“My life is good. My marriage is good. Our kids are good. Our finances are good.”
Then she looked at me sheepishly as she continued.
“Is it just arrogant to show up here and say everything’s good? But then say that I’m really longing for it to be great?”
Ahhhhhh …yes…I mused!
The kind of client I love.
I call them my “created for more” clients.
Not willing to settle.
Not looking for status quo.
Longing for more.
The kind of client I truly love.
And beneath all that…there’s always a ‘deep desire’ to make a difference!
With a smile of great admiration, I reflected, “Actually, I think I hear gratitude, and a request for a boost in agency to take your life to a whole new level?”
With an excited deer in the headlamp like look she blurted, “Oh my gosh! Yes! Yes! Whatever that is…that’s exactly what I want! I just don’t want to be too self-absorbed or to be asking for too much.”
Although it was a statement, I could see in her expression that she was asking permission.
“Any desire to become our very best is a gift to ourselves, our partners, our families, and the world.”
So, what is agency?
- Agency is the capacity of individuals to have the power and resources to fulfill their potential.
- Agency refers to the thoughts and actions taken by people that express their individual power.
- The ability to perceive and change the environment and achieve the intended goals with different actions.
- Agency involves intentionally planning one’s time and activities so that one can accomplish one’s aims in the future.
I like to define agency as:
The ability to cut through noise and chatter, find your balance, and think with great clarity. Then influencing yourself and others by taking 100% responsibility for your life.
With a mission to finding full belief in your potential for greatness, developing faith in yourself, your skills, your gifts. And, strategizing the next best steps to create the life of abundance and fulfillment that you desire and that your longings deserve. All, with an attitude of passion, determination, persistency, and gratitude.
I’ve known for years that great Champions get on the road less traveled and experience abundant life … because they understand and embrace the power of agency, always keeping it sharp and relevant.
I’ve studied and modeled some of my life dreams after Champions who possess and use great agency for many years.
I shared with my client the 3 most important things that I’ve learned from them. I’d like to share them with you this week.
1. Champions take 100% responsibility for themselves and their lives.
Before I could ever begin, my client asked the question that many people ask, “But what about life and the things that happened to me? Surely, I can’t control those!?”
“That’s absolutely true,” I responded. “However, we can take 100% responsibility for how we react to them, what we do with them, and how we move forward…or not …”
Some people see taking 100% responsibility for their lives as a burden. Champions view this differently.
I’ve watched that one thing (not taking 100% responsibility) stop too many gifted people; the ‘loneliness’ to embrace and journey the road less traveled. But it’s there and only there, that we’re able to win the battle for our hearts, our voice, our passion’s permission.
When we take 100% responsible action, for 100% responsibility of our total life to date, finding our agency to chart our hunches from, always begins as a solo journey. UNTIL (as the ancient Bible proverb declares) “our gifts make a place for us and bring us before and connect us to and with, the right/great people.”
Anyone, and I mean anyone, who’s ever decided to become their dreamed of, desired self, will go to war. Alone. In awe I’ve watched as their Champion spirits rise to life. And with every ounce of heart and soul they bravely war for their very worth.
And after digging deep and shedding countless tears for all their broken/stolen/wasted years, the pre-programmed darkness, doubting condemnation, and voices of doubt suddenly fall silent. And in victory they begin down the road less traveled, forever leaving behind the shame that was the result of someone else’s sin and loathing of themselves.
Alone, but not really. For every Champion knows peace, becomes peace, and follows it. And walk alongside other great Champions on the road less traveled.
That’s why we consider it a privilege and a blessing. Because if we’re responsible, that means we get to direct our destiny, our decisions, our outcomes. It’s a great opportunity to partner with God and find abundant life!
For example, recently, one of my IOP group members violated a major group guideline in the program. Although it looked and felt much like a rodeo, I was able to rope and tie him, and get him re-engaged.
At one point during the rodeo, the group member said to me, “I wouldn’t blame you if you gave up and quit on me.”
Fascinated that he would even say such a thing, I smiled and said, “First of all, if you’re trying to manipulate me to give you a way out, that won’t happen. You do not get a vote in what I choose to do. I’m totally and 100% responsible for my life and my decisions.”
He appeared stunned as I continued, “Although I’m usually open for feedback, in this case, I only need to hear (any reason) you think you deserve grace…again!? I’ll listen to that.”
The drama he created with his poor decisions and denial, were something I could not control. However, I took 100% responsibility for myself, my feelings, my life, my business.
That was powerful, and I was able to make a difficult decision that was the right decision.
Champions are relentless in taking 100% responsibility for their lives.
For their choices.
For their decisions.
For every attitude,
For every state.
When needed, we’re always open to seeking counsel and direction, but even then, we take 100% responsibility. It’s powerful and builds desire and belief.
I asked my client how she could step up in taking 100% responsibility for her life. After a moment, she said, “I’m always talking about not having enough time to work out. The truth is, I waste ‘at least’ 1 hour every day. I’m going to tighten my schedule and work out at least 5 days a week.”
That’s true Champion accountability!
Using agency to take life to a new level!
What about you? How can you begin to take more responsibility to affect positive change in your life? You CAN! BUT…Will you?
2. Champions live on the growth edge.
“That sounds a little bit scary,” my client responded after we’d moved on to the second topic about how Champions keep their agency sharp.
I continued: “It’s probably not as scary as it sounds. But Champions do not live in the middle of their comfort zone…in the easy chair, with a remote in hand, waiting see what might happen. They’re out on the edge, always seeking another step into better … greater growth.”
I have a picture with accompanying words just above my bathroom door that reminds me of this every morning, when I walk out the door for another great day that reads:
“My life is like a stroll on the beach…as near to the edge as I can go.”
