There are two types of tipping point.
The negative and The positive.
THE NEGATIVE is quite easy to identify. It’s that time when some small act makes you lose your temper. It’s that time when someone does something quite innocuous and you explode. It’s that time when you can see by the look on their faces that they’ve got a great deal more than they bargained for.
Graham calls it: the demijohn moment from his wine making days. Imagine you have a large glass bottle inside you that collects all the upsets and hurts throughout the week, month, year. Then, the last, usually the smallest, thing is the final piece that fills the bottle and the cork explodes. You go absolutely bananas and the person who created the moment cannot believe you have gone so ballistic over such a small issue.
My mother used to call it: the straw that broke the camels back.
The last, small act, that tipped you over the edge. The result was far beyond what could have been predicted.
THE POSITIVE tipping point is more difficult to assess. This is that small piece of information that changes your life. Changes the way you see the world. Drives you to do something different. Some call it the eureka moment.
Whatever you call it, it’s that small piece that finally pushes you out of your comfort zone. Pushes you into action. Pushes you into the stretch zone.
All the lemons cascade into place and you see it all in glorious technicolor for the first time. There’s no going back.
Our friend Jane was at that point a little while ago.
She was working on a project that was not working out. In fact it was going downhill fast. The parent company pulled the plug leaving her with no job. Life as she knew it was over. Finished.
This left Jane in total chaos. She was all over the place. She was unpredictable. She was in a mess. She lost her clarity. She lost her focus.
She had spent so much time focussed on the basic struggle to survive she had lost her ability to stop, assess and make a decision.
Then one day it was as though someone had removed covers from her eyes.
All the lights came on. It was like sitting in a football stadium. Her eyes opened. Her eyes got brighter. A smile came on her face and tears welled up in her eyes.
“It’s all over. I can’t keep doing this to myself. My whole life is being dominated by an idea that didn’t work. I need to move on. I need to do what I am good at. ”
Then it was like a load was lifted from her shoulders. It was as though she had been given a new pair of glasses. She was able to see the whole picture. She began to see the way her life had been controlled and obsessed by the project.
Within a couple of days she changed her life completely. She did something completely out of character. She got herself a place as a hair stylist on one of the most prestigious Ocean Liners and has never looked back. She loves the life.
Jane had reached her tipping point.
THE POSITIVE TIPPING POINT is no more and no less than that point we reach in our lives where an opening occurs. The point where there is nothing but discovery. The point where something new begins.
We may not have a map. We may not have the understanding of where it will lead us. But we do know it feels right. It fits into our core values and vision.
The governing principle is as William Shakespeare said in Hamlet:
“This above all: to thine ownself be true”
Graham and Julie
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