“Take responsibility for your actions.”
Ugh. Responsibility. It’s for when you’ve been bad and you have to face the consequences. I can’t think of a time I ever heard the word used in a positive context. It’s the word adults used to make you see how dramatically you’d f*cked up.
It’s no wonder so many of us prefer to turn away from it.
When I first heard the phrase, “with great power comes great responsibility”‘ it resonated. I thought, if I want to be powerful within my life, I have to take responsibility for all the parts of it and even though I’ve made good progress, it still felt a little like swimming upstream. It wasn’t until yesterday, when I heard Jim Kwik turn the quote around to become, “with great responsibility comes great power”, that all the pieces fell into place.
Changing the order of the words changes the flow of the sentiment. It turns that yucky, “if you want this cool thing, you have to take this crap thing with it” into a kind of “buy one get one free”
When I was younger, I wanted to be thin, I wanted to be rich and I wanted to be famous. I know. Deep right? Those things glittered in my future but every time I went towards them, the murk of reality would overwhelm me and I would retreat to the starting block – usually with chocolate and wine in hand.
Two decades on, my aspirations have changed but I still want to achieve things that are a fair way out of my current reach. The difference is that my attitude is more in line with the title of this post. As I heard Kwik say that phrase I realised it perfectly illustrated the switch I’ve already made in my own mind. By enjoying the process of taking responsibility – for my habits, my health, my finances, my relationships, all of it – power follows automatically.
In previous years when I’ve made an effort to reduce alcohol intake or eat less sugar, I’ve done so with that parental, “you must take responsibility!” feeling. I fought myself every step of the way and got pissy and irritable in the process. This time, I feel…well… powerful. I’m frowning as I type this, wondering…is that the right word? Is that how I’m feeling? And yes it is. I feel powerful.
Don’t get me wrong. In the last hour, as we approach “wine time”, my mind has leapt and kicked as it sends me little flashes – ooh! It’s nearly time! Hooray! Oh wait. Ugh. You’re not drinking.
But for now, I can safely say I’m ok with that feeling. It’s not bothering me and I don’t feel the need to fight it. I simply know it’s the old remnants of a habit loop running its course and the enjoyment of feeling in charge of my life and my future makes me completely comfortable with the twitchiness. I have more than enough power to stand my ground.
What makes you feel powerful?