A while back a client of mine asked me to write a post about the idea of a breakthrough. While his description of a breakthrough is a bit more complex, a breakthrough is essentially an epiphany that results not only in a new realization, but also in actionable results. It’s essentially a moment of realization that changes your life forever. It can’t be something that’s happened to you (for example, winning the lottery). It has to be something that gave you that moment of pure clarity.
It had me thinking about times in my life where I experienced a “breakthrough.” I came up with two. Since one of them does not involve an ex-girlfriend, I wanted share that one with you today.
Before I became a copywriter I worked for a company that specialized in research software. The company was run by research professionals, and I was hired straight out of college to run research projects from companies that preferred to outsource their data collection rather than purchase the software.
It was an abusive work environment, one that I dreaded every day. This toxic workplace sucked away my own personal motivation and ambitions, and most days I would head to work and do the minimum amount that I could do in order to make a salary that barely paid my modest bills. It was so stressful that thinking about it to this day makes me shudder.
My Own Life Breakthrough
One day I was in someone else’s car, looking out the window. We were driving to a town about 100 miles from Seattle in order to try out a few coffee shops and tour the city, since rarely did we wake up early enough to venture that far from home. A song came on the radio. I don’t want to tell anyone what song it was because quite frankly I sometimes like terrible music, but it was an upbeat and generally uplifting song.
Before the song came on I was feeling significant tension – tension that had become the norm because of my work experience. Then, listening to the upbeat music, I started to feel better. I started to feel significantly better. In a way, I felt as if my tension had been lifted.
It was then that it hit me – something that I hadn’t felt for years: motivation.
Just listening to that music awakened inside me something I had lost, and when I got it back for the first time I realized I wanted to hold onto it. That moment I felt as motivated and inspired as I ever did to make my life something I could be proud of. I felt like I was ready to take control – to become more than I was now, and someone that I would look back on without regrets. I experienced my own breakthrough, and since then I haven’t looked back, becoming a business owner, touring the world, and living a life of great relaxation.
A New Life Because of a Single Song
I was lucky. Breakthroughs don’t usually come to people that wait for them. Breakthroughs are generally something that few people experience. But then again, there are rare instances – like mine – that come at completely unexpected moments, and when they do they can change your life forever.
Have you ever had something that you would describe as a breakthrough? Have you ever had that moment where your life completely changed, all because of a feeling or realization? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.