Where power comes from

Feeling powerless sucks. The good news is that the way out of powerlessness is simple. Take responsibility.

Just because the answer is simple, doesn’t mean it’s easy. Taking responsibility unconditionally is really hard. It means putting your ego aside. It means accepting blame yourself for things that were quite objectively not your fault. It means acknowledging the full burden of the status quo—the good, the bad, and the ugly. There’s plenty of justifiable reasons why most people actively try to resist taking responsibility, instead of seeking it out. Taking responsibility is daunting and painful and scary.

At least to start with. In the long run, of course, it’s a worthwhile trade. It’s a worthwhile trade because taking responsibility delivers us the power to change.

Some people take the view that Uncle Ben’s assertion that “with great power comes great responsibility” is the way it works, but I think Winston Churchill’s earlier version of the same assertion, “where there is great power there is great responsibility” is more accurate. Power and responsibility tend to appear together, but I believe that it’s the act of taking responsibility that must happen first. When we do that, power can’t help but show up.

What could you take responsibility for, today?

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