Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Why wait? October 14, 2011

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What are you waiting for: Someone to notice you? The right introduction? A winning lottery ticket? Your boss to give you a raise?  What? Who’s in charge here, anyway? I say – You!

If you give all the power to someone or something else to make the changes you need in your life – you may find yourself waiting for a very long time. If you want to move ahead you have to see it, want it and do it – yourself. You have to do what it takes to get yourself noticed, to ask for that introduction and then follow-up on it, you have to start the conversation, take the action and start the ball rolling. A little self-agency goes a long way. Sure, you may luck out – someone else may bestow great things to you – but chances are if you want to get something done – you have to do it yourself. Doing it yourself doesn’t mean doing it alone – there are resources out there to help you along the way – but you have to ask for it, you have to see where you want to go and make a plan to get yourself there and then do it.

The world is waiting to see what it is you have to offer, your time for waiting is over.

 

The Choice is Yours August 16, 2010

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Looking through quotes this morning to find one to read at the closing of my business networking meeting, I came across this one from an anonymous source:

“Life can either be accepted or changed. If it is not accepted it must be changed. If it is not changed then it must be accepted.”

I liked this one. It was simple and clear and had a definite ring of truth if the goal was to live a life of choice and minimize frustration and dis-contentment. Concurrently, part of me was straining against what I assume to be an over simplification of a complex concept. But I decided to accept the wisdom of it with the knowledge that I could in fact change it a bit to fit my own personal philosophy. This seemed the best of both worlds and clearly in keeping with the sentiment at hand.

For each of us there are elements in our lives that are not completely in line with our goals and desires for ourselves. Not all of these items are within our locus of control, and what action we can take to change them is limited. Our choice then becomes not whether or not we can change those things themselves (a stern and disagreeable boss for instance) but how we will allow those things to affect us and whether or not we want to continue to operate under those circumstances. Some choices, like deciding to leave our job and find a new placement are pretty darned big – and their effects can be felt in almost all areas of our lives. Whether we stay or go – our choice becomes one of accepting or changing not just the circumstance itself but our orientation, outlook and integration of that choice.

For instance, you may think of yourself as a writer, but unable to support yourself with your writing efforts; need to take a job in a totally unrelated field like restaurant work. You might not like this work, the hours are long, you’re on your feet all day, you have to deal with some unpleasant customers and an inflexible manager. But if you see this as an avenue to allow you to have your nights free to write, if you see your experiences and interactions with our co-workers and customers as fodder for character development and your paycheck as a means of buying you time to pursue your dream writing job then it can all be good. Or you may decide that you need to be in a more “literary” setting and work to get yourself a job in the editing department of a local newspaper or publishing company or as a teacher in an adult education program. The choices are endless. The change can be as subtle as a re-orientation of how you view your choice or an acceptance that this is what needs to be done to allow you to do your “real work”. Of course not all our efforts are rewarded either, and that’s a whole other topic.

Accept or Change… each day we have that choice to make and each day our decision may be different. The real trick is to know yourself and your goals – and to understand and appreciate how you have the impact to change your own course with each little decision you make by understanding how they align with what you know inside you and what feeds your true self. What will it be today? Accept? Change? Or a little bit of both?

 

Hey! Who’s steering this boat, anyway? January 28, 2010

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There is a term in psychology called, “Locus of Control” which describes the degree to which people feel that they can control events that affect them. The concept was originally put forth in the 1950’s by Julian Rotter and remains an important piece in the understanding of personality today. Basically, the concept refers to whether a person believes that the control for the good and bad things that happen in their lives resides within them or outside of them. Per Wikipedia, “One’s “locus” (Latin for “place” or “location”) can either be internal (meaning the person believes that they control their life) or external (meaning they believe that their environment, some higher power, or other people control their decisions and their life).”

It is not an either/or proposition, there are times in our lives when we are more in control of the circumstances we find ourselves in than others. And in these difficult economic times, there are a lot of people who are powerfully affected by forces and trends way outside their sphere of influence. Nonetheless, the pivot point is what and how we face these circumstances. We may not control everything that happens to us, both good and bad, but we can for the most part, control how we respond to it. The response itself may also be impacted by external factors, to some degree there is a measure of privilege at work here in even the mere pondering of the question. But there is also a pretty heavy weigh in on the spheres of personality, resilience, confidence, responsibility, commitment and courage.

There will always be things that impact us that are outside our control but how we allow them to impact us is within ours. When you allow yourself to take responsibility for how you live your life it can be both daunting and liberating. Too many factors exist to predict the positive outcome for all of your endeavors, but you efforts are never truly wasted. It is your life – what are you going to do with it?