Checklist to help you decide if you should move to a new city
Today, 42 years later, Hubli is my hometown. My place, filled with fantastic memories. The move that expanded my world to include more languages and cultures; made me tolerant of different kinds of people; brought love and care into my life; exposed me to rural India; And the list is long. I’m grateful that we moved. When my young niece asked me where was the best place to live, I told her anywhere in the world. She makes fun of my romanticism. But think about the location. Not just the haphazard decisions we make, like going to Hubli, but the carefully considered decisions we make.
Like it or not, the economy matters. The decision to move must result in a better economic situation for the household. Migrants who tolerate pathetic working and living conditions in our cities have been motivated by the income they can earn. The place that holds steady gainful employment takes them away from known lands and their dear families. Our young engineers who go to work in a foreign country are only in a similar state, only the skills at work and the income they earn are higher. Revenue is at the top of the checklist for location. Let’s look at the others.
Are we able to make friends and bond with people? Those who move tend to start their lives closer to their community which could have moved earlier. Many seek familiarity in a new place. It’s helpful, but it can also keep us closed to new possibilities. Relocating is easy if we are open to welcoming new people into our fold. New friends open up new worlds for us and bring out aspects of our own personality that we never knew existed. Those who cannot give up the comfort of familiarity with food, language, people, rituals and customs find it difficult to move around.
Are we faithful to the real reasons for which we are attached to a place? In the days when farming and business were dominant occupations for earning money, staying grounded was helpful, even mandatory. You had to live off the land you cultivated; we had developed a clientele and equity operating in a place; resources could be raised from friends and family. The comforts cultivated then have remained etched in people’s minds, even today when one goes where one’s job takes them. Dig deeper to see if the same meanings can be cultivated by you in a new place. Can you see yourself setting up these comfort zones for yourself and for others who come to live and work in your new place?
Are we open to new and untested experiences? Or does the unknown trigger fear and apprehension? Our degree of risk aversion varies considerably. We may not be able to alter it too much in a lifetime, unless there are life-altering experiences that drastically change our courses. Some thrive on the thrill of the unknown. They enjoy new routes, new sights and new unknown destinations. Others like to stick to the beaten path because familiarity comforts them. If you are the latter, the move is difficult for you.
Are we used to complaining and blaming? The human mind is very aware of its choices. He is constantly comparing and questioning what should be, rather than accepting what is. Many of us unknowingly inscribe our present in a glorious past that becomes more precious in memory and nostalgia. Moving is hardest for these people who must judge every place, job, person and event based on what they actually know. Check with a close friend if you are that kind of person. You will probably find the move very difficult.
Are we ready to settle for something satisfactory instead of wanting to optimize everything? The satisfying choice simply picks a few positives and decides quickly; the optimization choice keeps checking until all the features are revealed and still wants more. You need to know what your type is. Are you able to prioritize what’s important and give up on other things? An excellent job in a freezing place; a noisy city with a long commute but the comfort of extended family; a new and unfamiliar city to start life with a loved one; these are all hard choices. Without giving up for each other, you cannot make choices.
Do you think a specific location matters a lot to the quality of your life, work, and personal goals? Can you put a reason first and be resilient? The girl who works at my friend’s house fled her inland village to find work in Mumbai. She would have been married to an elderly man, who might be abusive, she feared. Moving to Mumbai was bold, but she wanted to get away from what she considered dangerous. She is studying at evening college to become a laboratory technician, an opportunity she did not know about in her village. She inspires many girls in her village.
The moral of the story is: line up your strengths so you can move to seize an opportunity when it presents itself. Be aware of your true nature as you make this choice. Young wage earners paying EMIs, city dwellers buying farms, retirees returning to their hometowns, Gulf wage earners building mansions, and NRIs buying home property are all case studies of misguided location decisions. by dubious assumptions. The stories of useless assets are too numerous to tell. Make this location choice a real personal financial decision organized for the real you.
(The author is PRESIDENT OF THE CENTER FOR INVESTMENT EDUCATION AND LEARNING.)