Liminal Moments & Managing Choice!

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We cannot deny that we live in a fast-paced world and it can be easy to feel like there is always something to do, always somewhere to be, and always someone to talk to, but this constant activity can make it difficult to find time to reflect and process the events of the day, resulting in us feeling caught in a never-ending cycle of meetings and deadlines.

Building on my last blog and thank you to everyone who commented it made me realise that being open about my own experiences provides others a way of understanding their own experiences. So with your permission I will continue to share how I let last year just disappear.

The biggest surprise for me was that on reflection it wasn’t just one thing, a major issue, a single challenge or one drama that kept me away from taking time for myself. It was the small choices I made every moment of every day that resulted in me waking up at the end of the year not realising how I had got there and wondering what had happened.

Every single day of our lives, we face a series of small and seemingly insignificant moments that challenge us to navigate what we could consider as the threshold of change. These moments are often referred to as daily liminal moments, and they can have a profound impact on our lives, especially if we are not mentally equipped to handle them. A liminal moment is a transitional phase in which we find ourselves in between the old and the new, they can take many forms, from the small decisions we make about what to eat for breakfast to the larger decisions about our career. In these moments, we are faced with a choice between clinging to the familiar or stepping into the unknown

My daily liminal moments, like many of you, came from those small decisions I made, and it was not only what I would eat for breakfast but also what I would eat all day, and it didn’t stop there. As I reflected, I realised that it was also the small decisions about our business and my relationships with colleagues, customers, my family, and my wife that cumulatively impacted my year. In these moments, I was faced with an easy choice and a more difficult one, and the easy choice won every time.

In the ice casino world, you can also find similar liminal moments when the player is faced with a choice – to choose what is familiar and known, or to discover new opportunities and games that can bring new experiences and victories. These moments can be crucial, both small decisions about game selection and more important decisions about game strategy or bankroll management. Casino bonuses and promotions often become the motivating factor that helps players make a choice in favor of a particular casino or game. They can become a kind of “liminal moments” where the player has the opportunity to choose between various offers and favorable conditions for the game. The variety of casino games is the key to choice and the opportunity to discover a new world of entertainment. These can be apt “liminal moments” when a player decides to try a new game that differs from the usual choices. In the casino, as in life, our choices determine our path. Being able to view these “liminal moments” in the context of the game helps players develop their game skills and strategies, which affects their success in the casino.

What is more worrying is that in reflecting on my choices I could post rationalise why it was the right choice for me at the time, even though I now know the impact of it. If you think about this fact, you start to realise how our brains subconsciously protect us from our fears and insecurities, and sometimes our brain doesn’t know what is right for us. It just knows how to protect us.

It was in these moments when I was forced to confront my fears and insecurities that I had the opportunity to make a positive change in my life. To take control of the mayhem and never-ending stream of calls and meetings and to focus on the things that were important. However, in that liminal moment I made many bad choices that where small, but cumulatively where enough to make my wife take action, and I am forever grateful to her for that.

As I write this, I hear you saying what? What where the choices, and the truth is looking back now it’s really hard to say, but I owe you the truth and if I am honest the decisions I made about my health, and my choices about what came first work or home are the themes that influenced my year.

For years people have told me that as you get older, your food choices and your decisions around exercise are critical. I have always been active, and I have always had a sweet tooth, and enjoyed my food but when a health check says you are pre-diabetic, and your lack of exercise is impacting your mobility you must wake up and take notice.

I post rationalise this situation by telling myself, “…it’s not your fault. Covid and the pandemic kept us locked down for two years. Everyone struggled with their weight… “. The truth is that I had choices to make every day, I could have exercised more, I could have eaten healthier. There where many things I could have done, but I didn’t.

Another series of liminal moments stem from my history, and how that framed my view of me and the world I live in. As a younger man ambition was an excuse to make decisions to sacrifice family for work, after all you are never given things in life you need to work for them. This was my mantra for many years, however by now I would have thought my maturity would allow me to be more balanced and make the right choice, but the truth is we never group up, not mentally.

