Life is complex. Life brings us into contact daily with negative people and situations. Family, work, neighbors, national and international news, all can present us with negative information. The fact is, we cannot control others or conditions around us. We have some choices. Do we allow others to control our emotions, thoughts, and actions, or do we decide to control our responses in positive outcomes?
Understanding Our Power and Authority
Very often we are battered by our contacts with other persons and situation. We wake up in the morning with our priorities, then are hit like ping pong balls to go zinging off in directions that seem beyond our control. Others zap us with their emotions, statements, and behaviors, for whatever reason. Too many of us allow others to alter our daily directions and effectiveness with our permission. How do we change this pattern?
If we are to be in charge of our own lives, we must understand our personal power and authority to control how we spend our limited emotions, thinking, and behaviors. No one else has this power, right, and capacity. We are the only ones responsible for either keeping our daily focus and invested energies, or giving them up. We must be inner-driven, not outer-driven.
Analogies For Decision
Let us use the analogy of boats, ping pong balls, and directional compasses. If a boat has a broken rudder, or has no anchor, when storms and winds blow, the boat is driven wherever external forces take it. If a ping pong ball is picked up and hit, it will zing off in whatever direction sent. If a compass is never used, its needle showing “north” cannot give bearings on which way to travel. When we are outer-driven, we are like boats without rudder or anchor, like ping pong balls waiting to be sent off in space, and like compass owners who fail to use their directional tools.
Harnessing Our Power for Action
One of the greatest enemies to our happiness and satisfaction at home, work, and in life, is when we become victims as outer-driven people. When we are outer-driven, we are followers. When we are inner-driven, we are prepared to face external conditions so we remain in control of our life resources, our responses, and how we use our energies and talents.
One of the greatest reasons successful people continue to be successful, even despite unusually great challenges at home and work, is they:
- know who they are
- know what they believe is essential for their identities
- know where they want their energies to take them, and
- keep their identities, beliefs, and energies focused, never pulled off course.
Assistance Can Help
We here at Leadership Ethics Online are inner-driven leaders. We have deep inner drives, clarity of vision, and awareness of the adverse power external forces can have. Despite these facts, there have been times when we needed assistance from others for support, encouragement, and strength. In our desire to be self-sufficient and, sometimes, “not to be any trouble to anyone else,” sometimes we did not turn for needed help.
This is why we formed this company–to give assistance to leaders like ourselves. There is an old proverb, “Pride comes before the fall.” We are here if you need us. Be humble enough to recognize your need and to ask for the help we are eager to give.
Being an inner-driven leader sometimes requires outer resources. Let us help you repair your rudder, open that compass, and stop others using you as a ping-pong ball!
John D. Willis, PhD, President
Leadership Ethics Online