After reading through one of his existing interviews, I agreed. Stephen sent me a list of interview questions, and I began composing my responses to them. Most of the questions were fairly straightforward, but eventually I reached a real stumper:
What would you say was the defining moment that forever changed the course of your life?
I thought long and hard — is there really one single moment that stands out from the rest? Just like anyone else, I’ve had many experiences that have been life-altering.
I could talk about the boating accident that I was in when I was only six years old. I could say that it was the defining moment that forever changed the course of my life because I consider myself lucky to even have an opportunity to experience life after six.
The thing is, the accident happened so long ago that I barely remember any of it. Shouldn’t the “defining moment that forever changed the course of my life” be something that I remember vividly? Something that still affects me today?
I could talk about the time that I flew a plane at the young age of 14. I could say that it was the defining moment that forever changed the course of my life because at the time, becoming a pilot was my life’s goal. By the time we landed, it no longer was.
In other words, flying a plane changed the course of my life only because it was a bad experience. I became air-sick, I vomited mid-flight, and I practically kissed the ground once my feet were planted firmly back on it. Shouldn’t the “defining moment that forever changed the course of my life” be something that I remember fondly? Something that made a positive impact on my life?
I could talk about the first time I really left home. I could talk about the time I almost fell 30 feet to my death. I could talk about the time I declined a job offer, and then a month later a gunman shot three people in that workplace.
My point is that there are countless life experiences that one can learn from. That’s the entire point of my blog — to share these experiences, good or bad, in an effort to raise awareness.
You can learn from my mistakes, or partake in them. You can follow in my footsteps, or avoid them. You can take in all that I’m sharing, and then make a choice as to how you want to respond to my thoughts and experiences. Ultimately, that’s the most defining factor in anyone’s life: The Power to Choose.
Come to think of it, there is an experience that stands out from the rest — the first time I really understood that I even had the power to choose. Sometimes you lose sight of that power, convince yourself that you’re truly stuck, and believe that the only solution is well beyond your reach.
It was a hard lesson learned but I’ve never forgotten it: You always have a choice. Look for my discussion of this experience in Part I of my interview at Adversity University.
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