Over the years we have faced bankruptcy on more than one occasion, and the memory of these times still haunts me, so as I said in my previous blog when we made the decision to expand the business it was almost like my history took over. The old me came back, the same behaviours, the same decisions and each minor choice I took was justified in my mind and verbally justified to both my family and my colleagues as the right choice at the right time for the right reason. “I must go on this meeting…. I just must take this call… one more time…” But each statement is a lie, and the easy way out of not having to make a difficult decision.

Navigating daily liminal moments as I have said can be challenging. It requires us to be open and flexible, to embrace uncertainty, and to be willing to take risks, but for many of us, me included, the idea of stepping out of our comfort zones and into the unknown can be overwhelming, and we may find ourselves paralyzed by indecision or stuck in old patterns of behaviour.

Daily liminal moments occur without warning. They catch us off guard, and we may not have the time or space to properly process what is happening. This can make it difficult to respond effectively and make positive changes in our lives.

So how do we overcome these challenges?

Well, it is important to develop the skills and mindset necessary to navigate these moments, which involves practicing mindfulness, developing a growth mindset, seeking support from family, friends, or engaging in activities that help us to cultivate resilience and adaptability.

Cultivating a growth mindset involves approaching change and uncertainty as opportunities for growth and learning, rather than as threats to our stability, and when we embrace a growth mindset, we can develop the resilience and adaptability that we need to navigate these moments and emerge on the other side stronger and more resilient.

So how do you develop a growth mindset?

  1. Be present, & embrace challenges: One of my favourite Japanese sayings is Ich-go Ich-e roughly translated into English as “this moment only once”, and talks to the never ending distractions in the world we live in. Being present means focusing on how we feel in the moment. Being aware of our bodies reactions, and how we feel about a situation. If we feel that a situation is a challenge typically we will release adrenalin and cortisol into our system to energise our approach to the challenge. This can focus our minds into a “fight or flight” mode, but if we approach challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than as obstacles to overcome, fight or flight becomes excitement as we release dopamine and serotonin to stabilise our system. This opens the learning centres in our brain and allows us to find alternative options and ways of being. So, when you encounter a difficult task, view it as a chance to develop new skills and knowledge, and watch your options expand.
  2. Learn from failures: Throughout our childhood we are taught that tests, and exams and learning is about getting things right. The wrong answer is failure, and must be avoided at all costs. Instead of viewing failure as a personal shortcoming, use it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Analyse what went wrong, identify areas for improvement, and develop a plan to do better next time. Remember be kind to yourself every time you make a mistake its another step forward.
  3. Remember success takes time: There is no short cut to success in being a human being, recognize that effort and hard work are essential components of success. Focus on developing your skills and putting in the time and effort required to achieve your goals.
  4. Cultivate a love of learning: Embrace learning as a lifelong pursuit, rather than something you only do in school. Seek out new challenges and opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills.
  5. Practice positive self-talk: Pay attention to the way you talk to yourself, and make a conscious effort to replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations. Remind yourself of your strengths and focus on your potential for growth.
  6. Seek out feedback: Ask for feedback from others, and assume positive intent rather than criticism, you can then use it as a tool to identify areas for improvement. Be open to this constructive criticism and use it to make positive changes in your behaviour and approach.
  7. Surround yourself with growth-minded people: Seek out and spend time with people who embrace challenges and have a positive, growth-oriented mindset. Their attitudes and behaviours can help inspire and motivate you to develop your own growth mindset.

In conclusion, daily liminal moments can be challenging, but they also represent an opportunity for growth and change. By developing the skills and mindset necessary to navigate these moments, we can make positive changes in our lives and become more resilient in the face of life’s challenges and regain control of the busy existence we live.

So, the next time you find yourself facing a daily liminal moment, embrace the opportunity for growth and step into the unknown with confidence.

I know I will…

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