us to take a good hard look at all our assumptions. So often we live like lemmings just being funneled through the system because that’s just easier. As a result, we don’t stop to ask why we’re doing what we’re doing and if it’s really the best route. He clarifies how our ingrained patterns of doing college and looking for jobs aren’t really serving us anymore. Selingo jolts us out of our rut and helps us do some needed re-evaluation at the macro level. I love this because it’s similar to what I’m trying to do at the micro level with individual students and their families as they figure out their college and career direction.

Have you read it? What were your takeaways?

Is a college degree necessary for everyone?

college degree necessary

So I created My College IQ primarily to help students pick majors and figure out their career direction in life. But today I was in a meeting that made me want to rename my product. We were talking about the fact that a lot of our culture assumes the need for a four-year college degree. We push kids to go to college. And yet, what we really mean is that kids need to become “credentialed” in some way for their careers. And there are so many more options for getting credentialed than just a college degree. The above chart is from the Association for Career and Technical Education and I think it’s so helpful to give us that broader picture.

Credentialing

That’s what we should be talking about when we’re helping students figure out next steps. What if we talked about what “credentials” they’re going to get instead of what college they’re going to?

A lot of people should not go to a four year university. It sounds wrong to say that. As a society, we pretend that university is the answer to everything. We think it’s a requirement for a great career and more money. Meanwhile, we ignore the debt conversations. We continue to reinforce blue collar/white collar divides. We continue to rank manual labor jobs as somehow less worthy than mental labor positions.

But I know for a fact that plumbers make good money.

And many people thrive when they can see the work of their hands.

And many people struggle with depression and disengagement at their fancy desk jobs.

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If you want a good philosophical look at the value of manual labor or blue collar work, you should check out Matthew Crawford’s Shop Class as Soul Craft. For me, it was an incredible reminder of the intelligence and skill required to do jobs we often look down on. I was reminded that we often learn so much more by doing than by reading. This is him discussing our push to get everyone to go to college:

“In this there is little accommodation of the diversity of dispositions, and of the fact that some very smart people are totally ill suited both to higher education and to the kind of work you’re supposed to do once you have a degree. Further, funneling everyone into college creates certain perversities in the labor market. The sociologist of education Randall Collins describes a cycle of credential inflation that ‘could go on endlessly, until janitors need Ph.D’s and babysitters are required to hold advanced degrees in child care.’”

Cultivation of Knowledge

College and university used to be primarily about cultivation of knowledge for its own sake. That’s why you still have Art History and Philosophy degrees. These are great and even necessary areas of study, but let’s not pretend that they make it easier for you to get a good job. While I think everyone should be required to take some philosophy classes, it’s often hard to Liberal Arts students to translate their college degree into a career outside of academia. And today most colleges are selling their ability to credential students for the workforce.

So let’s be honest about what we’re trying to achieve. For some students, a liberal arts college degree is exactly what they want. It’s who they are. They thirst for knowledge, primarily of the book variety. And for others, that’s anathema. They want to be out there doing something! In the end, what we really want students to do is get a credential that will help them get a job. And that means we should be exploring every credentialing avenue, not just the four-year college degree program. Community colleges, certificates, apprenticeship programs, on-the-job certifications – these are all great paths for students to figure out the next step in their lives.

What was  your educational path? Would you go back and do something differently today? What would be your advice to a junior or senior in high school?

Best Reads of 2013

Well, 2013 is drawing to a close and I thought I’d give you a look at my top reads this year. As I sorted the list I realized these selections are quite good indicators of the areas of life I dwell on the most these days: faith, parenting and work. And of course, I tend to look at all of these things in the context of calling.

