“I always thought I’d get a shot at this chair one day.”
Lately, I’ve been moody. Not in a happy or sad sense… for the most part, I’ve been a happy person. A lot of good things have happened to me and I’ve learned to ride the momentum and to cherish everyone and everything that has brightened my life to date.
I’ve been moody in the sense that I’ve really begun to liken the journey that I’m on to having a command. I’ve had to learn how to follow, and yes, being a follower is definitely more of a learning experience than you think it is… and I’ve also had to learn to assume the authority that command entails. Out of the two, learning to wield authority has definitely been more of the eye opening experiences of the two. Not to mention, perhaps the most trying and infuriating of the two. But, perhaps the real skill to master here is knowing when to command and knowing when to let yourself be commanded.
A friend of mine said that our personality is the sum of the five people that we most closely associate with. I believe he’s right. We’ve let them close to us and influence knows no discrimination. There is just this part of us that wants so much better than what we already have. I’m not saying that what we have isn’t necessarily good or bad but if you’re a “Glass is half full” type of person, you could definitely endeavor to “fill your glass,” so to speak.
As easy as we make that sound sometimes, I’ve found that it’s become increasingly difficult to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves. Me personally, I’ve found that I’m a “Glass is half empty” type of person. It definitely takes a lot of courage to take on such a task of completely flipping this trait of my personality. But, even more so, the level of risk involved is definitely intimidating. Rejection is one of the most crippling fears that I possess. It honestly is. I don’t take chances unless I wholeheartedly believe that there is no chance of failure. And if you ever get a chance to speak to me about it, it speaks volumes about the experiences and memories that have defined me as a person… so far.
However, being around the people I’ve invested myself in over the last good while has taught me that being rejected is just a part of Life. It’s going to happen no matter what. What really hasn’t sunk in, considering the level of success that I’ve experienced first hand with these people, is that it doesn’t stop them from continuing. I don’t measure success as being financially secure, having a family, or necessarily anything tangible that you could associate with the word. I consider “success” as having a firm grasp on how one experiences Life. Yes, I know quite a few of these people and I’m blessed to have them in my life. No, they always have not enjoyed the level of “success” they now do enjoy. That’s why I appreciate them as I do.
One of the lessons that they’ve taught me that I’ve taken for granted for as long as I’ve known them is about risk. “Risk is part of the game if you want to sit in that chair.” Risk really is part of the game. We do it all the time and don’t give it a second thought until it presents a conflict with our sensibilities. One of the hardest things that I’ve come to experience about being granted command over anything in my life is knowing when to risk something in favor of something better. A lot of lessons that I’ve been taught is to be content with what you have being nothing really is promised to you. It’s hard to overcome that fear because Life also teaches you fear is a very powerful motivator. We never know if something will succeed or fail until we try but if we’re too consumed by our fear and insecurities to try… it’s an outcome we will deny ourselves or save ourselves from experiencing. Depending on what side of the glass you’re drinking from…
Through all of the experiences that I’ve gone through and all of the people that I’ve had the pleasure and the privilege to associate myself with, I am glad to have been given a chance to command the types of influences I come into contact with. I may not always get to pick and choose the types of people I come across but I’ve definitely been blessed with some wisdom in knowing that said people pose either a chance to grow more as a person or to regress back into traits that I feel like I’ve grown out of.
But, the most important lesson that I feel that I’ve learned is that nobody really is fit to wield any kind of authority over themselves or anyone else for that matter. It’s just too powerful of a tool for anyone to expect to use responsibly. However, one of the burdens of command is that there will be times where you may have no choice to exercise influence and authority over someone else. Letting someone pour their experiences of tragedy and triumph can be a risky thing to do and in the end could do a lot of damage or create a stepping stone in the ascent of who you are to become.
And I’ve found that being in the Captain’s chair is less about being in control and more about being groomed into a person that knows they shouldn’t be there but have been blessed by those around them enough to have been given the opportunity to affect success in others.
“Perhaps you still will… somehow I doubt that this will be the last ship to carry the name Enterprise.”