We all recognize the “inciting incidents” from the stories we love — the moment in any book or movie where the protagonist is thrust into action and the story’s plot is set into place.

Often entirely outside of their control, the main characters face a sudden challenge that requires them to accept and respond to what author, Joseph Campbell, referred to as the ‘call to adventure’.

From Dorothy being swept away by a tornado in The Wizard of Oz to Luke Skywalker discovering Princess Leia’s hologram message in Star Wars, these moments set the hero’s adventure in motion.

For the reader/viewer, these moments seem obvious. However, they can be harder to recognize (and even harder to proactively respond to) in our own lives.

So, what does this have to do with the halftime journey?

In 2020, a Fellow shared how a series of life events acted as the ‘trigger for transformation’ that led him to investigate and get involved in a Halftime program. These unanticipated challenges served as the inciting incident in his own story, catalyzing him to embark on a journey toward greater impact.

Since then, we’ve adopted this phrase and the relatable sentiment it expresses for so many who are facing (or are in the messy middle of) a season of change.

Keep reading for 3 Tangible Steps to identify and respond to the ‘trigger for transformation’ moments in your own life.

Trigger for Transformation: Three Tangible Steps

1. Accept the Call

For many, this first step can be the most daunting. With every trigger for transformation comes the possibility of change and thus the impending threat of the unknown. Remember that you aren’t alone in this hesitation.

Think back to the story of Star Wars, when Luke received the request for help, he initially refused – and for “good” reason! Too much harvest work remained to be done. There can be many, “good” reasons that make it difficult to say ‘yes’ to what’s next. We hear from many clients that fear is often the first obstacle to overcome in order to accept the call and take the next step.

Unfortunately, the triggers in our own lives usually aren’t as glaringly obvious as a holographic message… (If only!) However, the following life events have been triggers for transformation that launched other halftimers into the next season of impact:

    • The selling of a business
    • A mid-life transition, career-wise or personally
    • The loss of a loved one
    • Shifting parental roles as empty-nesting begins

Or they can be more subtle as explained by Bob Buford in Halftime

    • The thrill of closing a major deal isn’t quite what it was ten years ago…
    • You envy the guy who walked away from his job to spend more time with his family and that ministry work he’s been dreaming about…
    • You begin to ask yourself, “How much is enough?” 

If you can relate to any of these instances, you may be experiencing your own trigger for transformation.

Will you accept the call?

Keep reading for more tips on how to respond…

2. Seek Out a Mentor

If Luke Skywalker requires supernatural aid from someone who has gone before, you may as well. Luckily, we have a greater source of wisdom than the legendary Jedi Master, Obi-Wan.

At Halftime we encourage our clients to start with and continually return to prayer. It sounds simple, but it makes all of the difference. After all, we are invited by the Source of Wisdom Himself to seek discernment in His presence:

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

James 1:5 NIV

While nothing can replace the power of prayer, we believe that the biblical model of mentorship has much to offer:

This is what the Lord says:

“Stand at the crossroads and look;
    ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
    and you will find rest for your souls.

Jeremiah 6:16 NIV

As an organization, we’ve witnessed the “ancient paths” of meaningful life transformation, the tried-and-true courses of action that lead to more joy, more impact, and more balance across the board. There is value in gleaning wisdom from those who have gone before you and have already “paid the dumb tax” (more on this halftime-ism later in 2021!) associated with inexperience. 

Our coaches have personally been through a halftime season, have discerned their mission for leveraged impact is to coach halftimers, and have undergone rigorous training to become Halftime Certified™ Coaches.

Could they be a resource for you?

Click here to connect with a Coach and explore more.

3. Commit to Staying the Course

The halftime journey isn’t without obstacles. Perseverance will prove to be a necessary tool to draw upon time and time again. In fact, we feel so strongly about developing this tool that we’ve devoted an entire event within the Fellows Program to equipping you to persevere.

At moments, these obstacles can feel just as insurmountable as the Millennium Falcon escape from planet Tatooine. In Campbell’s plot progression, this phase of the story is referred to as “crossing the first threshold” and acts as the first plot point. The hero is tested, the action intensifies. One thing is for sure: there is no going back.

When you have clarity on where you’re headed, it can be a motiving factor to get (and stay) in the game, even in the midst of challenges. This is where having a clear mission comes into play. We’ll take a deep dive into this topic in pt. 2 of our series at the end of the month, so be sure to keep an eye out. For now, we want to give you a sneak peek at how a few halftimers’ stories unfolded as they responded to the trigger for transformation in their own lives:

Mike H., Fellows 2017 Alum

Mike and his wife started a ministry to help widows and families of fallen first responders – dovetailing off of her existing counseling practice, which includes equine/animal therapy resources. At their first fundraising event, there were so many people interested that they had to cut off the list at 100 attendees.

 Dr. Ed L., Fellows 2016 Alum
Ed is one of the many top-qualified scientists and medical professionals working with AVM Biotechnology to create treatments for COVID-19. He and his colleagues are leading the way to improved processes and protocols for potential viral outbreaks in the future.

Scott B., Halftime Program Alum
Scott started a hybrid model for-profit company with a non-profit foundation. Both entities work together to address the treatment gap for epilepsy in low-income countries. The for-profit branch (OWP) provides drugs to treat epilepsy and other neurological disorders. The profits from OWP allow the non-profit foundation (ROW) to give grants for medication, medical equipment, and education. They are currently providing epilepsy drugs to 20 countries in need.

Scott’s trigger for transformation came when he realized that the wealthiest countries had the most significant pharmaceutical sales, but the “rest of the world” (the “ROW” countries) — where the majority of the global population live — didn’t have access to life-changing medications or treatment. Learn what happened next:

Many of us faced roadblocks in 2020. Have you stopped for long enough to consider if any of those “roadblocks” were actually your trigger for transformation?

Be encouraged: the curveballs of the past don’t have to deter you from effectively living out our mission in the days ahead! In fact, they can be the catalyst that serves to launch you into your best and most impactful season yet. Let’s get started together.

At Halftime we are a global fellowship of friends composed of diverse leaders who are actively pursuing impact. Our desire to leverage our influence for God’s purposes is the common thread that unites us, and with this shared value comes a shared vocabulary. Like any friends, we have developed a distinct language of terms, tools, and tips unique to our community. We want to bring you into the loop on our lingo and connect you to the Halftime-isms that you’ll likely hear as we journey together toward impact. Join us throughout the year as we define and apply the language and resources that lead to life transformation.

Bonnie Patterson
Passionate about curating spaces and experiences that allow others to connect and grow, Bonnie Patterson serves as Programs & Marketing Coordinator at the Halftime Institute.

Bonnie grew up in Carrollton, TX and is a proud member of the fightin’ Texas Aggie class of 2018 (Whoop!). She returned to the DFW area upon graduating from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences and minor in Business Administration.

Bonnie began her career working in a retail marketing capacity for a local beauty brand. Having benefited first-hand from a Christian leadership development program, she was excited to discover the ministry of Halftime and joined the team in July 2019. She enjoys spending time with friends, pursuing creative outlets, and is currently a student at Dallas Theological Seminary in the Media Arts and Worship program.

A foundational verse in Bonnie’s life is Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”