Please know that there is a lot of background noise directing me to each of these posts. And it’s not always easy, or sunny or happy. Though those feelings seem to be the eventual outcome, and reflect in these posts, mapping out my life, understanding it, and digging deep within, isn’t an easy task.
You see, how I got here is simple, I am a point, or I have reached, a tipping point in my life. There has been a few dramatic moments in the world that is my life, that has changed everything for me. (Malcom Gladwell explains this on a bigger scale of social trends, and the spread of disease etc. and how certain tipping points have affected history in points in time and the influence those points had on society and the world, in his book, The Tipping Point) I am going to apply this same theory to life. Our lives, are in themselves, their own little world, we all have tipping points as simple as points in history, where epidemics began or where they didn’t, that have gotten us to where we are now.
We reach several different tipping points at different periods in our life. Not that different from what we learn in history books, we can draw a timeline of our own lives, we can see where major things happened, good or bad, and the choices we made in each of those times that “tipped” us into one direction or another, and the eventual outcome. The peaks and the valleys. We got here, to now, by a series of events along the way. And how we get to the next point is highly dependent on what we do right now. Really every moment of our lives is a tipping point and in every single one of those moments, we humans have this amazing gift. Choice.
Gladwell goes on to say that “epidemics are sensitive to the conditions and circumstance of the times and places in which they occur”. He also explains the “broken window” theory. Where crime is the inevitable result of disorder and that crime is contagious. He uses the example that if there is a broken window on a house, and left broken, people conclude that no one cares and no one is in charge. And soon more windows will be broken. My family actually has the perfect example of this in an old farm-house in northern Ontario where we used to spend our summers. Our grandmother died, and we grew into busy adults, no one was going there anymore, It’s now condemned and not a window exists and signs of kids trespassing and partying is evident everywhere. The “broken window” theory suggests that the spread in criminal behavior isn’t coming from a certain person, rather an environment. By fixing the window, a tiny detail, we tip the direction that crime will go in that neighborhood. Had we had someone in the farm-house on a full-time basis, or at least more regularly to “fix” the window the house would be as beautiful as it was when we were innocent kids, enjoying amazing summers playing and happy.
We can apply the broken window theory to our lives. By leaving an emotional wound unattended to we invite in all kinds of negative, repetitive patterns in, and they will just escalate into our own little epidemic and spread throughout our lives and within our souls.
We can break this down even further, our tipping points that is, into our daily activities or habits, and if we look close enough we can discover the tipping point to say… eating that entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s raw cookie dough ice cream, or not. To gambling one more time, or not. To obsessive exercise and why, or over eating, under eating, over shopping, or promiscuous sexual activity. I am using a lot of addictive examples here, mostly because addiction is rampant in our day and age. It’s also applicable to our reactions to things, what makes us over react? or yell? or feel insecure, or jealous? Hey now, what about what makes us feel good? and happy? What are our trigger points that cause us to react and feel a certain way and why? Somewhere along the line and within our own history of tipping points that projected us into one direction or another, we have a memory, it’s important that we be aware of that. Once we figure those out, we can manage our tipping points and use the freedom of choice that us humans have and decide which way we will “tip” in any given moment.
We won’t be able to change our past to solve our present but we can prevent future broken windows by fixing them now. If we stop focusing it all on the external world, we can then start to deal with the internal one.
So here I am, at a tipping point in my life. I’d reached a threshold in a certain area of my life, that I like to call “the nail in the coffin”, I had removed myself from the coffin to gain perspective and the outcome has brought me here to where I am now. And I am exercising my right to choose which way I’ll tip this time. With small changes along the way. There was a part of my sprirt that was reflected back onto me by both an experience and a person, and it was magical. I am choosing to nourish my life in ways that are enriching. And to create “true wealth”, which is first and foremost an inside job. And I am committed to it. All change requires a new level of awareness, and creativity is essential to this, as it all begins with imagination. It’s about living for my “true self” which literally is “truth of and to self”. I’ve shifted my focus from “goals” to “life”. Goals are future based, and generally influenced by outside “expectations” . My daily work depends on “goals achieved and targets hit”. With goal driven pursuits, happiness is depended on the never, it creates a sense of lack, or shortfall, and an immense amount of pressure. I am going to be happy with the now. Not the “future” stress. It’s about life standards. No longer will I allow those triggers that tip me back into bad habits or suck me into a vortex of where I think I am “supposed” to be. I choose to live my true self and my souls unique impulse.
Let’s see what epidemic this tipping point propels me into, now that I am consciously exercising my right to choose in every single moment.