A defining moment is explained as an event which determines subsequent, related occurrences. These moments affect us so strongly that they define us.
Many of the so-called defining moments of our lives really aren’t. College graduation, marriage, and retirement are often called defining moments. In reality, they are commemorative moments. Graduation commemorates how you spent the past four years. Marriage commemorates the courtship leading up to it. Retirement commemorates a life at work. In each instance, the person has been defined long before the moment occurred. All of these so called defining moments affect our future, but they don’t determine it. In fact, that are easier than what happens going forward. Marriage requires much from us to make it what we desire it to be.
Consider a different kind of moment. Think about defined moments.
Each moment we live defines us in tiny and large ways. People who act as leaders in their lives, and in the lives of others, understand this and choose to live intentionally by doing everything they can to positively and design and define the time in their lives.
We are always in the flow of time. At any time we have the opportunity to seize ordinary moments and define them in ways that make us better and happier, and in ways that positively affect those whom we care for.
What can you do to better define your moments?
- Look for opportunity but don’t turn it into a drudgery. Not every moment needs to be further defined. Instead, just making the most of each moment as they present themselves is enough. But some moments become obvious changes to make them extraordinary.
- Be in the moment. In an age of constant distraction, we need to be more fully present, not thinking about something in the past or in the future.
- Learn from the defined moments of the past. Reflect on the moments in the past that you’ve made special and how that affected you or others.
- Pay attention to how those you admire make the most of ordinary moments, and use them as role models.
- Each morning think about the day ahead and determine what you’ll be doing that is important and can be enlarged and defined. Sometimes opportunities simply present themselves, but as often we can make those opportunities.
By focusing the attention and care on each moment, you can create a larger legacy of accomplishment and rewarding relationships at work and in life, and in everything you do.
Mark Sanborn is an award winning speaker and Leadership Expert in Residence at High Point University, the Premier Life Skills University. For more information about his work, visit www.marksanborn.com.