The One Thing You Need for a Bold and Courageous Life
Finally realizing this is not where I want to be at this stage of my life, most people either throw their hands up in overwhelm or furiously work harder, read more books, attend seminars and workshops–doing anything to fix the situation. They don’t realize that to fix the situation they must first understand the situation.
Taking action while you’re full of questions and running on empty creates more frustration. The old saying if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging has truth to it.
Why You Need Leadership for Life
Most people are not leading their lives. They are following. What they see in Society and what mass culture dictates becomes their strategy. They react to the communal narrative and follow the current culture.
A Grave Error
Most people don’t view themselves as leaders and this is a grave error I see too often. They leave it to someone else to lead and they follow from a weak, subordinate position. You will never be happy following someone else. It’s against human nature. You are designed to develop and grow and when you’re not growing the saying is you are falling behind. But it’s more than that. You are unhappy too.
It doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 80, You Are a Leader. You must live with and own the consequences of your life, you better be leading your life.
The Price of Following and Not Leading
While following along takes less effort, is easier and less scary, following contributes to unhappiness while you’re not looking. And it’s difficult if not impossible to perform at your best when you are unhappy.
Consider: as you try to grow, move forward, advance and achieve viewing everything through the filter of unhappiness, what will be the outcome? You simply cannot out perform your inner state.
The biggest big business in America is not steel, automobiles or television. It is the manufacture, refinement and distribution of anxiety. Eric Sevareid
Daily frustrations, lack of fulfillment, anxiety, resentment, etc.…. are viewed as necessary, even justified in our society. In reality they are subtle forms of negativity that are readily overlooked and accepted as “normal.” When in fact, they accumulate and collectively contribute to, or we could say create your unhappiness.
At the root of following along is The Umbrella of Unhappiness that colors every effort.
I encourage you to validate this through your own experience. A background or underpinning of unhappiness is for many people a predominant state. Look around watch the nightly news, read the newspaper. Are people happy? Are they where they want to be? Do you see them masterfully leading their lives or are they miserably following?
The Umbrella of Unhappiness is the umbrella under which everything else falls. Unhappiness disrupts your performance and effectiveness. It detracts from your self-image, how others view you, the influence you exert. With deeper analysis you could say that unhappiness is in fact, a symptom of a larger, more fundamental issue — not leading your life.
Do the Math Under the Umbrella
Every factor that is under the Umbrella of Unhappiness is a byproduct or a consequence of surrendering the reins — being the servant of your circumstances rather than the master of your destiny.
· Frustrated — things don’t go as planned and you feel powerless.
· Victim — this always happens to me.
· Stress — stress increases as your control decreases.
· Resentment — a result of a position of weakness and insecurity.
· Unfulfilled — making a living not a life.
· Anger — your buttons are easily pushed.
· Anxiety — you are uncertain and afraid.
· Stagnant — stuck in this place.
· Not where you want to be at this stage of life.
· Lost — not blazing your own trail of self-realization.
Without Leadership for Life your growth is stunted.
Look closely and you’ll see the results of this stunted growth. Witness the unskillful living, lack of personal leadership, no direction and small mindedness. People who are lost operate from a follower position of weakness and they show up in the headlines.
*The vast majority of Americans (~160 million) are overweight and are lost with how to lead themselves out of it. Don’t be Part of the Crowd. Identify and Overcome Your Barriers to Exercise
*Being in a coveted position of power and leadership doesn’t change the fact that most people don’t lead themselves so how can they even begin to lead others? Almost 70% of U.S. Managers are Scared to Talk to Their Employees
*Weak fearful and insecure people in leadership positions create more pain, suffering and conflict. Uber CEO Apologizes Says He Needs to Grow Up
If people would choose Leadership for Life and lead their lives with strength and resourcefulness do you think they would appear in the headlines out of control, unprofessional and fearful — creating dissonance, adding more pain and creating more suffering? You are right!
5 Strategies to Begin Leading Your Life
Lead your thoughts toward facts and away from fiction. The rent is due and I only have half of the money is a fact. I’m ruined, my life is over…This is fiction, a creation of the mind. The fact is you can change things, earn more, save more, adapt.
Build awareness. Recognize how thoughts take you over and direct you. All you have to do is recognize the habits of your mind. See the negative and repetitive thinking. They begin to melt away under the light of you understanding the mechanism of your unhappiness.
Lead from the inside. Negative thinking leads to negative feelings. We conjure up wild stories of what reality is — they didn’t call back because they don’t like me and we believe them! The reality is our interpretation colors events that are neutral. The Universe is neutral. Your thinking makes it good/bad, positive/negative.
Shift. You may find it difficult at first to just be aware of your thoughts while remaining calm. In this instance, use your body to change your energy. Shift your position; stretch, take a walk or exercise to get beyond an unproductive thought or a knee-jerk reaction. Research shows that using your entire self provides solutions that are unavailable otherwise.
Write your own script. Don’t readily buy into the communal narrative, cultural norms or water cooler talk. A college degree won’t help in this economy, running is bad for your knees, my family has heart disease and I’ll get it too. These are assumptions, interpretations, ideas, concepts. Discover for yourself what really works.
You Become What You Think About Most
Since our culture is predominantly negative and negativity collectively contributes to unhappiness, we become unhappy.
Avoid the fatal flaw of following along with the communal narrative, societal norms, and current culture while expecting different results. You can’t follow everyone else and then expect to stand out as super successful, happy, at ease, decisive and creating your own destiny.
Stop following along and Lead your Life. Become the master of your destiny rather than the servant of your circumstances. Don’t spread and transfer the negativity around creating more pain, suffering and unhappiness. Allow the new to Start With YOU.
You may not eliminate everything under The Umbrella of Unhappiness altogether but unhappiness will no longer immobilize you, control you or take you over. You will be leading not following.
Who’s in charge up there? YOU are!