We wait for it.
Plan for it that elusive achievement, the promotion, the milestone that will be the turning point in our lives, where things will finally be set on course on our road to happiness. The trajectory of our misfortunate or unhappiness, we hope, will be straightened out according to the laws of the Universe and finally, finally, that break will come along.
The unfortunate reality is that this belief is a myth.
It is also fortunate as well. Because as it turns out, there are multiple turning points in our lives. Inside ourselves, we already know this to be the truth, and if we inventory our lives we can see that we typically run the course of our lives in accordance with what we perceive to be turning points; we steer turns at the steering point, hoping and perhaps expecting a different outcome than what already is.
The truth of life remains in the multitude of turning points, just like choices, that come into our lives, or perhaps we seek them out also. Turning points usually involve stress and uncertainty, because like the proverbial fork in the road, they require decisions and discomfort, with very little predictability, which is especially hard on those whose life trajectory has been planned out since an early age!
For many, a significant global affair such as 9/11 was a global turning point in their lives; in the history of humanity, trickling down perhaps to how one conducted their own lives and prioritized their affairs. Turning points can involve politics, for example, or points in our lives where we become conscious of ourselves that we simply must face the truth of our existence, and, either make decisions or not (which is a decision in itself).
Turning points are the precursor and aftermath of not only a shift of focus in our lives, but also a desire for change. They may come about unexpectedly, catchin us off guard, or, if prepared, they may become a part of a wholistic picture in which we situated our lives, and our being.
What is essential is not necessarily the decisions that we make, though they are extremely important, it is the essential act of stopping our lives, recognizing and inspecting this turning point, and that what, where, why, when and who, alongside. This allows us to gain a broader perspective of our lives, our influences~even subconscious influences, and if the turning point is not directed in our favor, it allows us the opportunity for reflection in how to forge ahead. As Warren Buffet stated, “In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”
Forging ahead in our lives, is unfortunately misconstrued as a continual and sometimes forceful course of action. But forging ahead, when turning points present themselves, as prime opportunities to step back, cultivate stillness, and reflect on your life. In fact, we don’t have to wait for significant turning points to do this; but at the very least, they offer us the opportunity to redefine what our lives mean to us, and which direction enriches us and benefits us, the most.
*This article was originally published in the Mind Cafe on Medium*