Its up to you (or me).
No one else.
Even if they call you crazy.
Even if they threaten you.
Even if you might be wrong, its up to you to create your future!
As the legendary “Think Different” Apple ad, said…
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things.
They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Attributed to Rob Siltanen and Apple Computers, 1997
We have thought leaders would help us out of our problems for millenia. But, have they?
We get excited following a leader who tells us to do one thing or another, but does it help?
We elect representatives to speak for us in public office, but do they serve us or themselves?
Civilization has certainly advanced, but are the “have-nots” living better?
We think we know the answers to problems, but are taught to keep our opinions and most of our actions to the privacy of our home, and to certain public spaces where we are among “trusted” friends and acquaintances. But has this worked? Has this helped humanity build a better future for all? Or for just a few?
Modern Management invented a tool for organizations that have to handle a lot of change, much as we do now: complexity leadership, in which each member of an organization can assume different leadership roles according to the needs for that moment. In many ways this emans that each member of the organization is prepared to step in at any given moment and do what he or she does best, with total support from the organization (one interesting article on this development can be read at https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/leadershipfacpub/18/).
Not surprisingly to me, this fits in perfectly with what Life Coaches and Ontological Coaches (of which I am one) have been teaching for the last few decades: that you, specifically, create your future with your thoughts, words and actions. Or, to rephrase this, that I create my future through my thoughts, words and actions. Many religions and “New Age” paths speak of this creative aspect of humans and in the Twentieth Century US many successful individuals, including Wallace Wattles, Napoleon Hill documented and publicized this new way of living, and later research done by neuroscientists and the “crazy people” who developed “unproven” tools such as NeuroLinguistic Programming, Cybernetics, “The Law of Attraction” (and more) keep on proving that somehow we can definitely create new futures. And, since the 15th Century Renaissance different political and social movements proposed radical changes in traditional ways of working and governing the people, including the labor unions that wanted a fairer world for workers, the freedom fighters who advocated radical social changes, and that even introduced democracy and modern concepts of civil and human rights to the Earth. Yet until now, very few human organizations have dared to move outside of the traditional hierarchical leadership model, preferring to simply take the place and prerrogatives of former rulers when change is successful. Yet this has meant that we still have a global situation where a few decide for everyone else, and whole sections of society are considered useless by the few who govern. But the people are never useless: they might be unused and might simply have been taught to be incapable of running even their own lives, following the rules for children that are supposed to be “seen and not heard” and totally unproductive until that date when the law said we were “of age” and had to take charge of their responsibilities. Under that model usually only the rich and powerful ensured their children were trained to become rich and powerful themselves in adulthood, though this belief is slowly changing thanks to social media, the Internet, and global public education for all.
Yet, at your level and mine, changing this situation isn’t that difficult. All you and I need to do is say “Count me in!” and start preparing and training for the leadership role we will assume as we create a better future for yourself and others. How does this work? Well, a leader simply helps others get to where they want to go. Sadly, many people only want a “job” or “income” where someone else tells them what to do. And we have leaders for that. LOTS of leaders who will give the job-seeker a low paying job, or other similar so called opportunity to be unhappy just like millions of other individuals are looking for.
Are you keeping low and hiding from what you fear? You are counting yourself OUT!
Are you a follower without assuming personal responsibility? Then you are counting yourself UNDER.
Are you doing your best to control others and everything, to be the Boss? To judge what is right and wrong with respect to other people? Then you are counting yourself OVER.
Or, do you feel that you are happy following a leader you did not choose? You could be counting yourself BEHIND.
My suggestion is that you assume responsibility for yourself, the ones you love, your future and your decisions, so you can count yourself IN.
Why? Because it is your life, just as my life is mine.
Mind you, as an elected official in my community, I am there to help others become leaders. And as a writer, scholar and coach, I help others create a better future. But I can’t do everything: I, and you, can only do what we can do, and we just have to do it to the best of our ability.
As for the question of where to count yourself in, its your decision. If you like to be among saints, you just have to own up to your decisions and its consequences and sacrifices. If you like to be among criminals (and I sincerely hope not), you just have to own up to your decision and its consequences and results. Just remember that whatever you decide is always going to be your responsibility anyway, so why not decide to create the future you want? Is it crazy to think you can lead a better life?
Maybe its crazy, but I can tell you that being a slave of any type is simply insane, and as far as I can tell being happy, satisfied and successful is simply up to me.
Manny Perez, MPA, CAMS, Master Coach www.coachhispano.org