“Turning Points” – Do you know yours?
Originally published September 04, 2014
After a very restful night’s sleep, I woke up this morning and the very first thought that came to me was “Turning Points”.
So I thought about the absolute critical nature of these life events as they have the power to shape our lives.
So just what is a “Turning Point”? Let’s keep it simple:
“A time at which a decisive change in a situation occurs, especially one with beneficial results”
It is very important to discover the turning points in our lives. They are enigmatic by nature and most of the time they occur and we don’t even realize it until sometime later in our life. But they’re just as likely to have immediate results depending on the situation.
With every decision or every choice we make we inevitably feel the consequences, some show immediate results and some have much longer term implications. Regardless, they are inescapable.
And these consequences lead to lessons where we learn that something either helped us or harmed us in some way. If you’re intelligent enough to see this, you learn that lesson. Then, you make adjustments as you move forward with the knowledge that if I do this, this is the result – which is nothing more than a simple cause and effect analysis.
Lessons repeat themselves until we learn them. Sometimes we hear a wake-up call but prefer to pull the covers over our heads so we can sleep and dream a little longer. We may ignore, resist, rationalize away, or deny reality for a considerable time. That’s OK, our schooling is entirely self-paced, but the lessons keep coming until our ACTIONS change.
If we don’t learn the easier lessons, they get harder. Resistance to learning (or change) reaps more dramatic consequences over time – not to punish us but to get our attention. Think about how some of the things that have happened in your own life point to the truth in this. What lessons did you resist that became more dramatic over time before you finally learned?
We learn and grow through challenges, and every adversity has hidden gifts. We have all experienced physical, mental, and emotional pain. Yet each challenge has brought a greater measure of strength, wisdom, and perspective. We may not welcome a challenge or embrace unexpected change, loss, or disappointment, but looking back, over time, we come to appreciate the gifts of adversity.
So there is an enormous amount of value in discovering your turning points. Knowledge is power.
Take some quiet time to make a list of the turning points in your life. Then, one by one break them down and trace their effects on your life. See how one builds upon the other and how they have brought you to this exact moment in time.
“How do I know what I think until I see what I do?”
~ E.M. Forster
When you have completed tracing your turning points you will have a very good picture of how your decision making process is working and where it is leading you. Armed with this knowledge, you can make the appropriate adjustments to keep yourself moving along your desired path – whatever that may be.
As for me personally, I have always been a very decisive person. While I may take the appropriate amount of time to consider a decision, I don’t limit myself in this regard. I have learned to listen to my inner voice so I intuitively know when to make an immediate decision and when to take my time and think something through before acting.
Having traced my “turning points” that information has provided me with the wisdom to be able to make clear decisions, and even the decisions I continue to make add to my inventory of self-knowledge.
An interesting part of the analysis is categorizing the “decision type” that you made when you trace your turning points.
Was the decision type immediate or was it well thought out? Did you understand the long term implications when you made your decision? Did you procrastinate too long and miss a window of opportunity? How do the results correlate to the decision type?
“When you sit, sit; when you stand, stand; don’t wobble between the two.”
~ Zen Master Ummon
Lastly, it has been my experience that the decisions I made “in the moment” always carried the most risk. But I have a lot of risk-taker in my makeup. I am not afraid to fail as I understand the value of failure. It gives me insights, enhances my creativity, drives innovation and always leads me to breakthroughs! I am fortunate that I can afford to take risks in almost every area of my life but I do understand that there are many that cannot. Just make sure it isn’t fear of failure that’s holding you back.
With little aversion to risk, I have found that the more risks I take the more fun I have! The more fun I have the more alive I feel. So do whatever needs to be done, join in the wondrous and changing parade of purposes that shape the story of your life.
Take the time to list out and then trace all your turning points. You will gain a wealth of valuable information. It is a great investment into your “self”! It will provide you with the clarity needed to go forward in a manner that serves you best and move you along your path to your goals.