Pivoting: My New Understanding of the Shaker Song

The Author

E. Alana James

E. Alana James

Dr E Alana James is reinventing herself again! Coming full circle to the first love of her life - art - and bringing back to her images all the lessons of her life as author, researcher, academic and wife. Concerned mostly with the idea of images as vehicles for expression of the truth of our inner and outer life experience.

 ‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

Do you know the Shaker song? I wrote it out at the beginning of this article, because recently I have come to understand a new layer of what it means.  My ideas, as of August 2014, are that in pivoting with the flow our our lives we increase our ability to build the good life, and achieve the mastery we desire. This article is part of an ongoing series that teases out the holistic ideas involved with the “the power of the mind.”

As an entrepreneur, you start off with the business idea and you build it. But frequently, along the way you 

I took this idea of pivoting to my work with doctoral students. In Europe, students analyze and collect data and then retrofit what they did into the document that outlines the entire process. This is different than the United States model where they write everything they’re going to do in the proposal and then do it.  I’ve been watching what places in the dissertation or thesis process are likely to require a person to pivot.

Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_mehmetcan'>mehmetcan / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

What I find is that it is not uncommon for someone who is building a dream, whether it be a business or thesis or, probably, any other dream in life, for the initial driving idea to require revamping somewhere along the way. Those moments are critical, because if we are unable to connect with a new and better idea and then go a slightly different direction, one that builds on the start we have made, we stand the likelihood of greatly diminishing our long-term success. It is as though the first idea is the seed we have planted, but the second, or third or fourth, will be the one that actually leads us to the potential our spirit had in mind when we took on the original thought. I believe in dreaming and building dreams but the ability to pivot seems to be an integral part of the process.  I now believe that this is in fact best and that we should give up the ideas of “if you start something you have to finish it.”   I’ve come to agree with the Shakers that through these turns, these pivots, we find our delight and throughout our lives, come round right.

realize that your original business model was not quite what it needed to be to build financial success. If you’re lucky, at that time, you have enough people for help in your life to tease out other possibilities. When you change your business model from one thing to another, it is called “pivoting”. The pivoting process for DoctoralNet LTD began a little over a year ago when we realized that we were set upto make a difference in many more students lives than we would reach one at a time. Since then the concept of pivoting has intrigued me. 

When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.

All the best for the turns in your life,