Sooner or later, people who are on the road to continued personal development, have an epiphany or what I refer to as turning points in their life, career or relationships.
Turning points happen in our life when we are ready and willing to see life differently and take action on the inner guidance we receive. They can cause us to rethink previous actions or decisions, current attitudes or how we perceive our future. They can give us valuable insight into how to embrace a happier or more successful lifestyle or just help us let go of regret, negative emotions or memories or thoughts that if continued can sabotage our inner peace and achievement.
Over the years I have had several turning points that have reshaped how I perceive myself, how I interpret the behavior or words of others and how I need to change some mindset or behavior if I want to continue down the path towards increased success or inner peace.
Turning points can be triggered from anywhere; other’s actions, life circumstances, struggle, inner frustration or just the desire to improve or change something in your life that just is no longer working.
Some of the signals or symptoms of turning points can be; inner pain, increased stress, dissatisfaction, confusion, uncertainty or the need to gain better control over yourself and your beliefs, attitudes or thoughts.
Let me give you one quick example of a turning point I recently had in my life.
I am a giver. I have always put other’s needs or desires ahead of my own. Last year in a relationship it hit me like a baseball bat – why do I always sacrifice my agendas for other’s agendas? Is it insecurity? The desire to please? The fear of loss? Or some other emotional need? My discovery was simply – in certain situations this is appropriate responses to their desires, circumstances or needs but not as a constant rule of thumb. I need to more carefully evaluate their needs against my own and make better decisions when it comes to my life. As a result I developed one of my life mantras – “I will not let other people’s circumstances or life situations determine my reactions, responses or actions.”
I’m not there yet but I am making significant progress. Every change in life takes patience, persistence, courage and will and none of these are easy when we have a history of opposite behavior or decision making.
Every turning point in your life comes with advance signals, warnings or messages that something is about to change or needs to change. We have a choice – we can listen and heed these or ignore them but in the end if a turning point is necessary in order to live life with more success, happiness or inner peace we will either learn the lessons and make appropriate changes or we will continue to live with fear, disappointment, regret and stress.
These signals can vary from inner pain or anxiety to subtle messages from others even total strangers.
Years ago after an all day seminar on goals, discipline and attitudes a person came up to me and said, “Why should I listen to you, you are overweight.” Wow – what a message. I thanked him and then spent time in self-evaluation considering his remark and my effectiveness as a speaker. Yes, this was his opinion but perhaps others in the room felt the same way and the essence of my message was lost. What I do know is that hearing this was uncomfortable but it became a significant turning point in my life.
How about you – getting some signals today from any source giving you the opportunity to reconsider your lifestyle, personal values or beliefs or something as simple as how you react to criticism or feedback?
Change isn’t easy for any of us especially those traits, beliefs, values or attitudes that have been entrenched in our fabric for many years. But, change sooner or later is inevitable when there is a need for a new direction in life.
There are many factors that prevent us from making these changes like; arrogance, denial, ego control, prejudices or just the unwillingness to admit that some area of our life needs to change. In the end life is about forward progress, learning and adapting and if we fail to bring the willingness to change to any situation we are setting ourselves up for continued frustration and uncertainty.
Any change requires courage, persistence, the ability to handle failure and obstacles and the desire and will to make the change. Without any of these you will discover that past attitudes, mindsets and fears will continue to dominate your life.
The price for not changing is too high and the success of change that gives you greater happiness and contentment is well worth the price. The question is – would you rather live with the continued pain caused by not changing or would you rather free yourself from the hold that the past has on you. You choose.
“From his cradle to his grave a man never does a single thing which has any first foremost object but one – to secure peace of mind, spiritual comfort for himself.”