It is impossible not to recognize that moment. Isn’t it? It’s the moment where you realize you are doing the wrong thing with your life or you’re on the wrong path.
That moment stares you right in the face and screams your name. It calls you to it with an intense magnetism.
These moments of realization cause us to stop what we are doing and reflect and take assessment. They are our “Aha!” moments.
Sometimes we just ignore the feelings that arise and continue on down that destructive path, the one we were not meant to be on.
But if we accept these moments for what they are and answer their call we will become better for it. We will evolve into much better versions of ourselves.
These are the moments where we can choose to start moving on upwards.
It’s possible the moment happens to you when you are in the comfort of your home. You may be deep into your daily routine. You may be sitting at your kitchen table checking emails on your iPad.
Your iPad dings and in comes an email from your cousin. It’s the digital photos from her wedding. You open the attachments and pause.
You put down your hand while it’s inside a bag of Cheese Doodles or Ruffles or Doritos, or a box of Milk Duds or Peanut M&Ms. You are horrified by what you see in the pictures.
You’re overweight. You have a muffin top hanging over the sides and back of your bathing suit bottom in all the beach and pool pics. You have three chins in the group and candid photos from the reception. You knew you are on the heavier side, but you had no idea exactly how bad you looked.
There isn’t one good picture of you. This moment has substantial power. What will you do?
It is possible your moment occurs at your place of employment. You might be just getting out of your yearly review after busting your ass for the entire fiscal year.
In your heart you know you have done good work. You have followed through on all your commitments. You also know your company has profited substantially from your dedication and laboring.
Your boss completes your annual review and you are stunned. You are caught completely off guard by his assessment of your work quality and the measured results. Your boss gives you the rating equivalent of a “C” in traditional educational grading. This means you should receive a pay rate increase of 3.5%.
It gets worse.
Your boss tells you that the company doesn’t have enough money for raises this fiscal year, so only those rated a four or higher will be receiving any increase.
Moments like these speak to us. What is the moment trying to tell you?
You may be sitting at home in your living room waiting for your significant other to come home from work. They are late…again.
It’s two hours after they should have left, but they are working late again. They do this all the time despite not being required to. They make a habit of disregarding you.
You do your best to communicate how it makes you feel, but nothing changes. You have tickets to a show tonight with your friends. It is your partner’s turn to watch the children, so you can go out. You can already tell you will have to cancel with your friends.
It’s not fair, but life rarely is.
Your partner comes in the door an hour after you needed to leave. They are apologetic, but they always are. You want more for yourself than this. You know you deserve better. What will you do when this moment occurs?
Maybe you are being asked to compromise yourself again at work. You may leave your manager’s office. This time it feels a bit different than times in the past, even though you are in there for the same reason you have been so many times before.
You are bringing your manager another customer complaint you had just received and promptly addressed. You handled the issue, but foresee the problem arising again with future customers due to a new problem in your company’s customer engagement process.
You feel the customer is justified in their complaint, due to health or safety or ethical concerns. You even agree in their assessment and see exactly what they notice as well. That’s why you want to bring it to your direct supervisor’s attention. However, your boss downplays the yours and customer’s concern.
He essentially tells to you to be a good soldier. He lets you know, in no uncertain terms, that the policy and standards will stand and he coldly thanks you for bringing the concern to his attention.
He tells you just before you leave his office that his door will always be open.
In this moment you know that you only have two choices. The first is swallowing your pride and ethics and moving forward as if nothing had happened.
The second choice is pursuing the issue further. You could take the issue up higher in the chain of command or, if warranted, you could bring it to the attention of local law enforcement. If you choose the latter you will undoubtedly receive reciprocal retaliation.
There is a third choice in this moment. Yet, most of us will ignore the third choice despite the first two being so awful for us. Well, what is the third choice?
The answer to all the above questions, of course, is to change. It’s to break the pattern and cycles. It’s to make the decision to do something differently than you have been. It’s to choose to be moving on upwards.