Faith/Spiritual Living

favourite reads 2013The Prodigal God by Tim Keller. What a powerful little book. This is one of those short reads that you should probably spend a long time reading. It was a big eye-opener for me to realize I am definitely the older brother in this parable. I’m not sure I had ever heard anyone really talk much about the older brother, especially to show how he is equally lost – that it’s a parable of two lost sons, not just one.

favourite reads 2013The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. I wrote a little about this book here. It might seem like a typical self-help book but goes much deeper because Brown happens to be a research professor on powerful topics like shame and vulnerability, fear and courage and worthiness. She shares very personal stories to demonstrate this vulnerability and gives a few optional exercises to try at the end of each chapter. If you don’t have time to read, her two TED talks are a great option.

favourite reads 2013Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth by Walter Brueggemann. This is a book of poem prayers that a friend recommended and wow, both John and I were drawn to the raw honesty and piercing accuracy of our human ways. We read them aloud at dinner although I think it would probably be more worthwhile to read them with a journal handy. They’re beautiful and they really make you think. It’s good to be sort of “jarred” out of our normal approach to prayer.

favourite reads 2013The Lost Art of Lingering by Rowland Forman. This is a very practical, gentle guide to mutual mentoring and is packed full of resources on the topic of living the Christian life together. A good friend recommended this to me and it was a perfect refresher course for me after not reading anything on mentoring since college. Like, Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul Tripp, it’s a good reminder that we’re all supposed to be ministering to each other.

 

 

Children

favourite reads 2013How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlich. Wow, this book was fascinating and worth reading whether or not you’re a parent. The material in here can be applied with any kids you know and regularly hang out with. It’s easy to read with cartoon illustrations of their points and lots of great examples that put their ideas into context for you. I got it out on CD for John to listen to and he stopped it after only the first 20 minutes to talk about it with me because there was already so much good stuff to discuss.

favourite reads 2013Raising Cain by Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson. There are some great resources out there on boys and emotional intelligence so I’m not sure if I liked this one best because I read it first or because of the title, but it was an excellent overview of how boys are often raised to be “emotionally illiterate” and how this can increase school troubles etc. There was quite a bit in there about how our school systems are not supporting how boys learn and grow. I find anything about educational theory and systems fascinating so that was very helpful for me.

favourite reads 2013How Children Raise Parents by Dan Allender. Just listened to this one on CD and it seemed like a short “read” – only 3 CDs. What I appreciated most about this book was the fact that we will fail as parents and that this is to be expected. His big points are that children have two main questions, “Am I loved?” and “Can I have it my way?” which we need to answer with a “yes” and “no” respectively. This is not a “how-to” book at all but it was a great perspective on how parenting changes us and how our children teach us.

Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki. This isn’t on Amazon, so no picture. It’s a pdf book that I just read and I loved it. I’ve browsed through multiple potty-training books recently and they all seem a bit scared to pull any punches. They present options but don’t really want to tell you how to do it. This book is not scared to call it all like it is. I loved her emphasis on capability rather than the nebulous concept of “readiness”, how she blocks out the learning process and all the little tips and tricks to troubleshoot various issues.

 

Business/Coaching

favourite reads 2013Sticking Points by Hadyn Shaw. I blogged about this one here. This is a book every business needs to have on hand because every business is likely dealing with generational issues (actually it would probably be just as helpful for churches and extended families!). Shaw is fair to each generation and helps each generation see where the other generation is coming from. As a millennial, I’m sensitive to the fact that our generation is constantly under a microscope in the media. This book is an urgently-needed thoughtful counterbalance to a lot of the stuff floating around out there.

favourite reads 2013You Already Know How to Be Great by Alan Fine. Sounds cheesy I know. But his major point for coaches was that often our clients already know what they need to do and potentially even how to do it. They may not need more training or teaching (in fact that might make them perform worse – I talk a little about that here). What they really need help with is simply clearing out the noise and interference to help them focus effectively. He has a great model to use in coaching conversations that I have found effective in every day conversations as well.

