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?

What Do You Wish You Were Doing?

If money, time, expertise, or other limiting factors were not an issue, what would you choose to do? In other words, if you could do exactly what you wish to do, what would it be?

Too often, we get hung up on reasons we cannot do something. It takes too long to learn how to do it. It doesn’t pay enough to support me full time (or is too expensive for a hobby). I’m not good enough, or there are too many people who are better than I am.

As a thought experiment, what would you do if none of that mattered?


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘How do you define success?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘Is happiness the most important purpose in life?’


Obviously, some of these things do matter. If, for example, your dream is to play basketball in the NBA and you are 5’5″ and 50 years old, your dreams simply aren’t realistic.

Some hurdles are insurmountable. But most aren’t, and it is important to know the difference.

A big part of that is narrowing down what you really want to be doing. If you dream of being a rock star and playing in sold out arenas, is your dream to play music, to entertain people, or to be famous? The answer could change what the obstacles are to achieving your dream, and could point you in the direction to start.

But the very first step is to dream. In your dream, with no one or no thing standing in your way, how do you see yourself? What do you wish you were doing?

Related questions: What makes you the happiest? What do you want? To what should we aspire? What do you do with a day off work?

What Trait Of Yours Do People Find Most Unusual?

Each one of us has a trait that is unusual — possibly several. Is there anything that others recognize as standing out from the crowd?

No two people are alike. Like snowflakes, each and every one of us is unique. What that means from a functional perspective is that we all have things about us — our personalities, our physical appearances, our beliefs, our experiences — that are unusual. If we didn’t, we’d be just like everyone else.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘How do you think others see you?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘How can we maintain wonder?’


Of course, how you see yourself and how others see you might be different. Something that is perfectly normal to you might seem strange and different to your friends or your peers.

For example, imagine you happen to be double-jointed. You’ve always been double-jointed — you’ve never known anything else. But to someone who is not, it may seem highly unusual. The total number of people who are double-jointed is pretty small.

Are there behaviors or traits you have that other people think are different from most people? What trait of yours do other people find most unusual? Do you agree with them?

Related questions: What makes you you? What unusual habit do you have? How do you think others see you? What trait is most missing from our society?

How Do You Determine What Matters?

Most people strive to live a life that has meaning; a life that matters. Key to that end, then, is figuring out just what matters in the first place.

This question follows up on this week’s Throwdown Thursday question: Everything Matters or Nothing Matters. As with many Thursday questions, the answer likely falls somewhere between the two extremes. In this case, there are some things that matter, and some things that don’t.

If that is true, the challenge lies in determining which of your actions fall into which of the two categories. You probably don’t want to spend a lot of time agonizing over decisions that don’t matter. Similarly, you do want to put in the time and effort to make the right call on something that is meaningful.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘How can we maintain wonder?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘How do you think others see you?’


But how to decide between them? One way might be to lump all the small decisions — what to wear, what to eat, when to go to bed, and so on — as being inconsequential. The big decisions — where to go to college, who to marry, which house to buy, whether to have kids — are meaningful.

There are a few problems with this. One is that adding up a bunch of small decisions can equal a big decision. Constantly being late for work (a small decision) day after day may mean you lose your job (a big outcome). And even a small decision can have a big impact. If you trace back the biggest, most important decisions in your life, often they come from small choices we made.

But it is important that we recognize what matters and what doesn’t. Or is it? Maybe we treat every decision as one that matters. Or might that leave your wracked with indecision, stressing over the potential consequences of everything you do?

How do you determine what matters?

Related questions: What is important? How can we turn ideas into actions? How much power does an individual have? What deserves your attention?

 

Everything Matters Or Nothing Matters?

Sometimes it seems like your efforts are all for naught — nothing matters. On the other hand, if a butterfly can create a hurricane, then everything matters. Which one seems more correct to you?

Share why if you wish.

Everything Matters Or Nothing Matters?