If you will look back at all of the good things and each of the bad things that have happened in your life, you will realize that they began at a single point in time.
These pivotal events or turning points are a critical part of all of our lives.
Turning points rarely seem significant at the time, but in retrospect, it becomes clear that there was a specific time and place when everything turned — either for the better or worse. It is important to realize that the turning point event didn’t make the change but, instead, the decision that we made based upon the turning point event was the critical element.
I have the privilege of speaking to thousands of people regularly in arena and corporate events. Many people have called, written, or emailed me over the years informing me that my speech was a turning point in their life.
While I am humbled by their comments, I submit to them and you that I did nothing other than present some options, and they made some choices. They could just as easily have come to the same decision a day before or a day after my speech; therefore, my words and thoughts are nothing more than a potential catalyst.
As much as I would like to make speeches, create columns, write books, and make movies that change people’s lives, I am painfully aware of the fact that my words and thoughts alone can’t even change my own life, much less someone else’s until a decision is made. The critical element is not the height of the catalyst. It is, instead, the depth of the decision.
When I was a small child, I had an older sister who died of leukemia. Her passing was significant in our family. I was too young to be impacted very much by her death, but in the ensuing years, I have become more aware of the family history and how my sister’s life and death affected it.
My grandfather had been a heavy smoker for many years. I have always had sympathy for people who began the smoking habit before the Surgeon General’s warning that alerted our society to the danger of cigarettes. At my sister’s funeral, my grandfather made a decision to never smoke cigarettes again, and for the rest of his life, he never did.
Some would ask, “What did the death of his granddaughter have to do with his quitting smoking?”
The simple answer is: Nothing, other than the fact that, in his mind, it became a powerful catalyst for a quality decision that changed his life.
Many people who have experienced a similar loss, experienced it as a catalyst for a decision that may have resulted in a destructive change in their lives. The important thing to remember is that you and I cannot control what happens to us, but we can always control how we choose to let it affect us.
As you go through your day today, determine where you want to go, how you can get there, and look for a turning point.
Today’s the day!
Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082, or at Jim@JimStovall.com.