Sorry to lay this on you, but most of us live in some form of self-slavery.
We are slaves to our work. Slaves to our hobbies. Slaves to our passions. And for sure, slaves to our habits. Anything that compels us to act in a certain way, even when we know it’s not good for us, is our master, and we are its slave.
I’m not talking about the kind of slavery that physically subjugates people, such as the sex trade, or any indentured enterprise that keeps others subservient either physically or financially.
I’m talking about the kind of self-slavery that we give in to and that we could free ourselves from if we exercised some self-discipline to change our behavior.
Saying, “I don’t have a choice,” is pure-dee B.S. 90+% of the time. I’m leaving a little wiggle room here. I personally cannot think of a situation in my entire life when I did something contrary to my best interest that I did not have a choice to do otherwise.
Rule #1 of INPowerment. I always have a choice.
You might not like the consequences of it, but you usually always have one. It just takes the discipline to make it.
is the the sum total of all the choices I made throughout my life that has brought me to this place and time. Fortunately, I’ve made some good choices. And I’ve also made some doozies that, for the grace of God and the kindness and compassion of friends and strangers, worked out better for me than, by all rights, they should have.
The self-discipline of making better choices might have meant that I would have avoided some of the pain and heartache I both suffered and inflicted.
is just the inner strength to show up and do the right thing, even when you don’t want to or don’t feel like it.
Learn the freedom that
comes from self-discipline
and choose to
Thinking you are the only one who can get things done is a sure recipe for failure. Feeling comfortable asking for help is a sign of INPowerment. Successful people get others involved in their projects.
A good leader knows whom to ask for help.
I’ve tried it both ways, and believe me, my projects are more successful when I engage others. Here is my secret: I ask for help. I share my idea or explain my project, then I ask others if they would like to help and how they would like to help.
It’s amazing that when I go looking for help, I meet amazing people doing amazing things. So many people have talents and skills to offer, and they will, if asked. I gratefully take what ever assistance I can get. Some of them even ask me for help, and I’m honored to give it.
Synergy can only happen when two or more individuals team up. The back and forth of partnering generates more ideas, more connections, more resources.
When others help, some of them will enroll in your project. They will identify with it to the point that they become emotionally and psychologically involved. When that happens, share the credit, and you have a loyal companion in future endeavors.
President Harry Truman, was famous for saying, “You can accomplish anything you want if you do not care who gets the credit.”
I believe the goal is more important than the glory.
And besides, if you accomplish your goal alone, you have no one to celebrate with when you reach it.
Asking for help turns out to be one of the genius moves I have made in projects that were otherwise withering as a solo act.
Ask for help and
I remember when I could run a 9-minute mile. I ran every day and did some form of resistance training three times a week most weeks.
Then I got too busy to maintain that exercise schedule. Little by little my stamina and strength evaporated.
I remember when I was well versed in pop culture. Today, there is a new wave of pop artists I’ve never heard of, while my favorites are now the classics.
A new generation is born, grows up, moves in to drive the commerce of culture, and takes over all the institutions. The world as I knew it is a relic, and I’m left hanging on to it with a death grip, terrified of falling into the abyss of irrelevance.
Everyone experiences this with age. It happens because as time goes by, somewhere along the way we find a comfortable spot and stop. It feels familiar and safe and predictable, so we decide to relive that life every new day.
We desperately try to mold the emerging world to match the way things are supposed to be. When that fails, we become like the ostrich that sticks his head in the sand, thinking it’s better to be blissfully ignorant than engaged. The problem is we don’t realize we have done so.
Opening my eyes to a new life
I’ve taken a different approach.
I’ve decided to evolve with the times.
I’ve decided to embrace pop culture as expressive of the interests, personality, hopes, and dreams of the world’s new population of leaders.
I’ve decided to embrace the exuberant freshness of their inclusiveness, tolerance, and passion for a better way
I’ve decided to let go of the way things are supposed to be to grab hold of the way things could be.
I’ve decided to
I saw her across a crowed room. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She looked at me with her dark almond shaped eyes, smiled shyly, glanced down, then, looked back up at me without lifting her head. By that time I was already half way across the room.
Get the picture?
Her glance moved me into action, filled with excited anticipation mixed with a twinge of nervousness.
The anticipation and expectation of a positive experience or a reward will cause us to respond toward the object of our attraction.
The energy of motivation works like a magnet to pull us toward enjoying the pleasure of the anticipated, awaiting reward–whatever it might be. As we are pulled in a direction, we add the kinetic energy of our own movement to create momentum.
The force of motivation is undeniable, and predictable.
Think of when you have been compelled to act toward a desired end. You find yourself moving with direction and purpose. Plus, you feel good and whole in the doing of it.
Here’s something to think about. Just relax and reflect on all those times you felt that way–when you were excited anticipating getting to do something you really enjoyed. Reflect on the anticipation and all you did to prepare yourself to go do that whatever.
Motivation is the force that leads up to the actual doing. It is found in anticipation. When you give others something to look forward to, you can move them toward that event.
Your opportunity as a leader is to show them an outcome where they will want to go, or that they will want to create.
You can use the natural energy of motivation to
Listen to a previous Spirit of Leading podcast about motivation
I explain in more depth why this energy works as it does. It’s the opposite of the wind beneath your wings. Click here to find out what I mean by that.