You've Got to Decide: Personal Agency
(Imagine we're in a Baptist church and I'm the speaker of the hour. I won't take up too much of your time.)
Turn to your neighbor and say, "if you want to be free, you’ve got to decide".
One of my Facebook friends shared a post from Dale Partridge about how we use vacations to escape our daily lives instead improving those lives. Someone commented about the poster and others having the privilege to achieve this ideal.
This comment got me thinking about the role of personal agency in our lives.
Life’s not fair. I'll repeat that. Life is not fair. We benefit from privileges based on race, class, gender, age, physical ability, and geography, but the fact that some have more or different privileges than you, does not excuse you from the doing the work in your own life.
I came here to tell you today, “You’ve got to decide.”
You have to decide you’re going to create the life you want to live, despite all the things that could potentially stop you. You have to decide it’s worth the risk to fight for the life you want, knowing you might fail.
In the post, Brother Dale talks about how we save up a whole year to take a vacation to escape our daily lives when what we could be doing is creating a life we don’t have to escape from. Some commenters agreed with the sentiment while others found it unrealistic because of their obligations.
If you will turn to the book of Life with me, it reads in verse one,
“Everyone has obligations that impact how we live our lives", but in verse two it also says, “we have the power to choose or not to choose."
That is our agency. The power to choose. The right to decide we don’t have to accept the hand dealt to us if it’s not what we want, and we will create something better, authentic, and empowering.
The commenters speaking about obligations were mostly talking about finances and being able to provide for themselves and their families. I’m not telling you to abandon your needs to pursue your goals, but rather, turn your goals into your needs.
I think we all need a break at times, but if you’re just living for the weekend or your next vacation, something is not right as Dale notes. You should enjoy your daily life.
Focus in on the life you want and do everything you need to do to make those dreams a reality. How can you simplify, redirect, reevaluate, and expand what you have in order to create what you want? What are your goals and how they can be broken down into achievable steps?
It all starts with your mindset and once you decide, life has a funny way of working its way out.
The apostle Paulo (Coelho) says,
“...when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. At times, you’re going to struggle, you’re going to be frustrated, you’re going to feel like everything is against you, and you’re going to feel like quitting and going back to your old life.
But, when you don’t ask, the answer will always be no and when you don’t try, the change will always seem impossible. Speak or write what you want into existence, put it out into the universe, and you will attract the resources and opportunities you need to make the changes.
In closing, I want to leave with a thought from Brother Kanye.
“Now I could let these dream killers kill my self-esteem
Or use my arrogance as the steam to power my dreams.”
Replace arrogance with agency. Take your focus off of what’s not working, what others will think, what you think you can’t do, what you don’t want, or what might not happen.
Give your energy to what you can do, right here, right now, with what you have, to change your life and live the life you want.