My way and the highway

This month’s theme is personal leadership – my first thought was, great subject to write about, but my first feeling was inconvenience. Why? The last couple of years I have read a lot of books about this subject and done several courses, but still, I feel very insecure about my own personal leadership abilities.

Although I have done several personal leadership related courses and read lots of books about the subject, I am still quite insecure about my own personal leadership abilities. For me, personal leadership is explained by one small but powerful line of Gabriella’s Song, from the inspiring movie “As it is in heaven”: I want to feel like I have lived my life. It sounds easy. Perhaps it makes you think “Whose life could I be living other than my own?” Let me tell you about my journey.

In my early twenties, I was rushing through life. I started working for the national government in another city and had to travel about three hours every day. After work, I cooked an easy meal and played some sports or spend time with friends. I felt tired at times, but every time I went from one appointment to another, I felt the energy going through my body which kept me going. I thought I was doing the things which made me happy.

Towards the end of my twenties, I started questioning the things I was doing. I had a good job, an apartment and a lot of nice friends, but something didn’t feel right. I felt like I was running in circles with no clear direction and started to realize some people asked a lot of my energy. I decided to go and talk to someone about my feelings. This was the first step I made towards living my life.

Until then I had never asked myself if the way I was living my life was my way. I realized that from the moment we are born, people try to teach us their beliefs (usually with the best intentions). When you are not aware of this, you tend to take their beliefs as yours and live the life they assume is best for you. Copying their beliefs often seems a lot simpler than searching for your own beliefs. This search involves an effort to understand the reasons you do what you do and feel what’s behind your choices. This understanding, in combination with being mild towards yourself about your (chosen) path until now, is the only way towards change. I believe that every person has a different journey.

So for every person, different methods and exercises can be helpful in the search – you just need to find the right ones! I’m 33 years old right now, if someone asks me if my journey until now has been easy, my answer might disappoint you… No.  I have been and am still struggling a lot. Sometimes I long for my old life, but when I search deep inside my heart I know that this is what I must do because, at the end, I want to be able to say: 

I’ve lived a life that’s full

I’ve traveled each and every highway                                                                                  

And more, much more than this                                                                                                      

I did it my way