If you want a better life, then you must understand how you got to where you are today. Few people actually, really know how they got to where they are. Why is this? It is because the majority of people do not know how they make decisions.
I once thought I knew how to make good decisions. I thought I was making good decisions. However, something happened along the way. While I thought I was making good decisions, I ended up in a place in life that I did not want to be and I couldn’t understand how I got to where I was. Ever had the same thing happen?
I talked in the previous blog post of the importance for perspective. One thing we spend a lot of time on in a LifePlan is gaining perspective through something called “turning points.” A turning point is when your life is headed in one direction, something happens, and then your life goes in a different direction. Or, you are one way, then as a result of the turning point, you change (not necessarily 180 degrees, though). There are progressions of turning points, but they are a result of a turning point. There are positive and negative turning points in each of our lives.
Do this, plot out the turning points of you life starting as far back as you can remember where you were one way, or headed in a particular direction, and then you changed or went in a different direction. What was that event that caused it? This will take some time, so blog out an hour or two to do this. Ask yourself, ‘How did my life go in a different direction?’ or ‘How did I change as a result of this?’ ‘Is this a turning point or a progression of a turning point?’
Once you have your turning points plotted out, then create a matrix with your turning points across the top (x axis) and then the five areas of life (we call these “Life Domains”) along the left side (y axis) of a piece of paper. The five life domains are: Personal, Family, Vocation, Faith/Church/God, and Community. Once you have your spreadsheet drawn, go through each turning point and write out how each life domain was affected. Some of the Life Domains will not be filled in from young aged Turning Points.
After everything is plotted out and Life Domains are filled in, step back. Reflect on it. Pray and ask God to reveal some truth that He wants you to see. What patterns emerge? What patterns emerged from your personal domain and your family domain? What’s missing in your turning points? What was wrong in your turning points across the life domains? What was good? What was bad? How did you respond to certain stimulus? Did you react to the stimulus? Were you making emotional decisions? How has this turning point caused you to interpret other similar situations and did you make the same decision, or did you pendulum swing to the other side? Seek to know the truth? Fear is a great force when coupled with our imagination. What fears emerged from your turning points? How has fear held you back? How has it caused you to avoid certain experiences based on your turning points? Ask yourself lots of questions and invite God to show you what He’s been doing in your life. Has He been at work this whole time and you didn’t know? Or, do you believe that He as been absent and doesn’t care about you? Seek truth. How did your parents influence you? Who did you allow to influence your life?
Once you’ve learned as much truth as you can from how you’ve gotten to where you are today, rate each turning point on a scale of one to ten (one being very negative, and ten being very positive). You might find that some events were very negative initially, but with time, you look back and see how the pain yielded good fruit. Once each life turning point as been rated, graph it out and see what more truth emerges.
Have you been on a roller coaster ride going from one high to the next? Have you had a lot of negative turning points? Have your experiences caused you to expect the next negative thing in life to happen to you? Have you been self-sabotaging? What have you learned? What should you watch out for? What has colored the interpretation of your reality?
Question: What have you learned from your turning points? Please leave a comment.
If any of this helped you, or if you have any question, please leave a comment or contact me and I will respond to your question. You might also consider going through LifePlan. Click on the link above, “Get a LifePlan.”