There are lots of things we desire to own in this life, aren’t there? Many of them are fine and dandy, as the saying goes. But there is the most important thing we own that many people never think about owning, and that is their life! They spend a lot of time thinking about the next set of golf clubs, a vacation home, or a new piece of jewelry, but they never really understand that they own their life. Whenever it comes time to be responsible, they end up placing the blame somewhere else, rather than realizing that they are the owner and so they are responsible! With that in mind, here are some thoughts about the ownership your have of your life:
You only own one person – you. You don’t own your spouse. You don’t own your boss. You don’t own your kids (with kids, you are in charge of them, given the tremendous responsibility of teaching them to own their own lives, but you don’t own them). No, there is only one person you own, and that is you. That is great news! Now you don’t have to worry about running anybody else’s life! This is a temptation for us isn’t it? We just know how everybody else should do it and with many of them we try to take ownership and run their life! Well, hands off! Take control of your own life since it is the only one you own. You wouldn’t try to drive somebody else’s car from the grocery store parking lot, so don’t try to drive their life either! You own you – so stick to you!
You get to choose what to do with only one person – you. Once you have come to realize that you only own you, you get to get to the fun part – running your life and making it what you want it to be. Instead of choosing what other people should do, you get to focus in on choosing what you get to do. You get to begin to shape and mold your life. This is exciting! Aren’t you glad you don’t have to run everybody else’s lives anymore? I am!
Your ownership means that you can do what you want with yourself. Your life is a blank sheet of paper. You can choose whatever you want to do. You can have whatever profession you want. You can earn as much money as you desire. You can marry whoever suits your fancy (as long as you suit their fancy too by the way). Stop wishing and start choosing. I like to use the example of a person who is thirty years old and doesn’t like their income. I tell them that if the so chose, they could go back to school, get a degree, go to medical school and by age forty be in a high-income profession. Then they would have 25 years of high wages to support the lifestyle they desire. You can choose whatever you want and take whatever actions you choose to rectify any situation you are in!
Your ultimate destination in life is set by you, not somebody else. Where will you end up? Wherever you choose to end up. You will do well to get it in your mind that someday you will be seventy years old and you will be at a certain place and the only thing that got you there was the choices you made all along the way. Imagine that. If you are thirty, you have forty years – FORTY YEARS – of choices that can put you right where you want to be at the end of your life! So you’re fifty-five? Who cares? You probably have at least twenty years left! You still have TWENTY YEARS to get yourself to whatever destination you choose. Do you know what a person can do in twenty years? ALMOST ANYTHING THEY SET THEIR HEART ON!
The responsibility for your life, and what you accomplish, is found in one person – you. You will accomplish what you choose to accomplish. You will make and save as much money as you choose to. You will write as many books as you choose to. You will take as many vacations as you choose to. You will have the kind of relationships you choose to. What you accomplish is up to you! Take that seriously!
Focus on your values and live them out, regardless of what other people do. This is key. We do not live our lives in a vacuum. We need to be very thoughtful about what we believe, about what our values are, and what our morality is. These things will all shape how we go about exerting ownership of our lives. But once we have come to understand these things for ourselves, the power to live our lives increases tremendously. Now it doesn’t matter what anybody else does. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are. We live out of our morality, values and beliefs. These are the principles that transcend everything else and enable us to set our course!
I know this seems like a lot of responsibility, but I consider it a freedom and a privilege! We get one life to live and we get to shape it however we want. That is one job I want to take seriously and not mess up! With diligence, hard work, and a lot of right decisions, I’ll get to the end of my life deeply fulfilled. I hope you will to!