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 Do That No One Else Does?

There are traits and behaviors that set you apart from others in your community. What types of things do you do that no one else does?

You might think that with nearly eight billion people in the world, everything is accounted for. There are no traits or abilities that one person has that are different from the billions of people all around the world.

However, that’s not true at all. While you certainly may have some shared commonalities with others, the combination of past experiences and internal differences makes you unique.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What makes you you?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What gives a person value?’


It is certainly true that a larger overall population means that there are people who like the same thing. For example, you might find just a few – or even zero — people who like the same obscure band you like if you live in a small town. There will be more of them if you live in a big city.

And yet, your totality is as unique as a snowflake. There is no one else who has the same brain connections that you have. No one has read the same books, in the same order, and has the same conversations. Just like there is an endless difference in our different fingerprints, there is infinite variation in brain patterns and experiences.

So what sets you apart? What are the things that are unusual about you? What do you do that no one else does?

Related questions: Why do we like what we like? What makes you you? How do you judge yourself? What gives you purpose? Do you feel lonely?

What Would You Do If You Lost Part Of Yourself?

Sometimes, from an accident or even just from simple aging, you might have lost a skill or talent you previously possessed. How did you handle that?

As you grow and mature into an adult, there are naturally things that you are good at. Perhaps that comes from natural talent, or maybe you develop skills through endless practice. Regardless of how you did it, these things may be important to you, and perhaps even a foundation for how you think of yourself.

What happens if that is taken away?


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What makes you you?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What gives a person value?’


As you age, you will have events of one kind or another. You might have a medical scare, or be involved in an accident of some kind. You might find yourself, rather suddenly, to not be able to do something fundamental to your ego.

Then, of course, there is aging. After a certain age, our bodies begin to wear out. Our eyes don’t see as well as they used to, we don’t have the endurance we once had, and it becomes oh so easy to strain a muscle doing even the simplest task.

What happens when someone who a fast runner suddenly finds everyone is faster than they are? Or if someone with 20/20 vision needs to get glasses in order to read? A person with a prodigious memory might have trouble recalling names.

How can you cope with this eventuality? How do you redefine yourself as your skills and abilities, mental or physical, change for the worse? What would you do if you lost part of yourself?

Related questions: What makes you feel old? How have you changed? What makes change possible? What skills have you lost due to technology?

 

How Do We Become Our Best Self?

Everyone wants to — or should want to — get better. A common expression implores us to “be your best self” but how exactly does one do that?

The end of the calendar year often leads to some reflection on the past, and perhaps even to some self evaluation. In turn, this might lead to new year’s resolutions, or things you may want to change or improve about yourself.

But is change even possible? Sometimes it feels like year after year you have the desire to change, but may not have the capacity to carry through on that desire. Is it just a matter of not having the willpower, or is there something deeper at work here?


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What do you believe?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What are you willing to sacrifice?’


For example, some people, after thinking about their life, may decide they resolve to be a more positive — or at least a less negative — person in the new year. But some studies seem to indicate that a person’s happiness level is pretty constant. While it might change a bit in the short term, long-term happiness remains mostly constant.

After all, we live in an age of wonder, where we know more and can do more and live longer than at any time in history. And yet, there is no evidence that we are any happier — in fact, the opposite maybe true.

But of course, some change is possible. No one stays the same — at the very least, a person will get older, which is one kind of change. But can we direct that change and make meaningful strides in our desire to improve? And if so, how? How do we become our best selves?

Related questions: What are you doing to improve yourself? How does creative expression help us to know ourselves better? Is life today better than in the past? What are you doing to make the world a better place?

What Do You Want?

For many people, this time of year is about gift-giving and -receiving. Little children are expected to sit on Santa’s lap and tell them what they want for Christmas. Even for adults, this time of year can be a good opportunity to answer the question: What do you want?

As an added bonus, it doesn’t even need to be Christmas specific. In general, what is it you want — for yourself, for your community, or for the world at large?


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?’


This question, when tied to the Christmas holiday, tends to be focused on the commercial. What present should someone wrap and put under the tree? However, in our thought exercise, it can be more than that. Not there is anything wrong with wanting a material good, like a new smartphone or a video game console. But you may also want something abstract, like justice, or peace, or happiness.

Knowing what it is that you want, some would argue, is the first step to getting it.  After all, if you don’t know what it is that you want, how will you know if you have achieved it?

So, like a child standing in line at the mall, waiting for a chance to sit on Santa’s lap, think about what you plan on asking for. What do you want?

Related questions: What new technology do you want? What do you want to do before you die? Why do we like what we like? What would you do with a million dollars?