The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni. I also blogged about this one here. This is one of those books that you wish every CEO was required to read before becoming CEO. It lays out very clear exercises to help leaderships teams get clarity and unity so that they can communicate effectively with those they lead. It all seems so simple when you read these kind of books and then you look around and wonder why it so rarely gets implemented. Possibly because it’s one of those very-hard-but-extremely-worthwhile things to do.

favourite reads 2013Switch by Chip and Dan Heath. Loved this book and all the other ones they’ve written as well. Great stories, simple but powerful concepts. I wrote about one of them here. These guys are so interesting and practical.

 

 

What were your favourite reads in 2013?

P.S. Disclosure: All image links are affiliate links so if you click on them and buy one of the books, Amazon pays me a few cents.

What’s Wrong with Work Today: Time

You might faintly remember that I was doing a series on “What’s wrong with work?” awhile ago – well, I went back to check just how long ago it was and wouldn’t you know it, it’s been a WHOLE YEAR. I wrote about Money, Mastery and Meaning. In February I came back to the series talking about Management Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Is it irony that this last post is about time? We don’t have enough of it.

TimeIn my research into the nature of work, one of the aspects I found most interesting was the fact that we have changed from a task-oriented to time-oriented view of work. In the pre-industrial era, people worked on completing tasks: building a chair, tilling the field, sewing the dress, cleaning the stables. They probably worked the same amount of hours or even more than we do today but that wasn’t what their compensation was tied to.

Today, how many hours we put in can feel more important than what we actually accomplish during that time, which adds a new dimension of pressure to work.

Consider the billable hour. I worked at a graphic design agency where every 15 minute increment was technically supposed to be documented and billed toward the right projects. Design doesn’t work that way. Brainstorming and idea creation involve time to think. Some people mull through problems for a long time until they have everything thought out in their heads and then execute quickly. Others start doing right away and re-think as they go along. Thinking isn’t easily measured and don’t look “productive” from an outside perspective. 

Having to account for every minute of your day to show its productivity is enormously draining. In Daniel Pink’s book Drive he suggests that part of the reason lawyers are so miserable as a group is because of how minutely they’re required to track their time with each client, “For nonroutine tasks, including law, the link between how much time somebody spends and what that somebody produces is irregular and unpredictable.” While we’re obsessed with being more efficient and faster at everything we do, some work is seriously jeopardized when we try to hurry it along.

Sometimes, working fewer hours actually makes us more productive because we value our free time so much. In Joanne’s Cuilla’s book The Working Life she writes,

We actually have some record of what such a change [working less hours] might mean to a community: in 1930, in the teeth of the Depression, the cereal entrepreneur W.K. Kellogg put his workers on a six-hour day at full pay. Productivity increased dramatically, helping pay for the experiment. Meanwhile, the company town’s parks, community centers, churches, and YMCAs all flourished. Researchers who interviewed the townspeople found that their interests had grown and changed: they now asked themselves, “What shall I do?” not just, “What shall I buy?” (p. 115).

There are quite a few modern examples as well (Results-Only-Work-Environments are the most extreme version) and yet Americans still work longer hours and take far less vacation than most Europeans. And it’s not putting us that much farther ahead. Despite working fewer hours, the French are just as productive as the Americans.

There are all kinds of obstacles if you start trying to fix the time vs. productivity imbalance. Culturally, we’ve tied being busiest to being best. Touting the numbers of hours worked per week is a kind of status symbol (Maybe because so much of our work has lost meaning and time is the only “measurement” we can find to give us a sense of meaning?). Many people are doing the work of two or more people and no matter how long they work, can’t get through what’s expected of them. Some of us, if given the freedom to chart our own course, find it hard to self-motivate or learn how to work outside a 9-to-5 structure.

Have you struggled with living in a time-oriented vs. task-oriented culture? Have you struggled with the billable hour or with setting your own hours? Tell me about your experience.

Joy is a signal

Joy signals our callingsYou know that feeling? When you’re involved in something and you’re just overwhelmed with joy? That thought of, “It couldn’t get any better than this!”? When those feelings are so big you can hardly contain them and you just want to burst with happiness? Have you ever had that happen?

