Defining Moments

Do you remember the last time you made a decision that took your life onto a new path? How did you feel and what led you to that moment?

Tess Vigeland, former radio show host and author of Leap: Leaving a Job with No Plan B to Find the Career and Life You Really Want had such a moment prior to leaving her "dream job."

Tess explains how she had been unhappy for a while but her job was still something she had worked hard to get and a "dream job." Once she finally took control of her weight and became more self-confident, she then had the courage to resign, something she knew was the right thing to do but had feared.

I've had those moments too. I've voluntarily left jobs that were making me miserable, both with and without a Plan B and both were definitely defining moments. It was me making a stand for what I believed in and what I would not be part of. And yes, both Tess and I had many moments of concern, even knowing we had done the right thing.

To write her book, Tess interviewed many other people who chose to quit without a Plan B. I just read her interview with Margie Weinstein, a woman who left a high-profile job at the Whitney Museum.

Margie explains how she originally forced herself to look for work 10 to 5 daily. A friend made her realize that instead, she should put in some time in the morning and take the opportunity in the afternoon to read, visit museums, or just do the things she wouldn't have time to once back at work.

I needed to read that but unfortunately had not applied it the last time I looked for work. I remember complaining to family and friends that for someone out of work, I had so little time. Yes, I read, wrote, worked on my side hustles, and looked for work, but it was up to me to set my hours. "Working" all hours did not bring the next opportunity sooner, nor did it mean I was being more productive. It was just me overcompensating for not having a day job and not taking advantage of the free time I had.

So defining moments, like other important moments in our life, often tiptoe quietly past us and can easily be missed if we're not paying attention. Opportunity rarely announces itself. It is up to us to be open, aware, and to connect the dots for ourselves.

It is up to us to recognize the "defining" aspect of the moment and to readjust our paths accordingly.

So when was your last defining moment?

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