“Applauding yourself for the small successes, and taking the small bow, are good ways of learning to experience life each moment that you live it. And that’s part of inventing yourself, of creating your own destiny. To become a leader, then, you must become yourself, become the maker of your own life.” — Warren Bennis, On Becoming a Leader
There was a moment while driving when it came to me. I must do more. I must rise to meet the moment and determine what happens for the balance of my days. I’ve been too lenient with myself in my writing, in my work, and in my lifestyle. I must become the maker of what’s next.
Now these words weren’t exactly what I said to myself, but they were suggested to me by old friend Warren Bennis, in another one of those books that sits ready for me on the shelf for moments like this one. We each draw inspiration from something, don’t we? I generally find mine in ghost whispers. Those who have come before us have seen this all before. We ought to listen to them more. We all know that when the student is ready the teacher shall appear. The teachers who endure leave their advice in writing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been in the business of becoming what’s next for some time. But the root of my impatience with myself was the belief that I’m settling into a steady state instead of pushing harder—living more, and doing more. And so it is that I’ll take a small bow at the incremental progress I’ve managed to make towards the goal, while reminding myself that there’s so much more left to do. And this is the root of all major progress in this world, isn’t it? Isn’t our life a progression?
Bennis suggests celebrating the small wins, embracing the joy in each moment, but to then press on. Action is what carries us forward to what we aspire for ourselves. To become this version of ourselves, we must become the maker.