if you're going to leap, what will you take to the other side?

Mid-life career flippers and passion hunting millennials, have one thing in common: they’re both looking to take a big leap. A leap to a new career. A new city. A new life that aligns with their passions, their skills and the person they want to be. It’s important to listen to this knee jerking desire to leap to the other side of the fence. But if you’re going to take that leap, I recommend that you take your time and you don’t go empty handed.

When you’re discontent with where you are in your life, it’s tempting to change everything. You look in the mirror at 30 or 40, and you’re not the person you thought you would be. You recognize this and, if you’re so bold, you build up the courage to make big changes. You change your house. Your city. Your career. Your passions. Your friendships. Your relationships. Your appearance. All of it, because you think that you’ll be happier.

But we all know the grass is always greener on the other side.

More often then not, people who take these reactive leaps end up missing so many aspects of their old life. They miss their friendships or regret leaving their spouse. They miss their home near the beach, working with a team or life on the farm. By changing everything in their life, they removed all sources of happiness. Not the source of unhappiness.

Without pinpointing why you want to take the leap, you can unknowingly leap too soon, too fast and empty-handed.

For example, maybe you’re an engineer dreaming about leaping to an artist. These have very different lifestyles, work environments, salaries and day-to-day tasks. If you take that leap, nearly all aspects of your work will change. So what was it that you really didn’t enjoy about your job? Was it even the job you didn’t like, or was it something else? Finally, ask yourself what is important to take with you, to your next job, and what’s important to leave behind.

I’ve been somewhat victim to this before. Taking big spontaneous leaps, thereby changing so many aspects of my life, that I forget the things that are really important to me like being close to nature, my partner or having a community. I’ve learned overtime, by taking many leaps, that there are some things I always need to take in my carry on.

It’s hard to know why you feel unsettled, ready to leap away from your life. It takes some serious reflection, research and time to determine what stays and what goes. What makes you happy, and what doesn’t. But it’s important so that instead of leaping empty-handed, you mindfully pack the things you love. And if nothing else, bring a ladder.