To Being Masters Of Our Own Destinies

I got home last night after a full weekend of driving, and by 2pm this afternoon was in a different apartment, mine having succumbed to Lisbon’s notorious mould problem.

After a string of such creative expletives that I surprised even myself, Boyfriend and I had a shot of tequila, threw away all the ruined stuff, and ordered some pizza and beer.

As we popped the caps on our IPAs, Boyfriend looked me square in the face, clinked my bottle and said:

“To being masters of our own destinies.”

Hell. Yeah.

That resolve kicked me out of my despondency and reminded me that at every moment, there’s a choice.

In that moment, it was the choice to find some new digs. But far more important was the reminder that every moment, every situation presents us with this opportunity.

A choice to see yourself as the protagonist of your own story, or the victim of someone else’s.

A choice to act when something isn’t right, or a choice to stay and suffer.

A choice to take your own needs seriously, or to dismiss them as demanding, frivolous or selfish.

As writers we have more opportunity than most to take advantage of those choices.

But when it comes to making these active choices, all the typical advice about writing comes up short. It’s not enough just to write.

The words on the page matter, no doubt about that. Developing emotional literacy, self-awareness and clarity in your writing are critical, too, in becoming the master of your own destiny.

But the words alone are not enough. Action must follow.

Without action, the words are empty. You can write the most beautiful, perfect, complete piece of work in the world, but without action to back up the theory, it’s just ink on some dead tree.

This is why writers are always getting into trouble. They write about stuff from the comfort of their home offices, and then realise they know too much to sit on the sidelines.

I’m not saying you have to go out and become a revolutionary.

If you write about health, get your health in order and help your family around you do the same.

If you write about finance, fix your money stuff and teach some kids to make informed financial decisions as they grow up.

If you write about business, build one and pass on the power to your team and customers.

Write to know your mind. Act to make your beliefs manifest, and make conscious choices that empower you and the people around you.

This is how the world gets better, how you become a leader in the field, and how you become the master of your own destiny.