Sunday, February 11, 2007

It Isn't What It Is

I’m into semantics right now. I don’t know why, but what people say and how they say it is sticking with me. As much as I want to shake it, I can’t…it is what it is.

That’s the new phrase I have been hearing over and over again, “it is what it is”. I hear it on the radio in interviews, it is on the television on talk shows, and I hear it daily in the conversations I have with others. It didn’t bother me until I used it in a conversation and realized what I had just done to myself. I gave in.

You see, saying “it is what it is” means that you have no responsibility in what is happening or has happened. It just happened and there is nothing you can do to either change it or gain empowerment from it. You have become a defeatist. The power has shifted from you to a situation, and you become reactionary instead of initiating action. Ultimately as humans we are looking to empower ourselves so that we can achieve. Through the way we speak (to ourselves or others), we are either giving ourselves the confidence and power to move forward or we are becoming subservient. In essence, through language and outlook we are either moving forward or we are stagnant (in some cases we are moving backwards).

At some point in your life (many times for the fortunate) you will have to make the decision of taking a chance and using your personal power, or sitting back and letting others do what you wish you had the power to do. In easy terms, you will have to either lead or follow. If you are going to lead, you have to be able to make decisions that are not just beneficial for you, but are beneficial for the entire group. Now imagine a situation in which a decision needs to be made (entering Iraq War, Immigration Reform, Global Warming, etc) and your leader says “it is what it is”, essentially giving no sound advice on what needs to be done. What do you do? How do you respond? Do you accept it as the way it is because your leaders said so? Hopefully not, hopefully you acquire new leaders or become a leader yourself. Unfortunately we have too many people who are willing to accept “it is what it is” and wait for change to come to them rather than making the change themselves. Leaders make change, they make decisions (even the hard ones), and they create new leaders. We are losing our ability to lead because people are unwilling to do what is needed, or unaware of what it takes, to become a leader.

So, very simple. It is not what it is…it is what you make it. You are perfectly designed to be in the exact situation you are in right now. If you don’t like the situation empower yourself and lead yourself out of it. If you are perfectly comfortable then provide an opportunity for others to learn from you and become their own leaders. If you don’t know how, then find someone who you admire and talk to them about success. Whatever you do, make sure that you are moving forward and making “it” what you want it to be.

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