What Have Been The Turning Points In Your Life?

There are times in your life when everything seems to be going one way. Suddenly, things change and end up being completely different. What are those turning points in your life?

One of the more remarkable things about one person’s life is how it unfolds. Often, it doesn’t come about in a linear, straightforward way. Instead, it zigs and zags, sometimes lurching dramatically from one direction to another.

There are several things that might cause these swings.

For instance, particularly early in life, you may just be learning about yourself, what you want and what your dreams and goals are. As you shed the expectations of your parents, your teachers, your friends, and others, you might alter the trajectory of your life, occasionally quite suddenly. You might change your college major, or trade one job for another, as you realize what works for you and what doesn’t.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What book has had the biggest impact on you?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How do you show thanks?’


Alternately, some changes are forced upon you. There might be some sort of limitation in what you can afford, or where you can live. While at the time these can be uncomfortable or unwelcome, ultimately they might prove to be very meaningful or impactful, even if they are outside your control.

Or maybe you have just needed a change. You did one thing, and learned from it. But now, in order to continue to grow, you need something else, so you make a change.

Whatever the situation, turning points can be impactful, altering even core concepts of who you are or what you are able to achieve. What are some of yours?

Related questions: How have you changed? What makes change possible? Who was your best teacher? Have you had an ‘Aha!’ moment?

When Have You Made Good From A Bad Situation?

A bad situation can happen to anyone, no matter how smart, lucky, rich, or talented they happen to be. When one occurs, what do you do?

Having a setback happen to you, while unfortunate or unpleasant at the time, can ultimately lead to improvement. If, that is, you treat it in an appropriate way.

One skill that you can learn is how to think creatively within constraints. Let’s imagine you are forced to produce something with a diminished budget, or have to include on your team someone you don’t get along with, for example. How can you overcome these obstacles?

Another potential benefit streamline your project. If you can’t do everything that you would like, what can you cut and still have your core principles intact? This re-imagining may even result in a better finished product or experience.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What is the value of inefficiency?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How can we encourage debate?’


If you have tried something and failed at it, that failure is actually an opportunity to learn what went wrong, or what might be improved on a subsequent attempt.

Or, at the very least, you can develop a thicker skin. There is a value to not letting difficulties derail you from your next project or opportunity.

All of these situations depend on a proper mental approach to struggle. You have to get up when knocked down.

Can you think of a time when you faced a bad situation, and made the most of it? Is there an instance — or instances — when a good outcome came from a dubious scenario?

Related questions: When is it useful to fail? When is doubt helpful? What humbles you? How do you define success?

What Do You Do To Clear Your Mind?

One of the most common problems surrounding mental health is cluttered thinking. Do you have any strategies to clear your mind?

There are many reasons why your brain may not be acting a peak efficiency. As a result, if you cannot clear your mind of distracting thoughts, you likely will be unable to focus. This in turn may lead to not being able to accomplish much.

For example, there may be a physical problem with your brain that negatively impacts your mental health. There might be a hormone imbalance, or a physical malformation, or something else entirely. In addition, neurologists still don’t know exactly how the brain works — or why it malfunctions.

However, even if the brain is fine on a physiological level, there may still be distractions. Too little sleep may lead to a decrease in performance. You might be worried or anxious about something else, and unable to block out your other concerns.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘Are we too busy?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What are our responsibilities to others?’


Even in the case of nothing being wrong at all, you still may have trouble concentrating. If you have a lengthy mental to-do list, you may be thinking about emails you need to answer, tasks that you need to do, or errands you need to run. These things might take away from your ability to focus on one primary task.

In that case, clearing your mind of mental clutter is necessary. However, doing so is easier said than done. Do you have any tips or tricks that you follow for this? When your mind is racing, how do you calm it? Do you try, say, meditation? Isolation? Noise cancelling headphones? Breathing exercises?

What do you do to clear your mind?

Related questions: What is necessary to change your mind? Could everyone benefit from therapy? Focus or squirrel?

What Is The Best Advice You’ve Ever Received?

Giving — or getting — advice is a tricky thing. You have to be in the right frame of mind to hear advice and really learn a lesson from it.

And yet, given at the right time, by the right person, in the right way, advice can be life-changing. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that wise counsel can change the course of your future, and can influence some of the most momentous decisions from that point on.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What book has had the biggest impact on you?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘How do you show thanks?’


It can come from many possible sources. Some are expected, like parents or a mentor. You might come across it in an inspirational book, perhaps a teacher or a religious figure. Or it might come from a less-expected source, like someone you don’t know particularly well, or perhaps a fortune cookie. Inspiration can come from the unlikeliest sources, as long as you are open to it.

Have you gotten powerful, meaningful guidance that has stayed with you over the years? What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Related questions: What advice would you give your past self? Have you ever had a mentor? Been a mentor? Who inspires you? What’s the most useful thing you’ve ever learned?