I recently engaged in a conversation with a young woman, who- like many, is disenchanted with her work. The woman has been working in the hospitality industry for years and explained the frustrations behind the constant lateral movement she has been making in order to remain somewhat content with her professional career. She explained how she would often get bored with the company she worked for or would be in disagreement with management and would seek out another location to work. She was visibly dissatisfied with the direction her professional career was moving so I bluntly asked, “What do you want to be doing?” Her response was both encouraging and saddening. She shared, “I want to be CEO of a company.” While I was excited to hear that she was reaching for the stars and not setting self imposed limits, I was saddened to see that she felt a title, or a position would be how she could gain control of her life.
My immediate reaction was to point out that she is already the CEO- the CEO of her own life. Although I chose to keep this thought to myself, it prompted me to think more about how true it is- we are the CEO of our own lives- and how often people feel a title or a position will be the only way to improve their current situation or status in life.
And I am just as guilty as the next! I have spent countless hours rearranging my office, my room, or different areas of my home feeling the change would increase my productivity. During my first job I was convinced that if I were to be promoted, I would work harder and better. I have ogled over Pinterest offices, closets, or views thinking that if I just had that space I would be more motivated and successful. But, truth be told… none of that is what matters. Not the title, not the view, not your location or the orientation of the frames on your desk. All that matters is your mindset. You have the power to be the CEO of your life and you have the authority to make executive decisions on how you show up and succeed each day.
CCL’s Nick Petrie shows the evidence that “people develop fastest when they feel responsible for their own progress.” Taking ownership for our own life, just like stepping into the role of a company’s CEO, is a heavy responsibility. It requires awareness and recognition of ones strengths and opportunities. It begs for attention on a regular basis, but, “[once] people […] get started on the path of genuine development, the drive for still more growth gathers momentum.”
So the question remains- are you going to take ownership over your life? Are you going to choose to grow and prosper in ways that rely on you rather than someone else? The job of Chief Executive Officer of Your Life is out there and available. Are you up to the challenge?