The tipping point

28 01 2010

It is as if the light has been switched on in the dark. A radical change in perception. What seemed gloomy before, now has a shine to it. A miracle. Had I not been reading Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, I would not have understood how my sense of being could have tipped so suddenly. The subtitle ‘How little things can make a big difference’ says it all. The book is a biography of the phenomenon that trends don’t incline or decline linearly, but tip suddenly. This tipping point most likely isn’t the result of some major event, but of small events that create a kind of domino-effect, for better or worse.

Nothing grand has happened to me over the last days, just some minor things that made me tip. Tuesday, I felt something I can only describe as realignment, fitting together seamlessly again, not fragmented anymore. Sitting on the couch, looking up from the book as I do sometimes to watch my garden, the green leaves of the ivy looked brighter, the dead leaves of the beech-hedge seemed alive and even my rather dull shed had its own beauty. I felt like myself again, just like that. The same and yet different, a new and improved me, version 17.1. Less judgemental, more compassionate, stronger, wiser, humbled and grateful. For no special reason, all of a sudden, I was aware of the happiness in between, the happiness that is, no matter what. After a long period of struggling, I came home to myself.

I don’t know what made me tip. Was it the wonderful conversation with a client, the renewed decision to try to be more open and aware, listening to an interview with Jon Kabat-Zinn, going for a walk in the park, or accepting an invitation by a dear colleague?  I know that all by themselves these things would not have had a spectacular effect, merely a small boost, but together, at the right time in a slowly inclining trend, they added up to a revolution.  My revolution. It is a great lesson not to wait for that big thing to happen, but to just try to make little changes for the better.  And before you know it, big change will come your way.





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