No Is A 4-Letter Word–Chapter Twelve–When is it Time to Change Gears?

Do You Know Which Gear Your Life Is In?

By Craig Jarrow

How fast is your life going?

Many individuals feel that they are going too slow.

Some people think life is passing them by at an alarming rate.

Others still are just cruising through life, unaware of their speed or destination.

Sometimes, we need to take a moment and check just which gear our life is in.

What Speed Are You Going?

Going too slow. Going too fast.

We all go through periods of both. In fact, life is all about balance.

However, you need to be aware of just how fast you are going. You need to know which gear your life is in.

I can hear some excuses already,

“But, I drive an automatic… I don’t even know how many gears I have.”

That could be part of the issue, your life is in automatic-mode.

What Gear Are You In?

As you drive down the road of life, stop and ask yourself just which gear you are in.

You may be surprised by the answer.

So, check your gear…

  • Reverse  – Are you actually going backwards? Is each day actually taking you further from your goals? Are bad habits or behavior affecting you negatively? If you are not careful, you will backup until you crash into something.
  • 1st Gear – You can’t finish if you don’t start. Can you get up to speed? Let your passion and drive create momentum in your life.
  • 2nd Gear – Are you holding back? Are you timid? Not sure of what you want to do? Make bold decisions in your life. And by all means, choose your own path.
  • 3rd Gear – You are moving, but are you keeping up? Are others passing you by? You can do more than the effort you are giving. You are stronger than you think.
  • 4th Gear– You are keeping up with life’s pace. Is the cruise control on? Are you coasting? Ensure that you are not “drifting” through life.
  • 5th Gear – No one can run at full speed all the time. There are two extremes that fall here. Those who are always in it, and those who never use it. The first group eventually burns out. Running at full capacity all the time leads to burn out. If you don’t pit stop on your own, life has a way of forcing you to take a break. And the second group? Well, they never reach their full potential because they never truly give it their all.

Shift Your Life

Maybe you need to speed up. (There is only one today.)

Maybe you need to slow down. (Otherwise, you will burn out.)

Perhaps, you are even headed backwards.

Check your gear today. And get your life moving.

Question: What gear is your life in? Do you need to adjust?


By Marijun Sy

You might be wondering what this is about. And yes, this is about walking away, moving on, and starting over. 

Over the last year, I have made major life decisions – after 7 years, I left the government service and moved back to Manila in search of better career opportunities.  Just a few weeks ago, I left my corporate job to start a career in financial planning.

To most, the decision seemed haphazard. Leaving what could inarguably be the most secure employment is unfathomable to some, but it did not seem to me that way at all. I had contemplated leaving a couple of years earlier but there was not enough reason to at that time. When the time finally came for me to make the choice, I did not take it lightly, but ultimately, things had run its course and it was time for me to move on.

In any organization, employees will always leave for a multitude of reasons – change in priorities, unforeseen events, career shifts, graduate studies, etc. Considerations will vary depending on one’s goals and priorities.

But really, how do you know when it is time to go out into the world and start looking for another job? How do you know if the job you have now is still worth keeping? Everyone undergoes a process. Some people plan on it, some people will wait for a sign. When I reached that turning point, I asked myself the following questions:

1.      Does this job still give me joy?

Yes, this sounds a lot like Marie Kondo has invaded your thoughts and forced you to reassess everything. Are you still happy with what you are doing? Does your job still give you the sense of excitement and fulfillment you are looking for? Are you still happy with the people you work with and the environment you are in?

Some years ago, I was the wide-eyed accountant, yearning to learn all that I possibly could in the field. Years pass and I learned things, down to the littlest details. I worked hard, worked well with my colleagues, and worked to the best of my abilities. But then, I finally reached a point in my career when I felt drained and burdened even by the simple tasks, so I asked myself, “Is this something I want to do for the rest of my life?” I knew that my answer was no. It was then when I decided to actively look for opportunities outside of my employer.

2.      How is this job affecting my overall well-being?

A job that pays the bills is good, but it also comes with stress. There will be good days and bad days at work. There will be slow days, but there will also be days that you dread – when you barely have the time to take a break or eat lunch with your friends or that time of year when you have to work past office hours on the weekdays and come to the office on weekends just to make a deadline. Does the work take you away from that much-needed quality time with friends and family, or that long-overdue date with your significant other? Is the stress manageable or is it taking a toll?

Not-so-long ago, I have fallen ill and decided to see a doctor. I had excruciating headaches and was so dizzy that I was unable to work. The doctor ran some tests, and everything was normal. But she asked, “Are you working a stressful job?” I answered her in the affirmative and told her what I do for a living and that I had been working the graveyard shift for the last year.

It turned out that my symptoms were stress-induced. It was because I was not getting quality sleep and did not have the time to relax and unwind after work because of odd working hours. As a result, my body gave way and my doctor recommended that I either switch shifts or switch jobs. Unfortunately, that was not possible so thank you, next!

3.      Does this job still align with my goals?

This one is tricky. Some people already know what they want to become right out of college and works on it as soon as possible while most people do not get the cards they wanted. It is one of life’s ironies that you cannot really avoid. There will always be circumstances that will steer us away from the path we initially wanted to take. Knowing where you are currently in your career helps you navigate towards where you want to go next. It is like following a map towards your destination, but as you travel, you find that there are multiple ways for you to get there. Where do you see yourself in the next three to five years? Do you see yourself having the same responsibilities that you have right now, or do you want to take on a bigger role?

You also must consider if there are growth opportunities available for you in your organization and if these opportunities align with your career goals. The fact of the matter is that loyalty goes a long way but if you find that your reasons for leaving outweigh those that would make you stay, then maybe it is time to look elsewhere.

