Please allow me just a little conjecture. The man with a fancy hairdo, leading the horse proudly gestures towards something, perhaps their destination. His less distinct companion (who doesn’t even have legs) sits on the horse. I suppose this left me wondering what was being portrayed and whether the rider was a willing participant in what was going to happen next. Perhaps the picture has been created by the companion to honour the brave, successful, virile man. Who knows? I found the photo as I was looking for different views of people on horses to illustrate the idea of what happens when you take the reins in your own hands to choose your own path.

The illustration is one of the many Ute petroglyphs found along the road in Nine Mile Canyon. This historic scene features a rider on a horse being led somewhere by someone with a rope. This photo was taken by Randy Langstraat and displayed on his Rock Art Photo Blog.  I have asked for his permission to use this and will take it off if it is a problem.

It is possible to make a complete hash of life. There is every possibility that without intent, perseverance and courage you may reach the end of your life with nothing but empty dreams. If you have not been managing your life well you may be aware of important and painful ways in which your life is short of what it should be. Poor life strategies can lead to ongoing set-backs and disappointments that can eventually break your spirit. Or they can end in a single powerful blow from which you don’t recover. Perhaps things you value have been taken away. Perhaps you have lost someone who is important to you. More insidiously, you may not be creating those things which only you, with your unique gifts, can bring into being. Success is not a forgone conclusion. There is work to be done. There are framework decisions to be made. If you are not working a well defined plan, you will be a stepping stone for those who are.

Say you owned a business. Imagine you had put your whole life savings into this business. In addition to this, you work day and night for the business. Let’s say you have everything riding on the success of the business. All or nothing! Now let’s say you had one person managing this business for you. How earnestly would you contract and manage this person? Now isn’t this a good description of your life? Just as you are your own scientist, you are also your own life-manager, monitoring, measuring and controlling and making decisions about how to play the next event.

As manager of your life, how important do you believe your client to be? How well are you doing at this job? Are you ensuring that adequate deposits are being made in the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual accounts of your key client?

Life slips past, not a year at a time, not a month at a time, not even a week or a day at a time. These are all good splits to stop and review how we are doing. But life slips by one decision, one action, one transaction at a time. In each moment as we decide to dawdle instead of pushing on, we lose another opportunity and another period of time in which we could be growing. That distraction that we choose for the next five minutes becomes two hours and then a day. The work you could have done this morning is postponed till tomorrow.

Engage your life manager. Now is the time to start. Dump whatever is eating away at your time. Just stop doing it! Resolve to leave it alone. Now is the time to demand more of yourself. Focus on your purpose. Get stuck into your life work. Pick up the next task towards implementing your plan. Start grappling with the details to achieve what you have to do. Wrestle with the work. Resolve not to be turned aside by distractions. Deliver the goods.

Some commitments

A good life manager may require the following commitments of their client:

  1. Create a programme in which you reflect on the laws governing life.
  2. Commit yourself to resolve rather than endure your personal problems.
  3. Decide to deal with your unresolved fears.
  4. Refuse to live with unfinished emotional business.
  5. Honour your agreements, whether with yourself or others.
  6. Decide to focus. Decide to resist distraction. Give yourself small goals to develop the work ethic of consistency and delivery.

Some actions

And here are some actions you can carry out in support of your life manager:

  1. Compile your vision, strategy and plan.
  2. Implement your plan.
  3. Deal with your flaws, problems and challenges. (Yes – everyone has them. Everyone!)
  4. Stretch yourself. Find someone to whom you can be accountable for your growth. Y
  5. Up your game. It may be time for you to work harder. To work smarter too.

How do you measure up?

If people around you cannot observe the difference, you are falling short. Where does your behaviour fall below the bar or excellence? Where do you need to apply some resilience? Do it today. Do it to make yourself a better person.