Unintentional Milestones

Feb 27, 2016 by

Unintentional Milestones

There are moments in your life that become milestones; inflection points; turning points that change how things look going forward. Some are easily recognizable: a graduation, a baby’s birth, a wedding. Recognized by the rituals society wraps around the moment, a hand-wrapped milestone complete with ribbon and card. And many of these milestones truly change the course of your life.

But it’s the milestones that you don’t recognize the moment they occur that can have the biggest impact of all. Exactly because they were unintentional, by the time you recognize them they have set in motion cascading events that are like ripples in the ocean and can become direction changing waves by the time you realize it.

In the Broadway Show Wicked, Glinda sings the song “Thank Goodness”. In the song Glinda says:

Cause getting your dreams
It’s strange, but it seems
A little – well – complicated
There’s a kind of a sort of : cost
There’s a couple of things get: lost
There are bridges you cross
You didn’t know you crossed
Until you’ve crossed

“There are bridges you cross, You didn’t know you crossed, Until you’ve crossed”

That’s it. That’s the line. The definition of an unintentional milestone. A bridge you cross without knowledge you are crossing it. That’s also a kind of sleep walking through life. An addiction of bumping into things, crossing bridges before you realize where you’re going, and falling back into old habituated patterns that let the wind take you where it wants. This is the point where being awakened matters. The inflection point. The point where a conscious choice serves you better than an unintentional milestone.

So here’s my question: “Could you see the symptoms of your unintentional milestones before they happen? If only for a little while? If only for a few times?”

It seems that old habits die hard. And it is old habits that get in your line-of-sight and cloud your vision so you end up crossing bridges without being aware. And being aware is all the matters in the end.

See you on the wire

— Steven Cardinale

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