My fundamental belief about ALL of us is that we, individually, are leaders. It matter what we choose; it matters more that we take responsibility for what we choose.
As leaders, we choose, all of the time.
- What shall I eat today? A nice vegetarian lunch sounds great!
- Should I buy that ___ or maybe I’ll wait until I have the cash? Oh, I really wish to have it now. I’ll put it on my card.
- Which route will I take on my drive home today? I think I’ll take the long way home. The scenery will be nice.
- Should I take may camera when I go to the beach later? Maybe…I have so many pictures. Do I need any more?
- What time will I eat dinner this evening? Geez, there’s so much I have to do this evening. Not sure when I’ll fit THIS in.
Now consider these mundane questions with a not so positive outcome.
- What shall I eat today? A nice vegetarian lunch sounds great! Ugh, I feel awful, Everyone was eating burgers. I did, too. I wish she hadn’t convinced me to order that burger.
- Should I buy that ___ or maybe I’ll wait until I have the cash? Oh, I really wish to have it now. I’ll put it on my card. I wish I hadn’t purchased that ___ on my card. Now my balance is higher than I budgeted for this month.
- Which route will I take on my drive home today? I think I’ll take the long way home. The scenery will be nice. Oh no! Construction and a big traffic back up! It will take me two hours to get home now!
- Should I take may camera when I go to the beach later? Maybe…I have so many pictures. Do I need any more? Geez, I wish I had packed my camera! I missed the dolphins and the stunning sunset!
- What time will I eat dinner this evening? Geez, there’s so much I have to do this evening. Not sure when I’ll fit THIS in. I feel so tired and light-headed; I wonder what is wrong with me…
Taking responsibility for our choices may have elicited a very different response in our thoughts about the outcomes in bold.
Until or unless we examine the narrative in our heads we may be unconsciously leading ourselves down a path that is self-destructive – filled with unconscious doing and negativity, rather than conscious being. To be sure, we all have lots of things to DO. I am not suggesting that we abandon our doing. I AM suggesting that we slow down, observe, make choices, and thereby infuse our doing with the very best of who we are at the core of our being.
Years ago, I participated in a self observation exercise as a part of a coaching training course. Following the instructions provided, I set my week-long process up in this way:
At 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM each day, I would pause, pull out my journal and respond to these questions:
- Where are you? (location – home, work, exercise, shopping – be specific)
- What are you doing or what did you just finish doing? (meeting about <>, discussion with <> about <>; be specific)
- How are you feeling and where do you feel it (in your body) at this moment?
- Who/what are you being? (example: caring for myself or something that is important to me; honoring my heart, caring for another, etc.)
I learned so much about myself in this process…and I made changes in my thoughts and my choices. I also learned how to self-observe. It takes practice, and learning to objectively review our experiences in reflection is a powerful teacher!
Most of the time, we are bumping around like the proverbial metal ball in the pinball machine. Just think about that for a moment. Have you ever played this game? That poor ball gets pushed from the flipper back to the bumpers and back and forth and back and forth. Know that feeling?
When we are conscious of who we are – what we love, appreciate, enjoy – everything we do is infused with and feels like an act of kindness, support, compassion, love.
Do YOU take responsibility for your choices?
Do you really take responsibility for your life or are you blaming others and circumstances for where you are right now?
Do you realize that YOU are a leader?
Do you know you lead every day?
Do you know that you, alone, posses the power to make different choices for yourself?
Do you know that YOUR leadership affects everyone else?
Be your best. Be the leader of YOUR life.
Lead on! The world really needs the best of all of us right now!