“I don’t have to wait for the light at the end of the tunnel. I have a flashlight.”
I can’t tell you how many times, as a coach, I have heard the phrase, “I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
It seems that at some point, we just get used to the slog, the struggle, the suffering and we resign ourselves to waiting for the light at the end. We continue despite our unhappiness.
We stay in jobs we don’t love because someday our boss will leave, or we can retire.
We stay with people we don’t love in hopes that someday they will change.
We keep communicating with people in the same way and get the same result.
We keep doing the same thing we did the day before, and rather than that autopilot making things easier, it’s just perpetuating the problem.
Where’s the flashlight? Why aren’t we looking for one?
In Eric Ries’s book The Lean Startup, he talks about how in the technology startup world, at some point you have to determine if you should persevere or pivot. Should you wait for the end of the tunnel, or find a flashlight?
Couldn’t we do the same thing in the real world?
Instead of suffering through and waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel, couldn’t we make deliberate decisions to find a flashlight? Can’t we pivot?
Finding a flashlight doesn’t mean abandoning the journey, but simply means that you want to find a new path to get there. One that is less dark, one that is less lonely, and one that isn’t quite so gloomy.
Sometimes when we are dissatisfied in life, or a small part of it, we fail to take an honest look at what’s going on. We fail to make a change. We fail to find a flashlight.
If it’s your career, your relationship, your family life, your social life, or even your financial life, shine a light on the situation and see where you could pivot.
The pivot could mean changing the situation, changing your strategy, or changing your perspective.
If you are suffering, please don’t wait for light at the end of the tunnel. Find a flashlight and find a new way.