The purpose of the BLURRING is to emphasize that TRANSITIONS are usually not “hard and fast” start and stop points that can be identified at a specific point of time. Normally, there are predictable signs of transitional seasons. Think about the transition from spring to summer…the days get longer, the weather warmer and one intuitively expects summer to follow. From summer to autumn the leaves begin to fall and we sense a transition is on its way. From autumn to winter we feel the chill in the air…and so on.
It’s normative to embrace a natural and predictable transition from one season to another. It’s quite another to be thrust from one season to another. Have you ever felt that way? You think that life is humming along when a sudden change of events turns your life upside down. Perhaps an accident or life threatening illness imposes its way into your life. Perhaps it’s a financial setback…or perhaps it’s a close relationship that has gone sour. And, of course, most “sudden change of events” are not on a pre-determined calendar…!!!
Here are 3 ideas that can help us through the transitional seasons of our lives…whether it’s a natural rhythm or a set of circumstances that suddenly rocks your world.
- Establish “Ground Zero”
What I mean by establishing “Ground Zero” is “getting centered” and building a foundation on the most important principles and priorities of your life. Having a deep understanding of who are you, what you do and where are you going will allow you to more successfully navigate each season of your life. Many people cannot articulate what they believe to the point of risking their lives for it. Can you articulate what are you wiling to die for…what are you willing to live for?
- Establish community
We really do need each other and are not intended to live in a vacuum. John Wayne is a fictional figure…and doing life without having deep relationships with people who know us, understand us, empathize with us and for whom there is relational reciprocity can be daunting. In my life, I have found it “mission critical” to have those older than me as mentors, cohorts as friends, and younger people as mentees. The balance of at least three generations in our lives and a meaningful community around us allows us enough feedback and input to navigate more successfully. Is my community balanced and does it represent three generations?
- Keep your eye on the ball
Without a forward focus and goal orientation discouragement can overwhelm us. Why do I get out of bed and do what I do? I know a person who is constantly asking the question, “Why are you doing what you’re doing?” It’s a penetrating question and really forces us to think carefully about what we’re trying to accomplish and where we’re spending our time. Goal orientation also allows us to remain single minded when confronted with distraction or tangential activities. Understanding the ultimate goal also allows us to remain laser beam focused when life gets messy. We learn what to say yes to and we learn when to say no. Does where I spend the majority of my time reflect my highest goals and aspirations?
There are two kinds of people in the world….those who have challenges and those who will. Prepare yourself TODAY so that you’re better prepared for TOMORROW…and those blurry, seasonal transitions.