The Tipping Point Actions accumulate and we change
Stock Adobe Royalty Free Images
Tomorrow isn’t devoid of the past. Washing away the natural consequences of a neglectful past doesn’t happen with a good night sleep. The past continues into the present. The past isn’t the past at all. Every new day is comprised of the past spilling into the present. An intellectual grasp of the intertwining of past and present magnifies the importance of the moment. The individual moment not only exists but includes all the yesterdays and springboards into the tomorrows. Our history sets the trajectory of our lives; today we either mindlessly follow that trajectory, giving directing power to fate or we courageously initiate small adjustments, creating new trajectories for the tomorrows.
We can change the course of an unfulfilling life. And flourishing life requires just that.
The modern message that tomorrow is a new day and that yesterday doesn’t matter is overly idealistic; possibly giving hope and inspiring healthy change. I get it. I understand there lies a purpose behind the one day at a time mantra. Tomorrow isn’t completely dependent on yesterday. The drug addict may abandon past habits, the abused may seek new safety, and the chaotic person may create structure. We can change. The unsavory life can reform. The chronically depressed can find peace. Change I possible—trajectories change.
The past patterns and habits wreak havoc but are not unchangeable. Changes don’t magically occur. The longer and heavier the boulder rolling down hill, the more difficult to change the path of its destruction. No waving of a magical wand will do; we must approach the rolling stone with patience, courage and growing support. We can make healthier choices. The consequences of past remain, influencing today but the new behaviors introduce a new set of consequences on tomorrow. We must accept the moment—consequences and all. When we compassionately accept this moment, with its struggles, weaknesses, strengths, joys and sorrows, we strengthen our resolve for change. Past choices may significantly limit opportunities today, but with effort and wisdom we create new opportunities for the future.
Changing trajectories requires force. Without force, the momentum continues forward. Initially new behaviors go unnoticed. The following days, weeks and even months seem unchanged—the same limiting forces impose their will on our lives. We continue to feel the residual pain from the past. The past continues to influence emotions, responses, and the environment even after significant changes; but as we faithfully continue forward with new healthy habits, eventually positive deviations take hold—relationships strengthen, and opportunities materialize. We altered the trajectory, creating a healthier past and a brighter future.
We eventually arrive at a juncture in the process—the tipping point—where positive actions accumulate, outweighing the past, and life dramatically changes. Many give up hope before arrival at the tipping point, slipping back into old routines and the familiar painful and comforting consequences. Courage! Patience! Persistence! You can make it through the bleak days of change and flourish in the light of new days; but this will require slightly more than a good night’s rest.