We all have one, at least one, but usually there are a few.” A moment that stands out from the rest”. It becomes the starting point of what is to come or the levee that keeps us from reaching the other side. It is a moment in which everything changes or in which time stands still. Our lives our marked with moments that define who we are and where we are going. Although this sounds very grandiose, it is never the less true - our destiny is forged in these defining moments.
I remember perhaps my biggest defining moment. It was almost 15 years ago. I was a cocaine addict and an alcoholic with 2 weeks clean under my belt. I was out disk jockeying at one of my accounts. All I could focus on was how bad I wanted a drink. It seemed as if every TV was just showing beer commercials. I was torn. Do I go to the bar and get a drink or do I pick up and use the phone list of Narcotics Anonymous members I received?
At the time I didn't realize that this was a defining moment in my life. At that moment, I was just battling the urge to drink and get high. That is the interesting thing about defining moments; they are rarely planned and are often under the radar. The key to recognizing them is awareness. “Awareness in yourself and who you are becoming”. At those times it becomes more about personal integrity than about being comfortable. Our inner self is challenged to put up or shut up. To do what is right instead of what is easy. To grow and become more instead of staying the same.
It was in that moment of my greatest indecision that I found my greatest clarity. I looked up and the same TVs that were blaring beer commercial after beer commercial now showed a new message. The television channel was doing a special on a college basketball coach who passed away. His name was Jim Valvano, he was the coach of NC State. In 1983 he took a cinderella team to that National Championship game and beat the odds and won. Then, in 1992 he was diagnosed with bone cancer. He formed the "V Foundation", an organization dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. The battle cry was "Don't give up, Don't ever give up". Jim Valvano spoke at the inaugural ESPN award show. He concluded his speech with the following words, "To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be of happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special."
On every screen I saw a message that touched my soul, "Don't give up. Don't ever give up". At that moment, my life as I knew it changed forever. I reached for the phone and called every number on my list and the truth was, not one person was home. Something happened in that moment I could not describe. I made it home, clean and sober.
The challenge with defining moments is that we just don't know when they will occur. We must live our life with honesty, passion, and integrity so we are able to quiet our mind and listen to our heart when we realize that those moments are upon us. Follow your heart. step up, and define your moment.
I wish love and passion.