Milestones are the essence of an interesting life. Like signposts, they keep track of where we’ve been and where we’re going. Without them, we meander aimlessly; with them we forge forward with purpose.
It’s said that everything in life has it’s time and place, but if so, when and where is that time and place? Do they just happen or are they a product of our work and imagination? Is life random or is it fate? Or is it something entirely else? Whatever way life plays itself out, it’s those moments that bring massive change, for better or worse that make for a milestone.
Whether in matters family, health, career or business, we instinctively know when our lives have shifted to a different gear. When it strikes, an uncanny sense tells us that things will never be the same and that in a surreal way the future has arrived. The moment sticks and becomes a part of us; we never forget it and our ability to recall it never fades. It’s as vivid today as the moment it happened. Etched in our memories, it accompanies us until our dying day.
Irish author C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) wrote that “The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
Seemingly he felt that a life of sheer boredom, where complacency and comfort rule supreme is what does us in. Afraid to learn, grow and move forward, we become victims of our own self-inflicted demise. We’re scared to make the decisions that create the milestones in our lives, thereby surrendering ourselves to a life of vacillation and tedium.
Granted some milestones we’re not able to avoid and are simply thrust upon us. Death for one is the ultimate milestone. We all know that life ends with the final signpost “Dead End” and that U-turns aren’t allowed. Once we go there, there’s no coming back, unless of course you believe in reincarnation (topic for another blog). But it’s not just our own death, but the death of those near and dear to us that make for decisive life markers.
As I sit here writing on this bleak wintry February 11th, I can’t help to think that it’s been exactly fifteen years to the day that my father passed away. If there’s ever been a milestone in my life, it was the shock that arrived that day when I learned he died of a sudden heart attack. Devastated at the time, but in retrospect glad he didn’t suffer some long drawn out illness, the death of my father was, and is, a key milestone in my life. Strange as it may sound, but life split into two for me from that moment forward: life with my father and life without him.
Events such as these change life as we know it ( see The Road to Sacramento, the Road to Change…). It changes how we think, how we act, and most importantly how we understand. It’s our understanding of life’s dynamics that brings us to a place of wisdom. And it’s that wisdom, coupled with action, that makes for a life of meaningful milestones. We must welcome them as opportunities of positive change, as tough as they sometimes are. After all, what’s life without them, except a faceless passage of time…
For more check out the Global Ebook Awards GOLD & SILVER Winner of 2014 & 2016, The C.A.T. Principle: Change, Action, Trust – Words to Live By available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. See the latest Amazon reviews here. Sign up above and receive this blog once every two weeks to your inbox. Comments and thoughts welcome.