The Power To Pivot!
by Stephen Doherty
November 20th, 2022
“You cannot change your destination overnight,
but you can change your direction overnight.” – Jim Rohn
The most powerful tool any of us have, or have ever had, at our disposal – is the ability to change course. Pick a new path. Cease moving in our current direction. Completely reshuffle the deck and get a new hand of cards to play. Craft a new plan. Chase a new dream. Each new sunrise God sees fit to bestow upon us comes with, if we choose to grasp it, a fresh, BLANK sheet of paper and a pen full of ink! This isn’t one of life’s “variables,” but rather – one of its most enduring truths – the power to pivot and take our life into a wholly new direction.
Because of its absolute necessity, coupled with its universal availability – I believe that the power to pivot is a superpower! We can literally snap our fingers and make wholesale changes to our life in an infinite number of ways. The only variable is in the degree of difficulty coupled with the amount of desire we must have to see change through. As we all know, life has few obstacles more prominent than our inability to get out of our own way.
Losing five pounds is a far cry from pursuing a masters degree or a dramatic change in careers. Buying five books to read is simpler than figuring out how to live abroad for six months out of the year. Abandoning destructive habits or lifestyles in favor of adopting healthier and more positive pursuits can be daunting and difficult. Change is simple – but often not easy – because of the degree of difficulty associated with it, not its unavailability.
Yet, despite the glaring reality that it is within all of us to make course corrections to our respective journeys – we currently are suffering the highest rates of obesity, mental illness, and suicides in our history. Paradoxically speaking – millions of people are dying of thirst a few feet from a lake full of fresh water. We’re freezing on the front porch with the keys in our hands. We’re refusing to jump off the tracks with trains bearing down on us. Why? Why do so many people accept lives short of their desires, dreams, or aspirations and just “settle” for what comes?
I get that any change to the “routine” is simple – but often not easy. I do. I understand that the relative comfort of the status quo, even if difficult and problematic, is often preferable to the stress and anxiety that often accompanies change. Stepping outside of ourselves and repurposing our respective journeys, is going to be successful (or not) commensurate with its degree of difficulty. The human condition is to avoid stress and anxiety – not invite more of it. Perhaps no obstacle is more daunting than our own comfort zones.
A wise man once said, “No one ever changes unless they want to. Not if you beg them. Not if you shame them. Not if you use reason, emotion, or tough love. There’s only one thing that makes someone change: Their own realization that they need to do it.” It’s beyond comforting to know that we have the incredible power to select our own destinies and outcomes. But with that power – comes the obligation, or at least the inclination, to seize it on our own behalf. To me, one of life’s great tragedies, is a superpower that follows us to the grave – unused.
“If you do not change direction – you may end up where you’re going.”
– Lao Tzu