If you have, it’s an experience you should review. The funny thing about joy is that we often pay less attention to it than we do to pain. In our moments of happiness we tend to analyze less and simply enjoy life. We don’t rack our brains for all the reasons we experience joy, we just feel grateful. We don’t pick at joy the way we pick at a hangnail. If you’re like most humans, you spend much more time focused on the negative than the positive. But joy is a big signal of our identity – of who God created us to be.

Merriam-Webster defines joy as:

  • a feeling of great happiness
  • success in doing, finding, or getting something
  • the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: delight
  • the expression or exhibition of such emotion: gaiety
  • a state of happiness or felicity: bliss

Joy signals us in our callings just as much as pain or restlessness can. Those moments when we feel so alive are telling us who we are, what we care about, what we value most and we should pay attention because it’s likely that something about those experiences is part of our callings. I believe joy is a core component of our callings. If you feel like you haven’t found your calling, looking for where you experience the most joy is part of the discernment process.

There’s a great exercise that basically asks you to remember moments of joy you’ve had in your life and then dissect them a little bit to understand the pattern in them.

Maybe you’ve met one of those rare people who just love their work. They get up every day excited to start. I’ve even heard people say they feel like they’re not working at all (which doesn’t mean they aren’t working hard but that they don’t consider their work drudgery). These people have tapped into the joy in their callings and their enthusiasm is infectious.

Where do you find your joy?

Pain is a Signal

Pain is a signal. But it can signal different things. I was reminded of this yesterday, when I was thrilled to get to spend some time skyping into the Comm 180 class at my alma mater, Trinity Western University. It’s always exciting to get to share some of my experience and hope that it helps people with their own callings.

The students asked some great questions, and as I gave answers I noticed myself going back and forth a lot. The paradoxes, the tensions, the juxtapositions. So much is situational when it comes to calling. One person asked about how you know it’s time to move on and I started my answer with pain.

Pain is a signal

When I burned out at my first job, I was in pain and it goes worse and worse the longer I stuck it out. I had physical stress symptoms, mental exhaustion, emotional upheaval etc. My pain was a signal that intensified until I couldn’t ignore it anymore. When I quit, I was flooded with peace and relief.

When I wrote my book, it was hard. I didn’t like it. I had back and neck and arm pain from the lengthy computer time. I was mentally exhausted from trying to write well. I was emotionally fragile as all kinds of classic writer’s doubts assailed me. In this instance I felt like the pain was signalling that I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. When I was done writing the book, I had a huge sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Both experiences involved pain but signaled something different. In the first instance, the pain was signalling that I needed to remove myself from a situation that was toxic for me. In the second instance, the pain signalled that I was on the right track – we never create without resistance, without overcoming hurdles.

To be honest, it can be easy to assume the wrong thing about pain. I picked two instances where I feel like I made the right call about it, but I know I’ve made plenty of wrong ones too. Sometimes we assume it’s necessary pain and hurt ourselves by staying. We assume we should never quit, that the pain is something we can fix, ignore or overcome with enough time. Other times we give up too easily. We experience some unexpected resistance and assume it’s a signal that we’re going the wrong direction. We stop when we should push through.

So how do you know what your pain is signalling? How do you know whether it’s a situation where the pain “is gain” or it’s a warning to stop?

I think it takes time. Time to check your reactions and underlying motivations for continuing or stopping. Time to ask your trusted advisors. Time to check your sense of well-being and identity. It’s never an easy call. It’s unlikely to be straightforward. That’s why we need so much discernment and wisdom in our lives. Because so much is situational and unique for each person and there usually aren’t quick, easy answers. It reminds me of a favourite quote my dad sent me awhile back:

Never make a principle out of your own experience; let God be as original with other people as He is with you -Oswald Chambers

What do you think? How do you normally respond to the pain signals in your life?