Today, I got to thinking about that old statement about the fact that life can “turn on a dime.” We all know that this means that unexpected things happen, and things can change directions without our anticipation or preparation or planning. Things can change really quickly for the better, as well as in the challenging things.

I decided to look at the origin of that statement and I found it really interesting that the idea that “life can turn on a dime” is actually associated with high performance vehicles. It refers to high performance cars, boats, and planes. And it’s also associated with the idea that in the US currency system, the dime is the smallest of the coins, so it’s this visual reference to the idea that something can be going really fast and performing at peak performance, and it can turn really quickly in this tiny little space.

Interesting that this statement that we associate with taking us off guard is actually associated with high performance. Sure, things can take us off-guard and turn on a dime in difficult ways, but we can also turn on a dime in really positive ways.

For instance, I received great news this week that’s going to impact my business in a beautiful, positive way, for many, many years to come. I’m ready to celebrate that, and I’m ready to get the gears turning in a new direction. I’m super energized and excited.

And also, I received news a couple of months ago that was really quite the opposite. It was unexpected, traumatic, difficult, painful, and grief-inducing. And still, in that moment, I had the opportunity to use high performance strategies to help me get through it.

We sometimes forget that we’re faced with the unexpected all the time, but it’s really how we respond with our minds, our habits and our actions that can be from a framework for high performance even as we navigate the tough stuff.

So, during the difficult, unexpected times we can call people in to help, we can build our support networks, we can focus on gratitude, we can process the difficult things with people who are poised to help us, we can set systems and structures in place that help us gradually grow our resilience and build back up to where we were before.

It just takes making a decision to respond to that turn of events, rather than react mindlessly over the long haul. Now, of course sometimes we’ll feel a punch from something that happens and we need time to react and “save” ourselves in the moment, but ultimately, when life turns on a dime, we can choose high performance over time and decide how we will allow it to impact our lives—what we’re going to take from it and what we’re going to make from it.

Keep that in mind–when life turns on a dime for you, what is your response going to be, and how are you putting things into place right now that will help you be in a high performance mindset that will allow you to not only be resilient, but also to thrive in the face of the unexpected?

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