Turning Points

I thought that Good Friday would be a good time to stop using the #StayHomeSA as part of the post titles. The lockdown has been extended, so where we started two weeks ago is where we are again today three weeks of lockdown ahead.

To add to that, and to make it one of the best Good Fridays, is that my new MacBook Air magically found its way to me this morning.

I have had a number of exchanges with people on social media since the lockdown extension announcement. The reactions to the lockdown extension range from praise to despair. I am interested in the latter. `most of the people who are praising (and please, this is my opinion, and not based on any statistics), are those that are financially in a good place, or still have some form of income.

Phrases like "I'm done", "Help me", "what about my children" are the ones that caught my eye the most. There were no lengthy explanations as to why people reacted in a negative way. Just a simple, short cry for help. I do feel that there is little consideration for these people in general amongst those who can still make a trip to the local supermarket two or three times a week, and walk out with necessities such as rib-eye steaks, and salmon.

As people I sense we are reaching a turning point in our society. The marginalised are further affected and we cannot expect sentiment toward the wealthy, and government to improve. Naturally, this creates a perfect pollical platform for those who wish to exploit the suffering.

To define a turning point we assume something/someone has a stable pattern of development (this could also be negative as a decline) followed by a defining event that changes the direction of the development.

Turning points in society are often spoken of in a negative light following a disaster or major economic or political shift. In our personal development, however, we always want to talk about turning points as a defining moment that set us on the right path towards achieving our individual goals or purpose in life.

Life is filled with turning points. Some are unintentional. Life throws you a curve, and the effects are life-changing. In a negative way: Unexpected circumstances can have tragic consequences.

You hear things like …

“That accident changed the course of her life. She was never the same after that.”

“He never got over her death.”

“When he lost his job, that’s when his life took a turn for the worse.”

“He was a different man when he came home after the war.”

On the other hand, tragic circumstances can have positive consequences. For example,

“That drunk driving ticket was the wake-up call he needed. As far as I know, he never took another drink.”

“I thought all was lost when the business failed; turns out, it was a blessing in disguise.”

For me, the turning point came in 2013. An emotionally tumultuous time, where for a moment I thought that it was all over. That sounds a bit dramatic, I know, but for each of us what we experience a life-defining event, because it happens to, and in us, it is so much more intense than we could ever see others' problems and tragedies.

A series of events over three years culminated in divorce. This was the trigger for my turning point. I realized through the process, and often after spending time in prayer and reflection, that the divorce was not what had gone wrong. It was simply a result of losing myself in a life that was not part of my purpose. A series of decisions moved me from my purpose. What appeared to be a terrible event, turned out to set me on an amazing path towards my purpose.

The question I have often asked myself is "Why did it have to take such a defining event to make me see the light, and step into my purpose.

Recognising a turning point in our lives is always easy, after the fact. Predicting a turning point is not so easy.

The wonderful thing about a turning point though, is that God always gives us the grace to choose the direction we will take.

In our current predicament, there are many of us who's lives will change whether we like it or not. At this turning point, we need to choose the direction we will take.

You can rise above the challenges the covid19 pandemic is creating, or you can become a victim and a nameless statistic that will only be repeated when we need to compare the next world pandemic to the past.

Choose now, to direct your outcome form this crisis. Choose to grow. Choose to prosper.

Next week, from Wednesday to Sunday, I will be hosting an online round table discussion on Leading Through Crisis. I will deliver John Maxwell Certified content on this topic, and we will discuss in a mastermind format leadership during a crisis.

This is at no cost. Free. Mahala. And since it is online, you can invite as many of your friends and colleagues as you want.

Simply sign-up on the website and you will receive all details on this round table. This could be what sets you apart during and after this crisis.

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