Dear High Achiever:

WHAT WAS YOUR LATEST DEFINING MOMENT? You and I have both had defining moments in our lives. You and I have both experienced an event – probably more than one – that changed the very essence of who we are and what we’ve become.

Think back. What moments stand out for you? How have they affected what you did yesterday, are doing today, and will do tomorrow?

  • Some defining moments are positive and drive us to greater heights
  • Some defining moments can, unfortunately, be brutally negative and drive us to the lowest lows.

Why revisit those moments – especially the negative ones? To take our lives to a newer, higher level, we need to understand where we are right now and how we got here. We need to face the truth and ask ourselves some hard questions and give real answers to those questions.

Questions like: Am I living a life I designed or have I let someone design it for me? Am I being true to myself, congruent in my thoughts and actions, or am I playing a role based on an external label I’ve accepted?

FYI ACTION IDEA: For you to be most effective and happy in life you need to be living a life that you’ve envisioned for yourself, not one that someone envisioned for you.

I’m reminded of a quote by Les Brown: “Don’t let someone’s opinion of you become your reality.” In other words, don’t let external labels that may have been put on you, become you?

Want to know what inspired this FYI? I’m bringing up defining moments because recently I had a defining moment (at the ripe young age of forty-four) that will undoubtedly change my life for the better forever.

What does age have to do with it? If I were a younger man with a bit less life experience I may have taken this defining moment and experience as a negative. Fortunately, I’m quite comfortable in my skin, have a very healthy self-esteem and know where I’m going and why. By the way, those are two critical factors and important things to know about yourself, your destination, and why you are going there. And I found a positive in what on the face of it appears really negative.

Here’s some background: I recently had the opportunity to experience someone (I’ll leave the individual nameless to protect the guilty) berate two total strangers and a loyal coworker for a lack of so-called service.

The recipients of this outrage were unsuspecting and actually trying to do their jobs to the best of their ability in an expeditious fashion. As the tirade continued I watched in amazement and humility because my heart went out to these people who were undeserving of such harsh words and treatment.

So how is this a positive defining moment? For me, this experience was a defining moment in character development – mine. It will forever inform how I will treat people who are trying to be of service to me and others.

My takeaway: It doesn’t matter what level of sophistication, wealth or education you have or aspire to have. As human beings, we are all fragile. You and I have “stuff” going on just like everyone else. You have a husband or a wife (significant other), children, health, money, education and spiritual issues you are trying to deal with. You and I are focused on becoming and creating more for ourselves and the people we love.

Watching and experiencing this “defining moment” unfold I made a decision and commitment that I will always treat people with the level of respect that I would like to be treated.

FYI ACTION IDEA: I will “Go First” in acknowledging my appreciation of someone wanting to be of service to me. And if, for some reason, the service is not to the level of my expectations, I will Seek to Understand First and Then Be Understood.

FYI IDEA IN ACTION: Take some time today and think about the people, places and events that have shaped who you are and what you’ve become. Evaluate how your defining moments may be affecting your life in both a positive or negative way. Seek to uncover the positive in the negative. Ask yourself the challenging questions that will help take your life to a higher level.

Go Out and Make This Your Best Year Ever!

Author's Bio: 

Eric Taylor is the Chief Inspiration Officer of and founder of New Jersey based Empowerment Group International. He delivers more than 100 energized and interactive keynotes, workshops and seminars each year to corporations, associations and tradeshows. He is the author of the Energy Passport, Co-creator of the Best Year Ever! Success System and Co-author of The Complete Sales Training Encyclopedia. To get complete details about Eric’s background, his products and services, visit Eric Taylor’s Blog and review Eric Taylor’s Profile.