How Empowered Are You?

Empowered

What does it mean to say that someone is “empowered”?

The Oxford dictionary defines the term as “stronger and more confident in controlling ones life”.

Key to this definition is the idea of control; that is, the ability to influence the course of events.

Roles in the community that we might think of as empowered include priests, professors, public figures, as well as sportspeople, artists and entertainers who have gained a following. People in these roles are in the business of creating and sharing different kinds of ideas: wisdom, knowledge, public announcements, entertainment, perspective and spectacle.

Each of these roles is different, but if we agree that all of them to a greater or lesser extent are “empowered”, then what can we say they have in common?

Well, for one thing, all of the people who hold these roles have a voice. That is, they have an audience who is willing to engage with their ideas.

In simple terms, then, being empowered means having a voice within the community; an audience who is willing to engage with your ideas.

How empowered are you in your life right now?

If you are not creating ideas and sharing them with people who care, then I can guess your answer.

You can start to empower yourself today by developing your ideas and putting them out into the world. You can choose whatever form you like: public speaking, music, writing, painting, poetry, physical achievement, or feats of daring. You can also choose whatever kinds of ideas best help to shine a light on your interests and aptitudes: law, finance, science, philosophy or pure entertainment and spectacle.

By empowering yourself you can gain more control over your life. And in doing so, you will then be in a better position to empower other people within your community, organisation, family or group of friends.

(Image Source: Tech Insider)

Forgiveness

An act of personal empowerment that gives you freedom from the past and allows you to retain the initiative

Forgiveness

(Source: Flickr)

FORGIVENESS is a noble sentiment, but shouldn’t our tormentors be punished?

What about truth? What about justice? What about revenge?

Breathe, breathe, everything will be okay.

The deceptions and betrayals of those around us can sometimes infect and overwhelm the mind. The feelings aroused from past hurts make it difficult to see clearly, the blood boils and the mind can replay the situation many times, thinking of how we were wronged and counting the ways we might be able to get even.

This kind of thinking is not particularly healthy or helpful, and you risk becoming trapped in an endless cycle of negative emotions.

You feel hatred today, because you felt it yesterday, because you felt it the day before that.

Forgiveness has value because it frees us from this cycle and liberates mental energy to focus on the matters at hand.

Thinking about it this way, we can see that forgiveness actually has nothing to do with the person(s) who wronged us (they may not care less about your feelings), but it instead confers a benefit on the person who forgives.

Past hurts afflict the mind only for so long as you hold on to them, and by letting them go you regain your freedom.

Another way to think about forgiveness is as an act of personal empowerment. People who hurt us are able to do so by wielding some kind of power: money, influence, strength, a seductive story, a daring feat, shiny packaging, or anything else which allows them to attract attention or control the game. This power can sometimes be used to hurt us, and the negative emotions that result leave us feeling dis-empowered.

Forgiveness puts you back in control.

If you can forgive, then it gives you an opportunity to learn the lessons hidden in the rubble.

Was it just bad luck, or did you enable your competitors to defeat you through bad judgement, poor execution and inferior strategy?

The situation may reveal something about the other person’s character or about your own. It may show you a blind spot in your vision, or uncover a shortage of critical resources and capabilities.

By practicing forgiveness and learning your lessons, you can retain your freedom and seize the initiative going forward.