There are countless moments like these in life. They can occur due to external and internal catalysts. These moments can be caused by things we have full control over, as well as those over which we have no control.
As I said, these moments are extremely powerful, and it would be incumbent upon us to recognize them for what they are and act upon them.
These moments are the proverbial straw on the camel’s back. They are the flash and boiling points. Many people ignore these moments of significance, but they hold tremendous potential within them. Held within is the potential for change.
These moments can and should be turning points. Similarly to how trauma can send people down a path of negativity and a destructive direction in terms of life and habits, they can also be the wake-up call we’ve been waiting for.
You may compromise yourself repeatedly due to being content or afraid of change and the unknown. That’s okay. Recognize the fear and contentment for what they are. Ask yourself if that is what you really want. I think we all know that we do not want things to remain the same.
Great energy lies within these moments. That energy is the fuel for our soul; it fuels our growth. It’s the power in empowerment. We just have to act upon the desire to better ourselves instead of just saying we want to be better.
It’s what you do with these moments that dictates if you’re going to continue stuffing junk food in your face for the rest of your short days here on Earth or not.
It’s your choice if you’re going to go on hating and deceiving yourself. It’s also your choice to continue being negative and making excuses or blaming circumstances that you currently swear are out of your control.
Although you may not realize it until that catalytic moment, you have another choice. You can pivot. You can make the conscious and conscientious decision that you are not a lemming. You do not need to maintain on your current suicide course. You can decide you are going to make an effort. You can go from “I want to do” to “I will do” and then “I am doing.” It all just starts with the moments like the ones I described earlier.
Most people ignore those moments. I, on the other hand, search for these moments. I actively seek out these moments, so I can engage with them. I believe these moments are the beginnings of positive change and upwards momentum. Like knowledge without action, what matters is what you do with these moments.
Remember, potential is only a good thing if it becomes something more. Potential is not really a good thing if it is not realized.
I want to realize my potential. That’s why I search out the pivotal, powerful moments and act upon them. My desire is to take myself from “I suck” to “I’m okay” to “I’m good” and hopefully end up finding that amazing spark of a moment that points my trajectory towards “I’m great.”
Fuck yeah, it’s going to take a lot of work.
A search for a new position or career path is an excruciating process, but there’s learning, self-assessment and calibration that comes with it. There’s personal discovery in that process. Plus the alternative is continuing at a job or in a life you hate.
Of course losing twenty or fifty or one hundred pounds is not going to be easy. You will have to acquire within yourself a tremendous level of discipline. You will embarrass yourself at the gym when you look like a sloppy, sopping mess. You will sweat a lot. You will most likely bring yourself to the point of crying.
Eventually those tears will become ones of joy at seeing pictures of yourself in the future. You will remember the muffin top and chins from those wedding photos. You may shed some more tears when you are trying on clothes made for someone skinny.
And addressing your relationship is going to be tough. You will have to do some soul searching and change your methods of communicating and your means of holding your partner accountable. You will come out the other end in a better place. You will be more loved and respected by your partner for your bold empowerment.
Or, you may have to be alone for a while. If it is what you want, you’ll find the right partner eventually. That new partner will excite you and be excited by the amazing person you have become.
It all starts with the moment at the beginning. It’s that big bang spark that comes from these pivotal periods of stress and duress.
I want you to find me there. I want you to know you won’t be alone. You never will be.
There are many, many people who have been through what you are going through now. They’ve felt what you are feeling. They’ve been where you are, and where you’re going.
I want to connect you to those kindred souls. They can provide you support when you slip. They will reach a hand down and pick you up. This is the vision of Moving On Upwards.
I will be there too. We can all laugh and cry and share our stories of our scars and stretch marks. We can tell each other tales of times we told our old bosses or or abusive relationship partners to go fuck themselves. Remember, it all starts with that moment where we decide we’ll be moving on upwards.