“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
– Robert Frost
Responsibility is a word that can cause some people to get excited, while causing others to cringe. In an age where it seems like we have no shortage of things for which we must be responsible, it’s very natural, and quite understandable, to desire a little less responsibility. Who wouldn’t like to have one less thing on their plate, or one less person or situation demanding their attention? Life can quickly find us in overwhelm mode, and it’s time to say, ENOUGH ALREADY!
… But not necessarily in the way that you think.
What we’ve lost sight of, perhaps, or where our perspective may have become skewed, is that we always have a choice. We’re only victims of our circumstances if we grant that power and authority to our circumstances. Situations – i.e., LIFE – will always unfold in an unpredictable manner, and change will always be a constant. So, why, exactly, are we so surprised by the unpredictability of life? Couldn’t you have predicted that?
In the end, what life can never take from you is your response-ability – your ability to respond.
Situations occur… So what?!
The boss calls and needs you to rearrange all of your priorities right now… So what?!
Your spouse calls and says, “Sorry, Hon… I can’t make it back in time to pick-up the kids. You’ll need to get them and drive them to the 34 different activities they’re involved in tonight.” So what?!
Your new girlfriend or boyfriend who just can’t do anything wrong finally does something wrong. So what?!
I’d like to list more serious situations around illness, death, finances, suffering in some way, but I don’t want to make light of the gravity of any individual’s personal situation; however, everyone has experienced such difficult times. Everyone has a burden they are shouldering (most likely unnecessarily), and everyone still has a choice to make! Everyone can still choose to respond in a way that enables them to move forward, to move on, to regain their happiness, and to follow their bliss.
It’s not necessarily easy… but it sure is freeing!
Stay tuned for more response-ability in upcoming posts. Until then, think about a typical situation that frustrates you or really upsets you. How will you choose to exercise your response-ability - now that you know that you have a choice in how you respond – the next time such a situation comes up?
Until next time, Live on Fire!
D. Luke Iorio, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP
President & CEO
Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)