Part 2 –
The 7 Secrets That Define Your Outcomes
In Life’s Decisive Moments

by Rick Stecker

In my last post, I outlined how we encounter certain crucial moments in our lives where the choices and decisions we make prove themselves to be pivotal, affecting both our futures and our fortunes.

We also identified that such Defining Points are peak moments in our personal development when a critical factor with apparent potential demands a decision.

A Defining Point always comes at a crucial moment in your life. It is an event requiring a decision, that exerts significant impact on the nature of who you are, and where you are going.

My Defining Points

For me, a huge Defining Point occurred during college.

I went off to school with high aspirations to be an architect. I failed to remember – or failed to take into proper account – that math was not a friend of mine.

My grades suffered seriously as a result, and I was in danger of flunking out. Something I had never encountered before. I was disappointed and downcast.

As my first year drew to a close however, my English Composition professor called me aside in the hallways of Old Main. He said he found me to be good at writing. He strongly suggested that I consider making a career for myself as a writer.

This professor saw and identified something in my that I had never recognized in myself.

For me, that five-minute encounter marked a five-star Defining Point. I decided at that moment to give up architecture and go for a degree in journalism.

I felt an immediate resurgence of energy and enthusiasm, but I had no idea how far the consequences of my choice would reach.

My new direction eventually led to a 25-year career based in writing, that produced gratifying results and experiences that I would otherwise never have known.


Then there was the day many years later, when I was called to a meeting room at the company where I had then been working for nearly 14 years. I was met by one of my managers and an unfamiliar human resources associate.

The news was not good. As the result of a corporate merger, my position was being eliminated, as were those of hundreds of my colleagues.

After the initial gut-wrenching shock had passed, my first thought was – what am I going to do? I was at that point well along in my career. Similar writing jobs were few and far between.

At that moment I had to determine a new path to prosperity.

It was not easy. I was not prepared at that moment for such a major change in direction.

I had a lot to learn. It took awhile to build a process that led to what I felt was an upward trend.

Ebb and Flow

There will always be rising and receding tides in our fortunes.  How do we start in getting ahead of the game, when faced with the low ebb of circumstance?

Perhaps you are in a similar place today. Perhaps you are just getting started.

My suggestion is to begin following the path I outline here. You begin by recognizing your Defining Points, then start making choices that move you toward better outcomes, results, and benefits.

Following these simple instructions, your life can take on a renewed direction. You’ll discover new energy, and your outcomes will noticeably improve.

At each point, the fact that your future is at stake may or may not be evident. Yet, you will arrive at a place where you can prepare to choose how you will proceed, and to anticipate how you can move ahead successfully toward your goals.

How Do Defining Points Happen?

You may think now that such moments are just random, unexpected events that happen in the natural course of life, dictated by events and circumstances outside your sphere and beyond your control.

Or, you may think that you can precipitate the Defining Points you want, by the moves you manufacture and the assertive decisions you make.

You can, for example, pursue a particular job, or move to a new city, or make any other of a number of decisions that you think will improve the path you are on.

Sometimes your actions DO directly initiate a Defining Point. However, my experience has been that, if you do go out actively looking for them, Defining Points will have a tendency to elude you.

You may find them or you may not. Or, you may find that the success you expected is not the outcome you actually realize.

Authentic, real Defining Points almost always find YOU. Or rather, they show up an occur when their time has arrived. They appear when all of the factors involved have matured sufficiently enough so as to bring them into your space and to the forefront.

This does not mean however, that you have matured at the same pace. In fact, you may not as yet be ready for your Defining Points, even though they are presenting themselves to you.

On the other hand, Defining Points tend to produce their biggest effect when you invest yourself, when you follow a persistent path, and when you are finally positioned to take the next big step, whether you feel fully ready or not.

You should know then, that while you may not always find them if you go looking, you do have the ability to move those moments along once they’ve arrived. While you may or may not be aware of what particular Defining Point might be coming your way, you do have the capability to actually help carve them out, and to expedite their arrival.

In fact, without doubt you have contributed to the development of the Defining Points you have already experienced – through the people you choose to know and associate with, the places you frequent, the work that you do, and the experiences you’ve had. All play a roll in bringing those Defining Moments into your life.

So, how can you begin to understand and to recognize when Defining Points come into your life, and how can you make the best decisions when you encounter them, to move yourself consistently toward the kinds of outcomes that you desire, and that will benefit you in both the short term and the long term?

Through my program on Recognizing Your Defining Points you will discover the Seven Secret Territories, the seven grounds for growth where you can take action and move successfully through your Defining Points.

Taking control and becoming a master of these seven key areas of your life will give you the measure of control over your future, that has eluded you in the past.

These Seven Key (Secret) Territories are:

  • Your Identity
  • Your Potential
  • Your Benefit
  • Your Assignment
  • Your Outcomes
  • Your Reward, and
  • Your Future

Each of these territories may seem mysterious right now. What do we mean by them?

Don’t worry. That’s why they’re “secret”!  Once you know the secrets, you will be in a very small and select group of those able to take control of their lives and Defining Points, and to move their lives decisively toward the goals they set out for themselves.

One final point. Don’t confuse a Defining Point with a Tipping Point.

Tipping Points result from a convergence of factors, mostly external, which work (or conspire) together to precipitate huge change.

Defining Points are key moments when your personal capabilities and potential become exposed and realized, showing you their potential to produce exceptional results.

How do you define yourself?  YOU choose!

About the Author

Rick Stecker is a personal growth specialist, writer and speaker helping entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Rick's first job was as a reporter covering crime for a daily newspaper. Then came a stint on the high seas in Navy public relations aboard an aircraft carrier.

What followed was 25 years in corporate communications. Yet when a buyout forced a career change, Rick took his accumulated experience and built a consulting business, Grounds to Grow Coaching.

Rick authored his first book "Making Choices Like A Champion" to help others grow their capabilities. His second book, "The Chronicles of Mikey & Me" reflects on lessons learned out in the marsh with his first duck dog. In the works is Rick's next book, "The Benevolent Merger" aimed at helping those looking for personal growth to be victorious in their thinking. Rick's writings for the Internet can be found on Substack at ‘Rick Stecker’s Rising Tides’ ( Be sure to subscribe!

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