I asked her what area of her life would serve her well to do some growth steps…out toward the edge?
“UGGHH! I guess I need to go with the one that comes to mind first. I’m terribly guilty of not being present with my husband or my kids in the evenings. There’re things I want to watch. There’s social media to catch up on. There’s always texts that need to be responded to.”
I had to laugh a little, because the truth is, according to new research it’s the number 1 problem in almost every relationship.
I kept us going.
“So, it sounds like a great area of growth for you would be, becoming more present in the moment.”
With a bit of healthy shame, she nodded, yep.
(Note…one my dearest of friends, whom I’ve quoted before in my blogs, is a proud practicing member of AA. They’ve shared this with me, “Once a year I repeat and do a thorough Step 4. Which in short says, that we should take a fearless moral inventory of ourselves. It’s the best way I know to discover and see written down in front me, the exact areas of growth I need to pay attention to to make the changes that will elevate my state, my life, my agency…to stay in the moment!” He’s been through my Champion training sessions. You don’t have to be an addict or an alcoholic to use this Step 4 kind of truth…our life inventory is the perfect mirror we all can use to grow our most efficient agency!)
Are you out on the growing edge? We all have room to grow. But you will never find growth, nor will you find the Road Less Traveled or the abundant life, sitting in your comfort zone.
Everyone starts scared.
Everyone starts uncertain.
Everyone wonders how or which.
Everyone wonders when or who.
Everyone wonders which way.
So, you’re in good company…welcome to the human-race!
“While everybody can possess passion, not everyone takes the time to discover it. And that’s a shame. Passion is fuel for the will. Passion turns your have-to’s into want-to’s. What we accomplish in life is based less on what we want and more on-how much we want it. The secret to willpower is what someone once called ‘wantpower’. People who want something enough usually find the willpower to achieve it. You can’t help people become winners unless they want to win. Champions become champions from within, not from without.”
Dr. John Maxwell
Let’s go for an adventure! Step out on the growing edge today!
Let your desire for agency create the life you want!
On the edge is where life/agency accelerate … dramatically.
3. Champions choose passion over being passive.
For years, I worked as a coach with Tony Robbins. He ended every meeting, every event, every phone call with the same words…
“Live with passion!”
Champions know that living from a place of passion, fuels the abundant life. It fuels the ability to make our lives, become all we were created to have and be and desire to be.
I wasn’t sure how much passion that my client lived from since she arrived asking a powerful question quite sheepishly.
So, I asked her, “Are there moments when you live from a place of passion?” After a moment of consideration, she blurted.
“OH YES! I do when I get assigned a new project at work.”
I asked her what the passion looked and felt like when she got those new projects. Her eyes lit up and she became animated as she raised the tone of her voice and sat upright then said… “Excited, motivated, challenged, ready to do my thing!”
I reflected on her tone, her words, her posture, and I asked her what it would be like to live from that place most of the time.
“That would be the bomb-diggity.”
LOL…I’ve never heard anyone other than my co-trainer, Lisa Burns, use those words. NOW…I think I know WHO referred my new client!
I continued and asked her, “Normally, when you get home from work in the evenings, what place/state do you live from?”
She looked like she had been caught with her hand in the candy jar as she mumbled, “Barely getting by.”
“Passively,” I asked?
She nodded in the affirmative.
When Champions live from a place of passion, they’re doing. Yes, they enjoy just being as well. But they do. Because they live from one next right step to the next right step…they know A to B is all we ever get at one time.
They plan, they strategize, they do. When you’re in action, you’re 100 times more likely to make progress. Even if you take steps that are in the wrong direction … it’s better than when you’re being passive.
“How could you live from a place of passion when you get home each evening?”
After a moment of thought, it clicked for her!
“I could make it a fun evening! Do dessert first. Eat dinner out by the lake. Play twister instead of sitting in front of the TV.” Her list went on.
Living from a place of passion is contagious. Just like a sixth grader wrote in an essay she’d composed about what she learned from me as her therapist. She wrote, “Being passive makes you fat, lazy, and boring.” I don’t recall saying that, but it’s a pretty good definition!
How can you begin to live your life from a place of passion?
“If you’re a skeptic, you may be grumbling that all this ‘passion talk’ is little more than inspirational fluff. Not true. When you’re passionate about something, you’re all-in. You spend countless hours thinking about the thing that drives you, allowing you to formulate new ideas, solve problems and strategize ways to build upon past efforts. Passionate people are persistent—and they’re innovators.
Life’s too short to be bored and unfulfilled. You’re not created to be mediocre. Find your passion and use it to light up YOUR life. As Nelson Mandela said, ‘There’s no passion to be found in playing small—in settling for a life, that is less than the one that you’re capable of living’.”
Dr. John Maxwell
Agency! It’s the power that you already have within you to make your life exactly the way you want it to be and the passion to find it and live it!
The question is, are you drowning your passion in alcohol, social media, resentments, what-if mindless activity?
Are you reaching in and planning a compelling future?
My second visit with my client was much different than the first. She arrived with effervescent enthusiasm and could hardly wait to tell me the plan.
She pulled out her phone and showed me the work that they were doing, as a family, in their backyard to create a sand volleyball court. Her oldest daughter was in a winning league on a winning league. Her husband had always wanted to coach the girls and he was!
Going home with a passion started a great project.
She also reported that being ‘present’ in the evenings for both her husband and the kids and put a new spark in the family fun, as well as, after lights out.
“Maybe it’s the workouts that I’ve carved time for and maybe some of the manual work in the yard…but I’ve already shed 7 pounds!” She glowed as she shared this.
That’s what agency does. It brings about the passion for life changes and leads us to our very best version of ourselves. That creates great relationships, great health, great hope, for a great future!
Reach into your agency today and begin to mold your life into greater things than you ever imagined!