Our Defining Moments

By: Glen Gould

Individuals interested in personal development are often more likely to be able to locate a defining moment in their past, perhaps even several. But the vast majority of people go through life without the awareness of the power of the defining moment. The majority of people are unaware there are defining
moments.

What is a defining moment? It may not be what you think. A defining moment is a point in life when decision meets action. In a most dramatic example, a murderer's defining moment is that split second when the decision is made to pull the trigger and the action is taken. Prior to pulling the trigger- that individual is not a murderer- after pulling the trigger- that person is defined as a murderer.

Let's hope none of us ever has that type of defining moment. Actually, we face defining moments more often that we realize. It is because we face them so frequently and so rapidly that we fail to recognize them for what they are.

For example, when someone pulls in front of us in traffic and we decide to flip them the finger; at that moment we have decided to be defined as rude. When we decide to tip twenty percent instead of fifteen, we have a defining moment. We have defined ourselves as good tippers. Examples of defining moments are endless and available for the interpretation. Use your imagination and find them in your everyday life.

The true power of the defining moment is in repetition.

In our traffic example, if one is cut off again and decides not to flip the finger, they may be defining themselves as tolerant. If they consistently flip the finger each and every time they are cut off, they are more likely to be defined as rude. When repetition becomes consistent, we create patterns that become habits. Habits become personality traits and these define who we are.

Every day we have defining moments that are created by action. Small or big these moments determine who we are to a large extent. What makes one defining moment more powerful than another?

As human beings, we were designed to take action. "Do something, even if it's wrong" became a popular saying some time back and it is no wonder. We value action and loathe inactivity. Knowing this, we can determine the most powerful defining moments in our lives.

The most powerful defining moment in our life occurs immediately following the decision not to do something. The action or lack of action at this moment leaves the greatest impression on our lives, and we aren't even aware it happens!

I decided not to lie. Five simple words that carry with it the powerful message: "I am honest. I can be trusted. I will not compromise my integrity". If we stick with this, we reap the benefits. This is a positive example. Unfortunately we have become a society of people who focus on the negative, so here's a negative example as well.

We decide to loose some weight. This is a good decision. We take the action step of planning an exercise program. Again, this is good. The defining moments to this point are those of a person who will not only loose weight, but who will also follow through, take positive action and achieve success. The next morning when we wake up and decide NOT to exercise, all this is lost and we have defined ourselves as a person who will not loose weight, will not take action and will not be a success. In addition we define ourselves as failures. Each day, a new opportunity will come to define ourselves. The more days in a row we take either action will determine which person we are: the exerciser (the success) or the couch potato (the failure).

We must realize the power of the seemingly little decisions we make all day, each day. Decisions that happen in a blink of an eye carry with them the consequences that will shape our personalityArticle Submission, determine our integrity and control our destiny. These snippets of time are our defining moments.

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