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Critical junctures

By Jesse Mendiola

Throughout our life, we are presented and faced with many sorts of decisions, we come to crossroads along our path to success, along our path to ascending that elusive thing we call happiness, more importantly along that path, we are on a quest, unbeknownst to self-discovery.

Critical junctures are defined as “relatively short periods of time during which there is a substantially heightened probability that your choices will affect the outcome of interest” (Capoccia and Kelemen 2007, 348). It is within those short periods that can have a lasting effect on you. Those junctures come in all shapes, forms, and sizes. From a new job or promotion to a new home, a new addition to the family, a new relationship, or marriage. Perhaps even a new journey altogether. Then there are those junctions like having an affair, wandering eye leading to something else. Trying out a drug for the first time, quitting a job, or giving up on everything.

There will be many points in time where you will be faced with your own critical juncture. It is at that moment in time where you approach that situation not only with eyes wide open but with an open mind, and more importantly an open heart. It is at that moment, the decision you make could potentially help you progress forward or detour you to another path, maybe one of better opportunities, or even one of severe negative consequences. Ask yourself, how many of those crossroads you came to that benefited your life?

The beautiful thing about walking your journey is all roads eventually lead to success, but we don't know that until later, you may detour for a while but with an open heart, you'll find your way back to where you're meant to be.

If you're going through a critical juncture in your life right now, take a moment to breathe, relax, and trust the process of selection, after all, you were selected yourself by someone who believes in you.


Jesse Mendiola is the co-host of Kandit Recovery's Success After Darkness, a Sunday night live and raw discussion about the demons we confront and how we can overcome them. He is a husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, and a recovering drug addict.


Capoccia, Giovanni and Daniel R. Kelemen. 2007. “The Study of Critical Junctures. Theory, Narrative and Counterfactuals in Institutional Analysis.” World Politics 59 (3): 348.

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