Independence Day – Your Personal Liberation

It's July 4th.  Here in the U.S. of A., folks most typically refer to the day as "the Fourth." It's the anniversary of our declaration of independence from England, of course, and we are known to celebrate it by pulling out our gas grills, drinking a fair amount of beer, and, perhaps, getting too much sun. 

In many locales, our traditional fireworks displays have already happened on evenings more convenient for weekend travelers, people needing to return to work the next day, and, of course, to accomodate the schedules of limited numbers of professional fireworks technicians.

I say all this because, since ours is not a culture that tends to look back in history to find gems of wisdom to help us navigate our future waters, we aren't really thinking about "independence" at all, whether from England or any other tyranny.

But what about you? What are the tyrannies that affect you… your own personal set, if you will?

How would your life be different if you were able to declare independence from just one of them? Imagine what your life would be like, what new dimensions might show up in your life, if you freed yourself from two… or more?  Whoa!  The repercussions could be staggering!

Looking at my life right now, today, I have a few tyrannies I would like to share with you.  I would also like to dismantle them, of course, and tear them down. That comes next.

Wait. Let's pull away from this conversation for a few seconds to fill in the blanks.  And so, first, a very brief presentation of:

A Model for Effective Change: 

  1. Notice what's up.
  2. Reflect on whether you're OK with "what's up" or whether you're not, and why.
  3. Explore possible options.
  4. Choose an option to explore in greater depth.
  5. Step into that option… try it on… noticie how it feels.
  6. Decide on an option, commit to it, build support, etc.
  7. Take action.

OK. Back to the topic at hand. What I've been talking about above falls into steps 1 and 2.

So here's a list of five tyrannies that are up for me. I'm not sure they're my top five, but they're what come to mind.  After each "tyranny" I've listed one or more consequences I can identify.

Too much stuff

I'm distracted.

I have, and too often act on, impulses that take me away from the tasks at hand.

Uncertainty of my vision

I would benefit from having a more accurate, more current version of my vision for my future. It is hard for me to focus on, and be invested in, what will take me where I want to go, if I don't know for sure where I want to end up.

I feel a bit lost.

I doubt my creative powers… or wonder if my creations will have sufficient value to others

I hesitate

I check my email yet another time.

I'm not "enough" (smart enough, resourceful enough, committed enough… and so on!) to tackle the size project that seems to be needed to make the difference that needs to be made

Important contributions are left unstarted.

Not enough time to do a whole project — fear that I'll lose track of my thoughts

Bigger ideas don't even get past the starting gate.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not particularly ineffectual.  It's just that bigger things await!

Your Turn

Jot down answers to the following questions (writing is more powerful than simply thinking, and sharing what you've written is even more powerful):

What tyrannies are getting in the way of your life?

How do they impinge on you?

List three places in your life in which you know you will show up "bigger," more powerfully, and with greater zest as a result.

I would be honored to witness what you have written, either publicly (as a commenter on this site) or privately (in an email or telephone call to me).

May you celebrate many personal Independence Days in the coming years.

-Steve Reiter
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