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Turning Points are the Stepping Stones of Life

2013 June 28

In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and clear that one feels as if one’s been hit in the chest, all the breath knocked out, and one knows, absolutely knows without the merest hint of a shadow of a doubt that one’s life will never be the same. ~Julia Quinn

turning pointsThe idea of turning points in our lives is a powerful one. Typically we think of turning points as being the result of a big event that suddenly changes our life forever. A volunteer opportunity leads to a new career; a chance encounter at a party leads to a marriage proposal; an accident shatters one’s dreams to be an athlete and leads to a new path in life.

But more often than we realize turning points build momentum over time. There may have been many small things that led up to the event, but there is inevitably a single moment when out of the blue you realize that something has shifted inside of you, that you are no longer the person you thought you were just moments before. You decide you will no longer tolerate another person’s hurtful behavior toward you, you find the courage to follow a dream despite overwhelming odds, or you suddenly decide enough-is-enough and face down a long-held fear.

I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

The one thing each of these events has in common is a crossroad that requires a choice on our part. These decisions are the stepping stones along our journey in life that ultimately define who we are; from the partners we choose, to the careers we pursue.

Depending on how our decisions turn out, it can be so tempting to look back to those turning points and wonder how differently life might have been had you made a different choice, but it really is foolish to linger on those thoughts. Maybe you have more turning points ahead, or maybe not, but you really need to accept your life and who you are today as being exactly right for you.

Are there experiences that stand out as turning points for you?

Whether you buy into the “all things happen for a reason” philosophy or not, taking the time to identify turning points – and how they came about – can help you get a better sense of the big picture of your life direction. Our subconscious (inner self) has a ingenious way of stubbornly pushing to be heard; nudging us in directions to identify that which we need to face, deal with, or embrace, in order for us to become the person we are meant to be.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that even if a turning point leads you in one direction – it is within your power to choose – to change direction or continue in the direction you were already on.

What turning points have you faced in your life? How have you chosen to step forward?

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12 Responses
  1. July 29, 2013

    If it weren`t for choices, our lives would be as random as a butterfly`s. We would be like leaves in the autumn wind, getting dragged on the ground with each blow. Yes, we do go through turning points and they are vital, they oblige us to make the best and the worst decisions. But this is what makes life worth living. Thanks for the beautiful post.

  2. July 12, 2013

    I agree with that quote. We really are who we are because of our past choices. I believe that you always have a choice. At each point in your life you have a choice. Sometime, you will be in front of a really big choice with big consequences. That is a turning point! Thanks for sharing this!

  3. July 9, 2013

    “I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday”, I totally agree with this saying since I’m a firm believer that one is responsible for his/ her own actions and can not blame any one or any thing for his/ her misconducts or mis-judgements. Thanks for the interesting share.

  4. July 7, 2013

    You certainly have with words. Every time I read your post, I always indulge in a deep session of pondering and rewinding things in my mind. Turning points are indeed the stepping stones in one’s life which show the path for achieving a bigger and a better future. The use of ideal images in this post, makes it even more enchanting and glorious. Thanks for the post.

  5. July 3, 2013

    I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!

  6. July 1, 2013

    I love the image of a railroad track and switchpoints. It goes so well with the message you send in this article. You are so right that our inner subconscious self keeps nudging us in the direction we are meant to go (even when we resist with all our stubborn might ;-)).

    I can also see where the culmination of smaller events lead to that one moment where something shifts inside you. I have experienced it. About two months ago, I started my own journaling process through my blog. At that time, I started to write in order to verbalize my thoughts and clarify those things that bring a sense of purpose and meaning to my life only to find out that writing is one of those things. How ironic … and cool ;-)

    My BHAG is coming more and more into focus :-) The fog obscuring those switchpoints in the railroad image above is lifting. Thanks for the wonderful words of wisdom!
    Dave recently posted..Ready, set, goal!My Profile

  7. July 1, 2013

    Oh, I am so printing out that Eleanor Roosevelt quote and placing on my bulletin board! I’ve turned many directions in my life – funny how sometimes you eventually come around full circle!

    Also, just sent you something to consider for your “Turning Point – An Adventure in Creative Nonfiction Event.”
    Kimba recently posted..For the Love of Gal PalsMy Profile

  8. June 29, 2013

    Well said, Marquita. There are many turning points in our lives. Some are self-directed; others seem to have a momentum of their own. When we stay in the turn or get out of it is our choice. Some may be challenging to get out of, no doubt. We just need to make the effort. Great initiative you are driving! Jon
    Jon Mertz recently posted..How to Handle Negative Feedback at WorkMy Profile

  9. June 28, 2013

    Marty, I very much enjoy your newsletters and articles and blog. I want to thank you and although you may not hear from your readers very often, as comments are scarce on anyone’s blog, I want you to know that you do make a huge difference in people’s lives, I’m sure. At least I very much appreciate your articles. Thank you.
    Kenna McKinnon recently posted..Radio talk show hostess Naz Sohni UppalMy Profile

  10. June 28, 2013

    Love this quote I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday. ~Eleanor Roosevelt and the image is awesome.
    Yes the choices we make effect so many things in our lives. A big turning point for me was my Kidney failure and as I am rereading my journals from the past 18 months I know that the universe gave me a wakeup call and right from day one I can see that my choice has had a positive effect on my life. Great post thanks
    Suzie Cheel recently posted..BE Courageous ~ Making Change, Making A DifferenceMy Profile

    • June 28, 2013

      Hey Suzie, thanks so much for taking the time to contribute to the conversation. I always value your thoughtful insight. You point about gaining clarity from reading past journal entries is so important, and just one example of why I’m such a huge fan of journaling. :-)
      Marquita Herald recently posted..Turning Points are the Stepping Stones of LifeMy Profile

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