Who or What is Setting your Agenda?
I recently came across an enlightening post from Seth Godin’s blog. His question stopped me in my tracks, “Who or what is setting your agenda?”
His post is short, simple, and only three sentences long.
Despite its brevity, his comment about a CEO’s daily agenda versus the contents of our personal to-do list encouraged me to evaluate this area in my life. With a disheartening look into this subject matter, it appears that everyone but me is setting my agenda:
- Colleagues and clients
- Friends, close and not-so-close
- Religious community
- Social pressures
- And even my love of the finer things in life (designer shoes, to be specific)
Before this eye-opening evaluation, I assumed that I had more control and created life’s agenda by taking my personal passions, beliefs, talents and worthwhile, life changing, others-focused goals into account.
Inadvertently, I allowed circumstances and superficial desires to lower my level of influence, instead of me taking the lead.
I want to fit in, yet I want to stand out. I want to have a voice—but I am afraid.
I want $665 pairs of shoes, yet struggle to pay $1195 in rent.
I want to be admired and respected by my friends and peers, but close myself in using fear and introversion as an excuse. Responding accordingly, I often decline from participating in many social activities, religious gatherings and outside interactions.
My children and spouse; they’re wonderful, and because I know they would do anything for me, I would do anything for them. That part of my life, I would not change.
Everything else, on the other hand, needs to be constantly evaluated as I strive to form my life into a force that can help make a difference. Whether this difference is in the life of a friend, a family member, co-worker, or random person I cross paths with around town or through the web matters not.
Whether affecting one or many, the efforts to change, improve, grow and develop into a difference-maker will be worth it.
I typically would close my thoughts with saying that I will try my best to be that person of change. But what always follows in my mind when I attempt to use that word try, are the words of the great Yoda,
“No! Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”
In simply being aware that I have allowed my agenda to be manipulated so carelessly, I am able to take back control. I choose to be more mindful of where my thoughts go, where I spend my time, and whether my aspirations are superficial or truly something that can influence the lives of others. I commit now to make sure my life’s To Do list is focused on items of significance instead of mere circumstance.
Making a difference in this world begins by first making sure the agenda is properly set.
What’s on your agenda, and how do you keep it in check so that it consistently lines up with your life’s goals and ambitions?