Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What Made You Change Direction?

Have you ever changed direction?  Once rushing south towards Niagara Falls from Hamilton, Ontario, I found myself on a ramp heading north over a bridge towards Toronto.  Driving across the bridge, I realized that the road I was on had nothing to do with my destination.  After several kilometres, I managed to turn myself around, but lights had gone on in my mind and stayed on, consuming energy, for some time.

I realized that if my hoped-for destination was peace, safety, creativity, productivity, love, and maybe even happiness, I was on the wrong road.

A change of direction can be slow at first and then sudden.  Or it can happen all at once.  My friend, John, was working on his MSc in Engineering Physics at the Chalk River Nuclear Power Plant.  When Chernobyl blew up on April 26, 1986, John's 25th birthday, he quit his graduate program and his research and walked away from Chalk River.

William was a university student in business and economics and entirely invested in the pursuit of money. He planned  to go to school, get a degree in communication, enter some business, and then rise to the top making lots of money along the way.  Then he read Be Here Now by Baba Ram Dass.  He changed his major to comparative religions and soon his interests, beliefs, health and everything else changed as well.  He is grateful!

John told me, much later, that sometimes an event is more of an excuse or a way to mark a turning point.  He thinks perhaps he was changing direction anyway, and Chernobyl was merely an instigating factor.  Perhaps William would have changed direction too without Be Here Now.

Changing direction is difficult, but after the initial disorientation and eventual re-orientation, we are probably grateful for our turn-abouts.

What made you change direction?


  1. by thenewgreen via www.hubski.com
    1. Getting married. -My wife is one of the most driven human beings I've ever met. As such, after meeting her my ambition and drive was naturally excelled. One day I was really sad after hearing a childhood friends album. My wife asked me "what's wrong" and I replied "I know I have an album in me", her response.... "Well, then make one". -So simple. She really changed me for the better.
    2. Having a child - All the old cliché's are true. I'm less selfish, I think about my impact on the world and those around me more.
    3. Moving - Left my band in Michigan. Had to find another creative outlet. Actually, Hubski has provided much of this. Without moving I don't think I would have started the #tngpodcast and I've really enjoyed making these. I don't see myself stopping anytime soon either. I do miss the music though... a LOT.

  2. Physically and spiritually the number of times I have changed direction is hard to count. Some have been changes not initiated by me (leaving the corporate world in 2007, sudden separation also in 2007) and other more under my control (applying for new jobs, getting married, changing career.

    My believe, and it is my perspective, change is inevitable and if we are aware, curious, positive, fearless (to a point) and engaged these changes give us opportunity to do more with our lives and to be more as a human.

  3. Falling in love with a man. Hey, I know it sounds like a cliche but it is true. Previously, I defined myself primarily as heterosexual male...true I had engaged in sex with other men from time to time, but that was not (at least I though at the time) my primary focus. Then I met my current partner and viola... my world was turned around. Today, 28 years later we are still together and still very much in love.