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Game Changers

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Last week's subject was about the idea of being in the right place at the right time. Continuing this theme means, in addition to evaluating one's present status, taking a peek backwards to determine what got us here. Next week, we will peer into the projections of a crystal ball that may very well foretell the future.

I don't know many of you so I will use my personal history for illustration, and also as a think tank to develop my upcoming workshops, which will serve as a guide to lifelong personal growth.

The recent HBO movie Game Change, which chronicled the surprise entry of Sarah Palin into the 2008 vice-presidential candidate lineup, in this context meant an unexpected event or person(s) who appear onstage in a situation, which alters a predictable, orthodox outcome. For better or worse, she sure did.

Upon reflection, it will be realized that life as we knew it was unpredictably and unalterably changed by multiple twists and turns of fate, or destiny.

The first harbinger of my life to come came in the form of a beloved book Jiji Lou Jay O'Shay, which told the misfortunes and ultimate triumph of a castaway rag doll who befriends other lost and lonely rejects of the toy world.

The second was a childless couple, Mr. and Mrs. Greenberg, who visited my small hometown in North Carolina and were charmed by me -- moi? -- and invited me to be a guest in their apartment in NYC the following summer. I was maybe 14. Can you imagine what a culture shock that trip was?

Next was a college English professor, Miss Bowen, who recognized the intelligence and talent underlying the dyslexia in an insecure student who would never again consider herself stupid. So much for formative years.

Marriage and motherhood taught a lot about what not to do. The workplace improved my track record.

The next major game change came in the form of a move to Manhattan from Brooklyn, where I had lived with my ex, to my present abode with my young son. Another marriage, a daughter, more what not to do. This time I made Daddy move.

My work arena, the textile industry, shifted to eastern Asia, making my job obsolete and signaling, in turn, disaster and opportunity. Big-time game changers!

The study of meditation led to a gratifying career as an image consultant for a dozen or so years.

During which time I met Ira, who was neither married nor a business associate! That relationship defined a direction for almost 30 years.

For seven years nearing the end of this interlude, I followed a dream of founding a nonprofit organization that provided a major game change for disadvantaged women and at-risk youth. After which, Ira departed for unknowable shores. Reinvention time again.

I met another man, who remains my technical wizard, editor, and good friend Juan, without whom none of this would be possible. He's trying to teach me the technology of the 21st century... LOL ("Lots Of Luck").

On a voyage of discovery to Alaska I met a woman, a vocal coach and motivational speaker from Singapore, who asked me to co-present a series of workshops at the University of Singapore. Actually, in the process of designing a PowerPoint presentation, we stumbled (ergo, led by fate) on an arrangement of the words "unique you." Voila! UniqueU -- Thank you, Rebecca!

Inevitably, this experience led to the writing of the blog of the same name, which is also being published by The Huffington Post, and now on to my new adventure... the UniqueU workshop.

I shall ask participants to examine and chronicle their lives in order to pinpoint and document the exquisite and exact sequence by which this entire panorama called "life" unfolds.

Though this may be hard for some to accept -- always be mindful that any point in life (whether judged to be good or bad) is perfection in itself. When the next phase comes, that is another aspect/level of perfection.

When teaching me computer lingo, Ira used to say that each problem had two possible solutions -- one quick and dirty, the other elegant.

May all your life changers be elegant!

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