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Watershed moments can be life-changing and help reveal your happy!

Several months ago, my son and his wife had a baby boy they named Aiden, which made me….a grandfather. Yayyyyy  and Yiiikes!  Whenever I hold him, his face lights up with wonder and expressions.

And, I wonder what’s going on inside that little head of his.You’ve heard the phrase, “kids minds are like sponges.” They’re just taking it ALL in.Their imaginations are 98% active at age 4.

And their creativity is said to be at its highest up to 4th grade.

I believe EVERYBODY is born with imagination and creativity and wonder. So what happens?  Why do SOME keep a strong sense of imagination and creativity while others not so much?

When we’re kids, we quickly take on roles and responsibilities, with expectations to fulfill and we begin “conformity.”

We get in the “race” for achievements and the pursuit of things (ie. school, soccer, dance, graduation, college, career, car, home, family). We begin to lean in to what seems to be our natural fit. As adults, we can easily get caught up surrounded by all our “stuff.” Some of us even “choose” to take on more and more until we wake up one day and realize……we’re lost!  We’re unhappy. Unfulfilled. We ask, “why am I here?  What’s my purpose?  Where’s my joy?  MY Joy!!!”

We all experience “Waterhshed moments” that can shape us.

Everyone of us has moments in life that have a way of clearing the decks for us. All the muck clears away and we refocus. I call them “Watershed Moments.” They can be moments of pure joy and excitement joy, (such as a wedding, a birth, graduation, promotion,…)  Or they can be crushing moments with fear or utter sadness. (such as a death to a dear one, divorce, a critical surgery, global crisis) They can be moments that fill your heart with joy or shake your soul. And they can be life-changing.

For example, some of my life-changing watershed moments might be:

• Wedding day

• First job in advertising

• Birth of my children

• Starting my own business

• Loss of father and delivering his eulogy

• 911

• Critical life-saving surgery

• Becoming grandfather

I want to share a story of one “Watershed moment” in MY life that cleared the decks for me and helped me rediscover my purpose. And my joy!

8 years ago, while hospitalized with a terrible case of tetanus and awful seizures, my doctors found in an MRI, a critical brain aneurism that needed immediate attention.  I quickly had a 10-hour open cranial brain surgery to repair an aneurism. I came out looking like Frankenstein covered in chords like a bowl of spaghetti.

That experience, that Watershed moment, shook me to the core. But, it also gave me clarity to what was REALLY important. I was blessed and ever-so-grateful. I decided right then that I was going to focus more on me and my happiness. I had little room for negative, whiny, high-maintenance people in my life. I fired two agency clients —who were just nasty, unappreciative, mean people.  I got back to playing music with a band. I wrote a couple of books and was invited to speak on both.  I decided that I had important stories to share —some personal and others. I rediscovered my purpose. And my happy!

I realized that more than being an artist, a writer, a speaker, an entrepreneur, MY PURPOSE was to use my God-given imagination & creativity to change the way people think, feel and act.  

You know, YOUR PURPOSE is right there…underneath all that stuff. It’s always been there. You just need to clear the decks. Reconnect with the authentic YOU. And, find your happy 😉

Tom McManimon is President/Owner of StimulusBrand Communications, a branding and advertising firm located in Ewing, New Jersey. Discover more about StimulusBrand at

Engage Tom to come speak to your company or organization. Learn more at or call Tom directly at 609.538.1126