Adapted from The Responsibility Process by Christopher Avery.
If The Responsibility Process is triggered when we have what we don’t want, then freedom, power, and choice come to us when we discover and pursue what we truly want. Unfortunately, most of us don’t really know what that is. We speak of it vaguely like “success,” “money,” “a relationship,” or “happiness.” But your versions of these are not the same as mine. So the specifics matter.
Why don’t we know what we really really want? It’s the cultural trance again. We grew up being told not to trust ourselves but to listen to well-intentioned parents, relatives, and teachers who told us what we should want. Be good. Fit in. Stay in school. Major in a field that’s hiring. Go to work for a big stable company. And on, and on.
On the occasion of then California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger receiving an honorary doctorate from the Universtiy of Southern California and giving the commencement address, Schwarzenegger ended his address with a gripping five minutes on his six rules for success. Schwarzenegger grew up in Austria, took up bodybuilding, came to the USA, won seven titles as Mr. Olympia and five as Mr. Universe, has made more than fifty feature films having the lead role in most of them, and served as governor of California. Here he is talking about his first rule:
The first rule is: Trust yourself.
And what I mean by that is, so many young people are getting so much advice from their parents and from their teachers and from everyone. But what is most important is that you have to dig deep down, dig deep down and ask yourselves, who do you want to be? Not what, but who.
And I’m talking about not what your parents and teachers want you to be, but you. I’m talking about figuring out for yourselves what makes you happy, no matter how crazy it may sound to other people.
Everyone is born with unique predilections. That means you are different from other people. You have your own genius, desires, joys, and passions. Denying them is living your life in Quit. Aligning to them brings fulfillment.
So, start exercising your want muscle. Yes, it is your power of Intention. The more you can align with who you truly are, the freer and more powerful you will be.
On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being low and 10 being high, how much clarity do you have about what you want in your life, work, and relationships? If your answer falls toward the low range, join the crowd. If your answer falls toward the high range, congratulations. You are on your way.
How do you relearn how to want? I’ll give you some ideas in the next four sections of The Responsibility Process.
Christopher Avery, “The Responsibility Process guy”, founded The Leadership Gift™ Program to make world-class personal leadership development accessible to individuals worldwide. His books include The Responsibility Process and Teamwork Is An Individual Skill.
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