Today, I do. I am still an employee but I decide my future.
Determining your future starts (and ends) with one simple truth:
No matter where you work, what you do, or where you are: you can choose.
We call the capacity to make choices agency. Everyone has it. Not everyone recognizes that they do. You begin to decide your future when you begin recognizing that you have agency, even when it feels like you don’t.
Human Agency is the capacity for human beings to make choices.
How does Agency affect you?
When you realize you have agency, that’s when you begin to take ownership of your life. You begin to realize that, no matter the circumstance, you decide your future through the choices you make.
Choose to Have Fun
I was talking with my son. He told me how he didn’t enjoy cleaning his room. He didn’t have agency. He felt trapped and didn’t have a choice. He had to clean his room.
He had even tried to turn it into a game (like in Mary Poppins) but it still didn’t help.
To help him discover that he had agency, I helped him realize that yes, he did have choice. Together, we gamified the job of cleaning up and enabled him to discover that he could choose to clean his room.
For the curious: We set a specific goal (put 1 item away in 60 seconds) and then, double it the next minute (2 items in 60 seconds). Continue doubling (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64) until (1) the room is clean or (2) you’re putting away 64 items in 60 seconds!
Once you realize that you have agency, that you can set your own goals, you begin to realize that responsibilities (even cleaning your room!) are fun.
Choose to Love
When you feel like you don’t have a choice in your relationship, that’s when you feel trapped. You’ll begin to resent the other person. No matter the reason you’re ‘stuck’ in a relationship, it’s not true.
Instead, I suggest to you: Love is always a choice. You can walk away. You choose not to. Why? To avoid the consequences of leaving. The realization that you have agency will let you stay, grow, and work through the tough times in your relationship.
When you realize that you can choose to not love, that’s when you’re free to really begin to love.
Choose to Work
We all have days when we don’t want to go to work. There’s that meeting we’ll be having today or that report we need to finish. When you feel like we have to go to work you feel trapped. There are bills to pay and mouths to feed.
However, you don’t have to go to work. You can skip, call in sick, or even resign. It’s your decision. There are consequences, but that doesn’t take away from your choice.
When you have agency and realize that you can choose to not work, that’s when you’re free to really begin to enjoy working.
Wrapping it Up
When you feel like you don’t have agency, you feel trapped. When you realize you have agency, that’s when you realize:
You can decide your future.