For all of us, we play two essential roles in life: those of leader, and follower. In some environments you’re a leader, and in other environments you’re a follower. Let me suggest one environment in which you are always responsible to take the lead; and that is, in your own life.
You are the president of your own private nation. You’re the leader. You’re the one who has to take initiative. There are things that you must do for yourself that no one else can do; not even God. Here are five of them:
1. You must take accountability for your own choices. I call it developing response-ability. You can’t control where you were born, what your natural talents or assets are, or your family tree. But you are accountable at all times for the choices you make no matter what circumstances you face. Once you give up that accountability, you give up leadership. You drift, and ultimately you die.
2. You alone are responsible for the stewardship of your life. God has given you time, resources, relationships and a brain. You are responsible for managing and for stewarding each of those resources. You are your own life-manager. You decide where the time goes, what you read, how you exercise your brain, how you stimulate your choices, and make connections.
3. You are responsible for your own health and well-being. God has given you a billion dollar body and a trillion dollar brain. This body is inextricably connected to your spirit and to your soul: body, mind, spirit. Call it what you will, we are a trinity created in the image of a Trinitarian God, and only you alone can take care of your body. Exercise it. Feed it the right things. When it breaks down, there will be no other body issued to you.
4. You are responsible for your own rest and renewal. You can wear your body out and die too soon. You can go through life being miserable. Or you can rest and renew. God has put into life a rhythm of 6 and 1. Six days we work; one day we rest. And during that resting day, we go through a period of renewal as we gather with other believers; believers in God, believers in life, believers in good, believers in each other. They inspire us and motivate us. I call it the E-I-E-I-O principle: we are Encouraged, we get Insight, we gain Enthusiasm, and Inspiration to go out and live an Outrageous life.
5. You alone are responsible for your enthusiasm; yes I mean enthusiasm. It’s an internal energy that comes from knowing you were created for a purpose, that you live in a good world with a good God; that you have faith that gives you hope and therefore you have everything you need to succeed in the real world. You believe that God has put you at this place in this time. You get up every day knowing that you are doing what you were born to do; kind of like every day is Christmas for you.
Bottom line, you alone are responsible to lead your own life. You can’t delegate that responsibility to anyone. And if your life sucks, you can change it today by taking control of these five areas.