What kind of life is this?
In spite of the successes I had achieved so far in my life of 31 years, it struck me that I had no life goals, leaving me no further than square one in the game. I had a stable career, a healthy child, and a marriage that continued to exist on autopilot, my husband interested in anything and everything but me.
Yet I had no goals. What was my purpose for living?
It was, it seems to me, to fulfill the expectations of the people around me... Telling my boss what he wanted to hear, behaving as my husband wanted to see me behaving, and meeting my parents’ endless expectations of me while acting as though all of these were my own choices, the fact was that I wasn’t living the life I wanted to live or making my own choices. So who was controlling my life? Since it wasn’t me, it was, it seemed, everyone but me!
What’s more is that I wasn’t able to please anyone in the true sense. Doing all I could as that self-styled “ideal person”, I would eventually reach my limit and explode. I was thoroughly miserable. The most I could do was blame the other party and always look to others to find where the problem lay. In spite of being such a well-intentioned and successful person, I really was unfortunate. I was surrounded by lousy people. Was it really possible for life to be so insufferable? Poor me... The people around me really didn’t deserve to have me in their lives.
Then I met Hakan. What he did consisted in nothing more than asking questions. I call these hammer questions. Each one of them had the effect of making you feel as though you’d just been hit over the head with a hammer. These were the type of questions which, when faced, would shatter the lens through which you’ve come to look at some aspect of your life, showing you it was possible to replace it with some other lens. For two months, Hakan wrestled with me with these questions. He helped me to see that relationships, the decisions we make, and the very life we live are not a pre-fabricated, that everything in life can change, but above all, that it is we who must be the first to change.
What changed? Everything! My entire life, in other words. I have a fabulous job where I feel proud of my contributions and that I look forward to adding something new to every day. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still working in the same position at the same place. What’s changed isn’t my job, but me. I have a husband who I look forward to talking to when I get home in the evenings, in whom I take shelter as the man I love and as my true life partner. My husband, who used to have no shortage of reasons (excuses?!) for spending time away from home has begun to love staying in! Yes, I’m still married to the same man who was interested in anything and everything but me just two months ago. I haven’t changed my husband, I’ve changed myself. Before you is a person who is genuinely doing what she wants to be doing, who believes in herself, who now is aware of her purpose for living, and who for these reasons can truly be said to be living the prime of her life. And should you ask what it is that’s changed in my life, it is as I have said before: I am the one who’s changed...
H. V., Top Executive in a Multinational Company