Since college, I have always seen myself working a corporate job. My end goal was to be a CFO for a big multinational corporation. But things happened and I chose to come home. It was when I was offered to join the government service. I was happy that I had a job, with my co-workers, that I was home with family but in the back of my mind, that vision I had was calling me. After 7 years, I took a chance and left the comforts of home in pursuit of this dream. And as I write this, I am back in square one and finding my way up.

4.      Am I prepared for the uncertainties and challenges?

Every choice we make has its own pros and cons and has a unique set of challenges and uncertainties. Deciding to leave your current job is no exception. The thought of leaving something so familiar in exchange for the great unknown is scary. They say that if you are too comfortable with things, then it might be time to take on a new adventure.

When I left my job, I have accepted that I must make sacrifices and acknowledged that it was not going to be an easy feat. I was anxious because I was unsure of what I was heading into. On the other hand, I was excited about the new environment, new learnings, and new people that I was going to meet. The idea of exposing myself to all these allowed me to embrace my fears. I was not 100% prepared. But who is? There will always be nagging what-ifs in our heads that will remain unanswered unless we have the courage to try.

The thought of broadening my horizons was a welcome consolation to the fact that I might not see my family often. The chance to help people and make a difference are my biggest whys and the lessons that come with it are the best prizes.

There is no perfect time to leave a job, nor is there an ideal exit plan. It all boils down to you and the mindset you are in. It will test your resolve, it will leave you frustrated sometimes but the whole point of switching jobs is growth – to use what you already know and compound on it with new learnings as you climb every wrung of the professional ladder. In the process, you will know your strengths and weaknesses, the things you love and hate to do. You will find that some things come naturally and while others need a little more time to develop.

It is an unending cycle of unlearning bad behavior and bad habits, re-learning what is already familiar, and learning new things that make you better.

At the end of the day, you will discover what it is you were meant to do, the reasons why you love to do it.

Time to Shift Gears

By Dr. Bill Heston

It is easy to stay in the same comfort zone and glide along. That is not a bad thing to do on occasion, but in order to reach new heights, it takes being pushed. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges to moving to great expectations is just getting started. Getting that first extra “kick” of motivation is what many of us need in order to see dreams become a reality.

Many of us see destinations we want to reach in our personal lives, but we face many challenges. Perhaps one of the greatest obstacles is just getting the motivational push to get beyond the “wishing” and into the “doing”!

There are some who offer simple solutions for challenging problems; usually they are people who find their struggles to be in different areas from those they give their glib responses.

1. ” It isn’t that hard – just stop doing that.”
2. ” You just need to get over it…just forget about it.”
3. ” Anybody can do it if they just put their mind to it.”

These and all of the other annoying simple solutions to life’s challenges are easy to say, but seldom help.

How can we get geared up to make positive changes in our lives?

How can we move from this mountain to a new place?


We must have a goal. We may not know all that we will see in that new place, but it must be attractive enough for us to be willing to accept the challenge of getting there.

Set a goal for each of the four areas of the balanced life in the First Place Program.

Spiritual – what is a growth area for you at this time: Scripture memory, application, personal devotion, service? We could improve in every area, but which one needs the greatest work? Reflect on someone you have known who has lived that faith quality in a way that was most meaningful to you in the past. You do not need to be like them, but can learn from that model of faith.

Mental – When is the last time you read something that really challenged you to think? Select a book or take a study course that will stretch your thinking.

Emotional – Take an inventory of your emotions. Are you too stressed, too lazy, too intense, too depressed? Focus on the emotional tone of your current condition and seek tapes, books, wise counsel or friends who can help you shift to a new gear in this area.

Physical – Many think this is the only area in which First Place is concerned. It is the door through which many enter the program, but they often discover that weight issues are symptoms of other issues. Setting a physical goal and staying in a First Place group will help members reach their goals by living the balanced life.

The journey begins and ends with small measurements of progress. Just think if you were to set a goal of memorizing just one verse a week; that would be fifty-two new thoughts to draw from in the struggles and joys of everyday life. If you just lost one pound every week for a year, that would be fifty-two pounds that would free you to live a healthier life. Time is a friend when it is part of the journey and not part of the excuse.

Selecting how to get there and staying the course is very important. It is easy to get derailed or distracted, but getting on course is a big part of getting to the destination. The role of the First Place group is not only for motivation, discipline and modeling, but also for inspiration. Don’t miss a group meeting when you have gotten off of the route, but seek them out – they know the way!

Changing gears in life

By Tinniam V. Ganesh

Our lives are never smooth sailing. We are always faced with different situations constantly in life. To navigate smoothly through life we need to change gears at appropriate times in order to handle different situations.

There are two classes of people. Those who live in constant fear of the future and spoil the present for themselves. And then there are those who just drift about aimlessly in life. Both these types of people need to change gears to handle their current position.

Those who worry and are anxious about a terrifying future must shift a gear down. They need slow their lives. They need to take each day as it comes and not worry about a distant future. Why should one worry about something that may only happen in future. By worrying about the future in the present we make our lives unbearable.We should take each day as it comes. If the crisis, which we imagine, does occur, then we will be better equipped to handle as we would not have wasted our energies worrying about it even before it happens.

Then there are others who just exist from day to day. They just seem to go through the motions of the day just existing and living in a mechanical way. They seem to devoid of any purpose. They are bored and listless with their lives. These people need to shift a gear up and set little goals in their life, If they try to achieve the little targets that they set for themselves then their life will have a purpose. It is very essential that we have a clear plan of where we want to go in future and how we will achieve it in the present. Our lives will

be more full if we take this approach.

Hence as we travel through life we need to make appropriate changes so that we move towards the future with a purpose and without undue worries.