What the Heck is Empowerment?

According to Dictionary.com, Empower is a verb that means:

  1. to give power or authority to; authorize, especially by legal or official means
  2. to enable or permit

Nowhere in that definition is there anything about being motivated or feeling good.  Empowerment is about being able to fulfill on things, regardless of any feelings or opinions.  Empowerment provides the willingness to set big goals and the courage to take action.

Empowerment is different than motivation.  Motivation is to impel, incite, provoke, or cause.  Motivation is a kind of force; a push forward.  It’s short lived.  When motivation fades, I often lose interest in what I am doing, and move on to the next.  If I push you, you might move five feet.  That doesn’t ensure you’ll break into a run and span the rest of the mile you want to jog.  If I empower you, you’ll break through the wall and keep your legs moving, even it’s unpleasant.  And empowerment will continue when no one is there to push you.

Empowerment has nothing to do with feeling good.  Feeling good is an experience (albeit a popular one) that has no direct relationship to action.  Feeling good can be a powerful motivator, and it’s not a requirement for action to happen.  Sometimes I do harm to myself seeking what I think will feel good.  When I begin to feel good about what I’ve already accomplished, I offer myself a ‘well-deserved break’ from the actions that give me the life I want.  When motivation fades, I’m in a hurry to stop the action.   Momentum slows, and soon I find myself back where I started, frustrated and beating myself up over lost time and insufficient results.  A very predictable plot line ensues.

Regardless of how I feel, I brush my teeth.    Regardless of my motivation, I get up in the morning and go to work.  Motivation and feeling good are momentary experiences that I create, often in the face of contrary circumstances.  I can feel good on days filled with annoyances, and mopey on days with favorable events.  When I am empowered, I give myself permission to take action.  Empowerment allows me to step into uncharted territory, and take the risks (real or perceived) to have what I want.  When I am empowered, I have permission to play big and to fail.  And I take action even if I don’t want to.

Empowerment is sublime, and transcends the present moment.   When I am empowered, there is always access to a new action or opportunity, and room for new and unprecedented results.  There’s no force or pressure when I am empowered, only the experience that life is one opportunity after another to take action toward the results I want.  Being empowered to be a great musician tends to get more piano played than forcing myself to practice.  It’s also infinitely more pleasant.  Empowerment can profoundly impact my quality of life.

Empowerment lasts in the face of any circumstance.  It pulls me forward whether I enjoy it or not, and it allows me to see even the smallest momentum.  Empowerment brings a bigger picture than having folded clothes, or a complete blog post.   I become a tuning fork in harmony with having my dreams be real now.

Empowerment gets created when I create new points of view about myself and life.  Left to my own devices, I sometimes find myself reverting to my old points of view about myself and what is possible in life.  While these disempowering points of view are comfortable and familiar, I find them boring and distasteful… at best.  If you talked to me the way I talk to myself, I’d be pretty pissed.  The only thing it takes to create empowerment is the courage to look inward.  My points of view on what I think can’t happen, and what I think won’t work out (usually before I even start to take action) start to disappear.

As I was finishing this blog post, I felt my motivation fade.   The final edits became unpleasant, and I found myself distracted and bored, pulled toward the next task.  I am empowered to contribute what I can to others, and to love myself by giving myself the opportunity to express myself.  As cheesy as that may sound, it’s the reason you’re reading this.  Motivation and feeling good failed me, and empowerment pulled me forward.  Now I get to feel good about posting it.

Regardless of your level of motivation or how you feel, we are committed that you are empowered to have what you want.  We’ll sort out the feelings when the game ends.

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