The leader your self needs

In the profession called life, you can either choose to be led or you can choose to lead. Are you leading your self, or is your self being led by someone else?

If you're being led, you risk your life being swept down a path that leads to someone else's definition of success. You risk finding yourself stuck in an endless loop wondering where all of your time went and why you're not getting to where you want to go.

But if you lead your self, if you choose to accept responsibility for your own life, then you get to choose your own adventure. You get to stop at every crossroads and make a conscious decision about where you want to go next, instead of just going wherever the current wants to take you.

You don't need permission.

There's nobody else out there who is responsible for your happiness and there's nobody coming to tell you what you should do next.

You're alone. That's the hard truth.

Life can be a short dull race that you play safe to a regrettable end, or it can be a long wild adventure full of risk, challenge, and discovery. It's entirely up to you.

Your actions, your choices, your decisions. They're all yours.

What are you doing with them? Are you leading your self?

Leading isn't easy. It's often lonely and full of uncertainty, and doubt, and fear and leaders rarely know if they're going in the right direction.

But that's okay. That's what makes them a leader. They choose a destination and head towards the unknown. They go against the current. They do what nobody else does by choosing to accept responsibility for whatever happens next. They don't ask somebody else to accept responsibility for their actions.

Every great adventure is filled with obstacles and seemingly unsolvable problems. That's what makes it an adventure! Leaders see those unknowns and then go on anyway because they know that's part of the deal.

If you want to get somewhere you've never been, you need to be willing and ready to do things you've never done—that's what makes it fun!

Lead yourself. Accept responsibility for your life.

Be the leader your self needs.

Currents of Chaos

On a bed in the middle of an emergency room, a small boy sits. Around him is total chaos: people yelling, nurses running around, trauma to the left and to the right. Everyone is moving with urgency while the boy sits motionless and watches it all unfold. A nurse notices and assumes he must be terrified. "Don't be afraid," she reassures him. The boy looks at her calmly and replies, "Oh I'm not afraid."

If we're not participating in the chaos -- if we're not being wrapped up and swept away by the current along with everyone else -- that doesn't mean we're inadequate, missing out, or living in fear. But in the busyness of life, that's easy to forget. It's easy to unconsciously allow our lives to be written by the currents. It's easy to assume that if everyone is riding them, they must lead us in the right direction.

Those assumptions allow the currents to affect our energy levels and our work schedules, our eating habits and our career tactics. They influence our skills, the possessions we own, and the actions we condone. They cause us to assume that life is chaotic, a competition, a race against time, and a mad dash to the finish line.

Let go of the expectation that life is an endless chaotic current. Give yourself permission to be still. Walk through your day observing the currents of life, holding your ground and allowing those currents to sweep past you like the wind sweeps around a tree. Be like the boy in the hospital quietly observing the chaos. You are not helpless and adrift. You are conscious, strong, and fully capable of directing your life.