Posted by Brian Kim
If you've ever read a story of someone who has made a significant positive change in their life or personally know somebody who has, you’ll probably find that behind that change was a triggering event, either a positive or negative one.
Perhaps the guy you knew had his heart broken by someone who he deeply loved. Perhaps that person read a life changing book. Perhaps that person had a close friend die of cancer. In any case, that triggering event was the starting point of significant change in that person’s life, one that shocked him out of apathy and I think we can all relate in one way or another to this kind of experience.
Take for example, a man who has been dating a woman and has fallen head over heels in love with her. He thinks about her all the time, all his chips are on the table and he is fully committed but one day, the woman he’s so deeply mad in love with tells him she does not feel the same way about him. His world buckles and comes crashing down. Food has no taste. His social life suffers. He closes the curtains in his house and drinks away his sorrow. He listens to their song over and over again and cries his heart out. We all know somebody in our social circle who has experienced this. It is one of the hardest things to deal with. Yet after months of this behavior, something happens within this man. He realizes that the problem was not anything outside of him, but himself the whole time so he resolves to become a better man than he was before. He takes responsibility for himself, develops discipline, self control, gets in shape, pursues his goals, in effect, gets his act together and becomes the man he knows he can fully become. Out of this pain of rejection comes forth the resolve to be a better man and the gift of the realization that he must work on himself first to become the best man he can be.
Take for another example, a man whose friend dies of cancer. His world is shaken. Things he regarded as important now seem so trivial. He realizes how short life is and he wonders if he will regret doing what he’s doing right now when he looks back on his life. That triggering event of a friend’s death can give him the courage to take a new path that he never would have considered doing before. This triggering event, what it basically does is throw a boulder into the pond that we all seem to take comfort in and sends huge rippling effects that forces us to ask ourselves the hard questions that we normally would like to avoid in our lives. It changes our perspective on things and we go on a journey of self introspection. We also get a sense of urgency and in effect, this triggering event gives us the necessary energy to get us to the next level much like it takes energy for an electron to go the next orbit level (high school flashback I know). We start doing things we never would of before because of this triggering event.
The question naturally arises. Do we need a triggering event in our lives, positive or negative to change our lives? Here’s my answer. To make significant change, yes. To change, no. Anybody can change. Buy some new clothes. Pick up a hobby. Exercise. But when it comes to significant change, and by that I mean changing yourself at the core level, who you are, what you want to do, who you wish to be, when you know your outlook on life has changed forever from that moment on, that kind of change, then yes, you do need a triggering event. Negative triggering events have a way of stripping us of everything we thought we knew about ourselves and life. Needless to say, more often than not, these negative triggering events come off the heels of something really bad – depression, attempted suicide, loss of a loved one, rejection, etc. It wipes the slate clean and gives us a fresh start and it’s up to us to decide what to build from it.
Positive triggering events have a way of expanding the narrow view we often have of life. We watch, read and hear of inspirational stories and see people maximize their capability and that in turns gives us the energy to take that leap of faith and go for whatever it is that we wish to do. In effect, we realize that we have all this room for potential to do the things we thought we couldn’t do because of these positive triggering events. Is one triggering event greater than the other? It’s hard to say. It really is. On the one hand, the negative triggering event is VERY dangerous because it’s in the eye of the beholder which path to take. The path of rebuilding or the path of continued self destruction. Few people choose to rebuild. Many people choose to self destruct. But this negative triggering event has the greatest potential for significant change because you basically start from scratch.
For me, the cause of my change was rooted in negative triggering events and the ironic thing is that I am grateful of it. If I had to do it all over again, I would live through the negative triggering events because they have made me the man I am today. Why did I write this article? I basically wrote this article to show people who might be experiencing a negative triggering event right now that even though they don’t realize it, it’s probably one of the best things that could’ve ever happened in your life.
I’m here to tell you that there IS light at the end of the tunnel and that you will one day be truly thankful for it. You really will. It will prove to be the fuel that will launch you to the life you’ve always dreamed of. You’ll often find that the best gifts life gives are the ones we don’t even realize we’ve received until we look back.
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Monday, July 5, 2010
Posted by Brian Kim