WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO PIVOT?
PIVOTING IS WHAT HAPPENS when you see one door closing...and you choose to respond, not by beating on the old door, but by closely examining your core beliefs and then using them to identify a brand-new door, one that opens you up to a whole new world of possibility. Each and every challenge you encounter is your opportunity to Pivot by diving deep into what you believe about yourself, about other people, and about the challenges you face in life.
There is something fascinating I have noticed about human beings, something that is either tragic or miraculous: people attain their full potential only when they come face to face with a challenge, a difficulty, or a low point in their life. The obstacle could be a life-threatening situation, or it could be something as simple as not making the high school basketball team. Regardless of the form it takes, adversity causes some people to descend into a spiral of negativity and inspires others to rise up and become their very best. What we believe determines whether we experience a challenge as a tragedy or a miracle.
Maybe you have noticed this as well. When things come too easily for people, they often become complacent. They tend to drift away from their potential. Yet once they come face to face with major adversity, some people rise to the occasion. Some people achieve truly remarkable things and make truly extraordinary contributions. This comes about as a result of a specific way of thinking, a way of thinking that can be learned. Human beings attain their full potential by asking themselves certain powerful questions about what they believe.
Pivoting is what happens when you see one door closing... and you choose to respond, not by beating on the old door, but by closely examining your core beliefs and then using them to identify a brand-new door, one that opens you up to a whole new world of possibility. Each and every challenge you encounter is your opportunity to Pivot by diving deep into what you believe about yourself, about other people, and about the challenges you face in life.
Everyone I have ever looked up to as a role model has, at one point or another, adopted this habit of Pivoting by looking more closely at the core beliefs that drive them to be their best...and becoming stronger people as a result. They have asked themselves big questions in response to adversity, and they have used the answers to those questions to discover what they believe at the deepest level of their being, apply those core beliefs to the challenges they face, and transform themselves and the world in which they live. I believe that pattern—the pattern of choosing to identify both our critical core beliefs and our untapped strengths—holds true in the lives of all good role models.
“There are uses to adversity, and they don’t reveal themselves until tested. Whether it’s serious illness, financial hardship, or the simple constraint of parents who speak limited English, difficulty can tap unexpected strengths.”
This book came about as the result of me asking myself what I now call the Three Big Questions. At first, I did not even realize I was writing a book. I had just finished a major project, and I was looking to take a break. But this message had been given to me to share, and I found myself compelled to start writing. The book you are now reading ended up more or less writing itself... after I formalized the Three Big Questions and started putting them into practice in my own life.
You will be learning a lot more about these Three Big Questions as we move forward together in these pages. Before we examine them, though, I would like to share a couple of my favorite examples of what Pivoting looks like in action so you can begin to get a clearer understanding of the stakes for which we are all playing.