The Pythagoean Fork

The Pythagorean Fork,

Can it help you change your life?

A decision point, which way do you turn?

oPythagorean Fork Decision Which was to go?


An article by Carolyn Potter , a Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist


‘What the dickens is the Pythagorean fork?’ I hear you ask, and yes, this is a fancy name for something that we have all encountered throughout our lives.  This is something with which we are really familiar, but as ever, someone somewhere, (presumably Pythagoras) defined it, and it has since taken his name, and a higher philosophical relevance.

 Well, for those of you unfamiliar with the philosophical teachings of Pythagoras, and that also includes yours truly, this is a concept which can describe the symbolism which you might apply to major decisions in your life.  This is when you come to a fork in the road, a life changing choice that you have to make, a decision point where if you go one way, you life will turn out one way, but if you go the other then things will undoubtedly turn out differently.

 We all come to these decision points, some obvious, and others not so obvious.  I watch my children encounter these regularly as a result of decisions that they are making with regard to their education.  What schools will they attend? What subjects will they take?  What subjects will they drop? Will they go to university? Where will they go to university?  What will they study there? All of these decisions are potentially life changing, either providing them with opportunities to pursue certain careers, or alternatively ruling them out.

 As we continue along the road of life, we come along other choices to make regarding relationships, career, finance, children, where we live etc..  All of these we can see as life changing choices, and usually we take great care over making these choices.  Sometimes our choices can feel as those they have been taken away from us.  To some that might feel as though you are being dis-empowered, but to others it may feel like they are being liberated from the burden of having to decide.  How you regard this is largely within your own control.

 But there are other choices that we might not see as life changing, but which truly turn out to be that way.  Perhaps you said ‘yes’ to an invitation to go some place or do something new, which led to you making a really good friend, or provided you with job opportunities which you would not have had alternatively.  Everyday we do things that can potentially make changes to how we live our lives, some significant and others less so.

 How we can use this concept for our benefit

So what is the relevance of this Pythagorean fork?  Well, in my opinion it is how you think about it.  Every hour, every minute, every second you have the opportunity to create for yourself your own Pythagorean fork.  You have the power within you to choose what it is that you want to achieve and to go about starting to achieve it.  The only person who stands in your way is yourself.  What is stopping you from doing that thing you have always wanted to do right now, this minute?

 When you think about it the only thing stopping you is limiting ideas you have about your abilities.  Sure, if you wanted to be a concert pianist, you would need to learn to play the piano. If you wanted to run a successful business, then you would need to research the market, and find out what you need to do to be successful, but who is stopping you from taking the first steps right now?

 So what’s stopping you?

 I agree that on occasion there might be limiting factors, such as a new baby on the scene taking up your time, or a lack of funds, but to someone who is resourceful and determined I know they could probably find a way to overcome these factors. 

 To make changes in your life you have to do something differently.  If you keep doing the same old stuff, you will keep getting the same old results.  So when you come to your next Pythagorean fork, be it of your own making or thrust upon you, bear this in mind.  Change means just that.  It means doing things differently.

 Nobody can guarantee you will succeed in your new ventures, but at least you will have tried, and that is better than forever thinking about what might have been if only you had ‘gone for it’!

 Strategies for making changes in your life

 Acknowledge that the power is yours alone to make these changes. You might need other people’s help, but ultimately it is up to you to do it and take control.

  1. Identify your limiting thoughts and release them.  If necessary, visit a cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist to help you release your negative beliefs.
  2. Give yourself a big dose of confidence (again a CBH therapist can help here to build up your self confidence and your self belief)
  3. Work out a plan of action, with timescales and deadlines etc.
  4. Implement your plan, and see yourself succeed!

  If this article has inspired you to make some changes in your life, or you want to learn more then please contact me using the form below.

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