Many of us want turning points in our lives.
A career choice to be an entrepreneur rather than working for someone else,
A sudden opportunity that opens up the world for you
A moment of truth such as realizing that something is simply not working
Every famous person lived an ordinary life like you and me before a turning point changed everything.
At 27, Vincent Van Gogh failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school.
At 28, J.K. Rowling was a suicidal single parent living on welfare who was rejected by over a dozen publishers before one yes to Harry Potter.
At 30, Martha Stewart was a stockbroker and wrote her first book at 41 which brought her fame.
Julia Child released her first cookbook at 49.
Morgan Freeman landed his first major movie role at age 52.
I earned my master’s at 55 and wrote Making Your Mind Magnificent when I was 62.
So, can you make turning points more likely in your life?
Absolutely, and Srini Pillay, M.D has discovered four principles to do so.
You can’t have a turning point if you keep doing what you’re doing—Prepare your brain to change course: In Dr. Pillay’s, Tinker Dabble Doodle Try, he describes many people whose careers started at one point and ended up completely differently. Radio personality Ryan Seacrest and Jeff Bezos, the president of Amazon come to mind.
Don’t be afraid to explore a viable career, even if it is not obviously related to what you are doing. You can’t anticipate that a stockbroker will become a famous television personality, but if you are open to what you desire and pursue opportunities in accordance with this, you are likely to find that turning point.
Action: What one other career would you consider right now? Look up related jobs online. Imagine what it would take to change or move.
You’ll need some courage to see a turning point staring you in the face. Let’s face it, change is frightening, so much so, that many people ignore potential turning points in their lives, and keep going with their noses to the grindstone, hoping that their focus will bring them the rewards they want.
While this may be the case, focus is often a formula for missed opportunities. You have to be able to disengage your focused brain to look more deeply at other opportunities.
Action: Of the many conversations you have had recently, which one may turn into an opportunity? Call up a related person and keep the conversation alive. Ask for introductions to other people.
Take time out for creative motivation: Sometimes, a turning point is not obvious. It requires a creative mind to see it. Such insights occur when your brain is not preoccupied with busy work all of the time. Go for a walk outside, preferably on a meandering path. It will stimulate creative ideas and allow you to see the opportunities in your life differently.
(My own vision for Intelligent Heart came when I was taking our daughter’s dog for a walk out in the country.)
Action: After lunch or at a time of day that suits you, go for a meandering walk every day.
Use possibility thinking: Often, we are stuck in habit pathways. And having a one-track mind won’t get you to a turning point. We have to consider possibilities for our brains to attend to them. If you don’t expect to pick any apples, you won’t carry a basket. Similarly, if you don’t expect something to come your way, you won’t prepare for it. Possibility thinking (a growth mindset) makes your brain more rewarded, relaxed, and receptive.
Action: Forget about your current reality. What do you want? And why is it possible? Research people online like you who have achieved what they wanted despite their adversities. For example, search for “celebrities who married later in life” or “people who became successful after age 40”. This will feed your brain with possibilities.
These methods will likely jumpstart your brain so that turning points are more likely. In the same way that you can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket, you can’t experience a turning point if you don’t do all that you can to make it happen.
Remember Wayne Gretzky’s observation: “You miss 100% of the shots you do not take!”
Steven Campbell is the author of “Making Your Mind Magnificent” and conducts “The Winners Circle” every two months at Sonoma Mountain Village in RP. His other lecture, “Taming your mind,” is now available online. Contact Steven at 480-5007 or go his website at stevenrcampbell.com to ask about his one-day free monthly seminar.