Freedom and Responsibility

A CEO left his job for a one year sabbatical.  He left his business in the hands of his three vice presidents, each responsible for a certain sector of the business to run.  “The business in yours while I am gone,” he said.  A year passed and the CEO returned to his position and assessed the state of the company.  The first VP reported, “I expanded our operations and doubled my sector’s profits.”  “Wonderful,” the CEO said, “You just doubled your salary.”  The second VP came and said, “I developed a new investment strategy that boosted our assets by 50%.” “Fantastic!”, the CEO said, “you just increased your personal earnings by that much.”   The third VP said, “All this success is wonderful,  but it involved a lot of risk.  There was too much at stake.  So while I didn’t increase our profits nor expand our assets,  I’m happy to report that I didn’t decrease them either!  I hated the idea of disappointing you so I did the safe thing and avoided risking what was yours to begin with.  But now, here it is, just like you left it.”   The CEO paused for a minute.  “You didn’t increase in any way?… why, you could have put your funds in a bank and at least seen some increase!” he exclaimed, “clear out your office, I’m dividing your job between the people who will do something with it.”

“Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of.  Play it safe and you’ll end up holding the bag.” E. Peterson- The Message

Yes, let’s not be greedy like the one’s who caused our economic crisis, but let’s not live with such a fear of losing, of making mistakes.

I have been waiting my whole life to be told what to do with it and now I am realizing that I wasn’t being wise and prudent but scared and avoiding the responsibility of making my own choice.  This freedom terrifies me but excites as well.    I now realize that when we are bored with life, with our friends, our spouse, or even our job, that what we are really bored with, is ourself.   Today, more opportunity exists than ever in the history of our world, and we have the freedom to plant or to tear down,  to love or to talk about how we were wronged, the freedom to flourish or fail gloriously, to jump- we may not make it, but it feels so good knowing that we tried.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that
you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain

Today: Exhale fully, then take a deep breath.  Do you feel a pain about not doing something you know you were born to do?  Quickly, without thinking, do one small thing about it.


About cwolfeman

Something significant happens when we let go. I've been driving with my foot on the brake, afraid of making mistakes, but now I take my foot off the pedal and settle into excitement and adventure. "You are lost, the minute you know what the result will be." Juan Gris. Surprises are priceless. When we control our life we diminish its joy. So that is why today is a new day. A time to say, "I resign from calling this life, mine," and let go. So for those of us who are sick of waiting for the water to boil, who have minimized risk, declined adventure out of fear and called it prudence, who thought that playing by the rules themselves would save you, who thought that this life is about the grades and the votes we get, who refuse to exhale until they know there's enough oxygen in the room, who have been trying to fit into a "category" unsuccessfully since middle school, if you feel lost, and without direction, then this blog is for you. And if you expect me to stick to this path of enlightenment consistently, then this blog is not for you. I am going to bump and bob along the way toward this new life and I am going to be wrong and make mistakes, and I'm going to love myself anyway. I'm starting to see that if I base my value on how I perform each day, I will be the most miserable person alive. So let's start by forgiving ourself and committing to be gentle, kind, and loving toward ourself. "You gotta leap before you look." Tony Stark.
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