Life Catalysts

cat·a·lyst -noun
a person or thing that precipitates an event or change

Life catalysts can either shock us into inaction or shove us into forward motion. These catalysts can be extremely joyful events in our lives or downright lame ones, at least on the surface. But both can either be detrimental or helpful depending on how we choose to deal with them.

In thinking about the advances in my life throughout the years I can see one such catalyst. I can trace a lot of forward progress directly back to this catalyst and without it I know my life wouldn’t be what it is today. It was when we found out that Amber was pregnant and we were going to have our first child. I’ve written about this experience previously, but this was the catalyst that whipped me into shape. It was at that moment that I realized the urgency in getting our finances and my career on the right track. We had been planning on getting back to living within our means, paying off our debt and me getting into a career that I enjoyed and that would pay enough for us to live comfortably. But without any pressure we weren’t getting much done to accomplish that. It was the realization that we now were responsible for a child as well as each other that we really started to get things inline. Less than a year later we are very close to being completely debt free, we are living within our means and I’m doing something that I both enjoy and that pays the bills.

Another catalyst has recently presented itself not in my life, but that of my parents. My Mom recently found out that due to political reason within the company she works for she was going to be asked to resign. Needless to say this was not a joyful catalyst. The prospect of being unemployed can be paralyzing. But there is a choice to be made, to accept it and be crushed by it, or to see it as an opportunity to move on and do something bigger and better. My parents have decided to choose the latter and so far have used this catalyst effectively to move forward.

Anytime a life changing catalyst comes into our lives we have a choice, to either let it crush us, or to use it to spur us forward. Unfortunately deciding not to let it crush us is only half the battle. The other half is actually implementing a strategy to use that catalyst positively. Just as with other overwhelming events in our lives, if looked at objectively and break it up into smaller steps it can be achieved, but more on that in another post.

I’m looking forward to my next life catalyst, realizing it’s not going to be easy, but excited about the forward progress that will occur.