Some things you can handle and some things you cannot handle.  Some things light your fires and some things quench them.  Some things excite you and some things make you want to die.  Sometimes you encounter these things at pivotal points in your life.

Quite simply, some pivotal points in your life can confirm or change your direction and your destiny.  This was certainly the case for Terry Lundgren (CEO of Macy’s).  His original plan had never been the business world.  He was more interested in animal medicine, or so he thought, until he encountered a pivotal point in his life (“How Did I Get Here?: Terry Lundgren” Bloomberg Businessweek, 11/24/14–11/30/14, p. 80):

I wanted to be a veterinarian until I did an artificial insemination of a cow.  I transferred to the business school that day.

I suppose we could say, he had a cow.  This, by the way, is just another example of why I have counseled many students never to be afraid of switching majors.  It is far better to make a change to your path so that you can go forward successfully than to stay stuck in a path that will become a rut.

Pivotal points in our lives can happen anytime and anywhere.  They can confirm a direction or lead us in a new direction.  What is important is that we pay attention to them.

Would Lundgren have been as fulfilled and successful of a veterinarian today as he is a CEO?  Perhaps, but my guess is no.

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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