John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

How Did I Get Here?

I have a confession to make: When I was a kid, I went through a phase where I wanted to grow up to be a garbage man. I thought they only worked on Tuesdays.

I got a little older and decided I wanted to play professional baseball, but that didn't pan out. I wanted to be a stand-up comedian, and that actually did pay the bills for a while. I wanted to be an actor, an author and, finally, a preacher. I made good on each of those -- the last two being what I've done for the past decade.

What about you? What did you want to be when you grew up?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that few (if any) of you wanted to be middle-management, working 65 hours a week to pay for a house you shouldn't have bought that looks like every fifth house in your neighborhood. You probably didn't want to be stuck in an office working for people you've never met who send you missives from some mysterious office "out there" known as "corporate headquarters".

No one walks down the aisle in front of all their friends and relatives thinking they'll end up barely able to be in the same room with this other person. No one holds that baby thinking it's only a matter of time before this relationship gets screwed up, too.

You may not have dreamed of the marriage you're in.

You probably thought your parenting would be different than it is.

And you probably believed you'd have more to show for your life than you do now.

So, how does that happen? How do you begin life with such big dreams, high hopes, aspirations for a better life only to end up where you are?

How did I get here?

Well, we make choices, and those choices lead us to where we are. As simple as it sounds, you have the life you've chosen to have. I know there are special circumstances sometimes -- some things happened that were beyond your control. But you married that person. And you took that job. And you had those kids. Or you didn't.

And then there were those voices telling you to do this or to avoid doing that or somehow giving you the impression that something must be wrong with you if you don't have one of these yet.

When you put it like this, it's easy to start feeling stuck -- trapped -- like you've been pushed into a mold by some external force -- pressured into conformity against your will.

The truth is that you built the life you have brick by brick by all those choices you made large and small. That's how I got here.

"How did I get here?" is an important question. But often we're really primarily concerned with answering a different question: How do I get out of here?

That's what I'm talking about in my upcoming series "Reboot". During that time I'll be bouncing some ideas around here if you care to join the conversation.

Oh, and since this is my 1,000th blog post, I'll send a free sample chapter of my next book to anyone who leaves a comment!