Ways out of the Vale of Tears: Love it, Change it, or Leave it
If people face issues and try to find a way out, many have one thing in common: They take the supposedly easiest way. This path leads through the valley and not over the mountain. But actually, this is not the more comfortable way in most of the cases. It is rather the valley of tears. Instead of actively tackling the situation, we like to stay in the valley for a while, whining and feeling sorry for ourselves. Until the pressure of suffering becomes so great that we take the path over the mountain. Then we realize with astonishment that the sun shines much brighter up here than down in the valley.
But this can be achieved faster because there are only three ways to solve problems and remove dissatisfaction: Love it, change it, or leave it. Those who have internalized this will find their way to the summit more quickly if another march is necessary.
Love it, change it, or leave it
The phrase “Love it, change it, or leave it” is said to be from Henry Ford. Whether this is the case is disputed and not important.
Have you ever gone through a positive change in your life? How did it happen? How did you manage to redefine and pursue your goals?
Maybe you noticed that there are only three possibilities:
- You suddenly recognized the good in the situation and focused on it.
- You have actively changed something and made something fit that did not work before.
- You left the situation.
There are no other options. But what sounds so simple is, of course, a bit more complex depending on the situation, and sometimes it is not obvious at first glance what the best way is.
Tip: it’s best to apply in this order.
Love it: Recognize the good in the situation
Let us imagine a project manager who has the impression that he is not successful in his work. He spends most of his day at work so that in the evening, he has neither time nor energy for fitness, hobbies, friends, let alone for the children. At some point, he becomes unhappy and depressed: problems at work, problems at home.
Here you should ask yourself where the feeling of not being successful comes from. Maybe the boss is continuously dissatisfied and expresses this. But perhaps there is also a lot of good things. One quickly tends to overlook the good. Perhaps the last project was a success, the customer satisfied. Maybe the salary is good and working with colleagues is fun.
In such situations, think about what is good and make a list. Then focus on the positive things. Maybe you will find out that the negative is only a tiny part of the overall situation.
Change it: How can it become “love it”?
Good money, friendly colleagues — but the constantly dissatisfied boss gets on our project manager’s nerves. He cannot deny that. It’s okay to accept that one cannot love the situation as it is. These circumstances help to start changing it.
If you are in such a situation, think about what possibilities you have to change and write down the ideas.
In our example with the project leader, it could be a conversation with the boss. Maybe he could also reduce his working hours to have more time for things that give him pleasure.
You should not hope that other people will change. The change can only come from yourself. It helps to analyze the situation exactly, develop solutions on this basis, and then implement them.
Leave it: When nothing works anymore
Leaving the situation is a radical step and is tantamount to a separation in a bad relationship. Therefore, leaving should only be considered if you have already made a genuine attempt to turn the situation into a positive one, which has failed.
In the case of the project manager, this could be a transfer to another department or even a company change.
This decision can take much courage, but there is no need to blame yourself if you have tried everything. It is better to consistently turn to something new than to remain unhappy with the old.