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Ben Patton
Ben Patton

Posted on • Originally published at Medium on

Internal Struggles While Seeking to Make Change

Photo by Lawrence Hookham on Unsplash

This one is longer and a bit more philosophical. But these are things I think we wrestle through daily and if we do, we can work harder and be free of many pressures.

As much as I have read and as much as I have spoken over the past few days about ‘the change you are seeking to make’, I have noticed some unwelcome guests and attitudes in my day to day life.

This is simply an acknowledgement of the issue and at the end I want to offer a solution that is incredibly difficult but worthwhile.

The Callout

I had a really long conversation with my wife last night about the change I am seeking to make in the workplace and the value/change I want to provide to others.

Let me offer what I think is a universal temptation to believe when we are trying to do something we think is good.

If we receive pushback of any kind we think the other person is telling us ‘get in line, do your job, and just be happy about it.’

But this was different. Why? Because it was my wife. I know she cares for me. She wants me to make change. BUT! She can see the things that I don’t and when certain people who you love and value in life give you feedback, YOU LISTEN!

What was her feedback to me?

‘You are not happy. You are not satisfied with what is done. There is always more to be done. You are miserable.’

Now some would think this means I need to quit my day job and move on. Some would say, ‘do something different.’ But the thing is, my wife is right. Regardless of what I do, in this moment in time, I would not be enough. It might have an allure of a particular freedom or ‘better-ness’ to it, but I would still want to do something else.

‘Doing something different’ is a phrase that masquerades as a solution.

Some Clarity

What was my wife NOT saying? She was not telling me ‘do your job and don’t try to make things better.’ But that is what I tell myself. So double down. Ask for clarity.

A Soul-Piercing Question

‘How can I be content with where things are (where I am in life, where work is, etc) while also seeking and longing for change to happen?

Can those two things exist in tension? Can I leave and be satisfied with the work I did today, even though it is not where I want it to be? And keep pressing forward on the change I believe needs to happen, to serve the people I want to serve?

The Solution

The solution for me, and I think for everyone, is to be rooted in something. If my internal value is gained from the value I provide and the work I do, that is a never-ending cycle for me. So I have to remind myself of things that are true in my life so that I can push for change while being satisfied.

What roots you?

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