The point of pivoting Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 04:54
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Everywhere people lead lives of what Henry David Thoreau called “quiet desperation”. People do the same thing over and over. Each day, over and over again and they manage to ignore the senselessness of it until they start feeling pain, whether emotional or physical.

Adam Markel started feeling this pain and it prompted him to begin the long journey, moving from resignation towards exhilaration. He wrote a book about it, ‘Pivot: The art and science of reinventing your career and life’.

If you look it up in the dictionary, a pivot is a fixed point supporting something that turns or balances.

So, a pivot point is the centre of any rotational system. A pivot in ice skating is a two-footed movement in which one foot is flexed and the toe picks are inserted into the ice as a pivot point, and the other foot travels around the pivot point, much as the movement of a drafting compass.

In ballroom dancing, folk dancing and ethnic dances a pivot is described as a turn in which the performer’s body rotates about its vertical axis without travelling. In ballet, a pirouette is a type of pivot turn on one foot.

Apart from the sheer ecstacy of it, what would be the point of pivoting if it takes you nowhere? Well, says life coach Christy Whitman, the ecstacy matters precisely because it reframes your mind.

Okay, girlfriend, it works like this. Think to yourself: What would I love? Whether it is an object, such as a new house, a relationship or starting your own business – what you have to do to get what you’d love doesn’t start with doing. It starts with feeling.

Before you start mapping out the steps that will take you to the new house or the relationship you want, feel the feeling you’d feel when you finally get what you’d love. Then ask yourself what you could do today to give you that feeling, even if only for a few moments.

Maybe for you it is a hobby, meditation or moving your body in dance or sport – anything that allows you to experience serenity and joy. That’s a pivot point – the little hinges that swing big doors. Christy says that the moments may seem small, but they’re huge because in them you shift from a mindset of lack to one of abundance. This has a huge trajectory and impacts how you feel, how you interact and respond to life.

Just take the story of June Burgess, owner and developer of the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast, Ireland, as an example. She is also a horse lover who runs a stable in Comber, and a top amateur rider.

June became one of Christy’s coaching clients when her world started falling apart. She was millions in debt and had no idea how to start paying back a fraction of what she owed. She realised that she was losing her hotel and that she would be forced to sell her beloved horses.

Needless to say, June felt caged in, restricted and had no sense of freedom. Then, after a long absence, a time of brooding with still no plan in mind, she went visiting her horses again. At the spur of the moment, without the appropriate riding gear or hard hat, she got onto her favourite horse and just started galloping with the wind rushing in her face.

And there it was, that elusive feeling of freedom she had so longed for. That was June’s pivot point – just that half an hour of feeling free. I suppose I don’t have to tell you that June never had to sell her horses and that she didn’t lose her hotel either.

June says that we all have challenges. Sometimes it is so difficult to see how we will ever get beyond them, let alone create a happy and fulfilling life. Your challenges might not be as dramatic as being millions in debt. It could just be a quiet desperation, a resignation to your lot in life, a feeling that it is too late; that you’re too far down a certain path.

It’s never too late. Ask yourself: What would I love? How would getting what I’d love make me feel? What can I do right now that will give me that feeling? And then go pivot, girlfriend. Pirouette, twirl, twist, curl, whirl and keep on dancing until you are the dance.


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