Guidposts in Life's Journey

Guideposts and Wake-Up Calls

The Messy Journey from Nudge to Action

A few weeks ago Danea Horn, author of the new book Chronic Resilience, invited me to be a guest author for her blog and asked me a few seemingly simple follow-up questions. I laughed when I my response to her first question was enough for an entire blog post! We agreed that I’d answer the remaining questions here…one post at a time.

If you want to start at the beginning, here’s my response to the first question, How do You Know if You’re Stuck in the Comparison Trap? (From Step 1 in Business from Bed, Beyond Survival…)

Question. As you were going through your own illness, what was the turning point when you knew that it was time to begin to build your professional life as a coach?

Life has a delightful way of offering up guideposts in this journey. Sometimes they are gentle nudges and other times swift kicks in the butt. I cannot identify “one moment” but rather many “one moments” that led up to the turning point. Some were prompted by my illness flares, others by employer actions, and a couple independent of both.

While contemplating the question I found myself creating a timeline chart showing the prompts and actions that eventually led to the launch of my coaching business. Creating the chart highlighted the patterns: with each prompt I course-corrected, either to move one step closer to the ideal, or to build a stronger foundation for well-being. (See Chart below.)

Question: How did you make sure that your business was connected to your values?

The chart reveals that increasing alignment with my values arose with each step in this 6-year process, that values were a core element in the process. It’s as if each action brought the vision for the business and the quality of the work into better focus.

The Hindsight Chart

Gifts are often revealed in hindsight, after the sting wears off and a little more life is lived.

After skimming my chart – if you have an affinity for details – I invite you to look back at recent changes in your life and see if there were some nudges and wallops that guided you, too, almost as if you had no choice.

Joan's Career Transition Timetable

Next set of Questions in this short series:

What was the most important piece of support you received along the way? How did you identify what you needed and ask for it?

Stay Tuned!

5 thoughts on “Guideposts and Wake-Up Calls

  1. Great article Joan! I love the frame work you suggest for “hindsight”. For me, it took years to gleam the gifts from work I had done (jobs) in the past that ended abruptly or with less than optimal endings with my direct report or owner.
    Thank you!

    1. Joan

      ReGina, thank you for your comment. Agreed! Even the “unwanted” events, in hindsight, can reveal opportunities and gifts. I once took what turned out to be a crappy job. When I quit, I realized its purpose was to kick me out of retail and into the next phase of my development.

  2. Joan, I always enjoy your posts! I like the chart and I think I will work one myself this evening when I get home from work. It is always good to see what you have done in black and white when you are in the middle of a transition. I am in one right now and I need to remind myself of all the things I have done as much as what is still left to do. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Hi Christine, thank you for your feedback about my posts. Always nice to hear!

      If you glean some insight into your guideposts you’d like to share here, or it leads to a post on your own website, I’d love to know.

  3. Great post and format for looking back and reflecting. Thank YOU Joan!

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