Hopefully all of you will be enjoying your family on Independence Day. I know I will.
But before we all go off and do that, I had a thought I wanted to share.
What It’s All About
We celebrate this holiday to commemorate a day long ago when our forefathers officially declared our nation’s independence from an oppressor – Great Britain.
If it’s been a while since you have read a history text, you should know that they didn’t just sign the Declaration of Independence and run off to a bar for some brewskis and fist-bumps.
The war was still on. In fact, our country continued to fight through our first two Independence Days.
Declaring something is big. It’s important. It’s vital in making a lasting change. So you absolutely must declare your intentions to improve. Declare that you will spend more time with your family, that you will lose that weight, that you will finally take that leap of faith in your career. Just know that declaring is only step one of many. You have to have the will and tenacity to continue to fight to make it so.
Back in the 1700’s, Great Britain wasn’t our buddy nation like they are today. They were the bad guys in the eyes of our forefathers. They told us what to do, how to do it, and gave us very few choices in our own lives. In other words, they limited our freedoms. And that, in a nutshell, is what made us want to make a change. It’s what made us stand up and fight.
Who is the oppressor in your life? It’s not Great Britain. Maybe it’s a horrible boss. But if I had to venture a guess about who holds you back and keeps you from doing the things you want to do more than anyone else on the planet, I bet I’d be right.
Is it you?
If you were to be completely honest with yourself, is it you? Who didn’t make the right choice? Who really took that job? Who was it that had a great idea to make something truly spectacular happen but didn’t take the risk? Sadly, we are often our own oppressors.
The Good News
So you passed on a few opportunities. So you have made bad decisions here or there – or have chosen to not make good decisions. So what? A guy who I have always admired often says…
“Failure is an event – not a person.” – Zig Ziglar
Mistakes and failures can make you smarter and stronger as long as you learn something from them. Sometimes a good butt-kicking is just what the doctor ordered.
Happy Independence Day
As our nation celebrates our declaration of independence from our oppressors so many years ago, take the time to ask yourself: What is it that you really want and need to do that you have been keeping yourself from doing?
Declare that you will once and for all start making that change knowing full well that it will be hard and will not happen overnight. Make some plans and take action. Today is the day.
Do not be your own oppressor.
Image Credit: By Illman Brothers from painting by E.L. Henry [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons