CYA (Control Your Agenda)

Most of my life, I’ve followed a path of my choosing and made it a priority to do the things I enjoyed in a responsible manner.  In addition, helping others has been and always will be important to me.

I’ve never been afraid to make choices that were good for my being or pursue a direction that interested me.  Sometimes those decisions were delayed although eventually I got on the proper course. 

It’s what I like to call CYA or “Control Your Agenda”.

The Best Man at my 2003 wedding talked briefly about my CYA philosophy which brought a smile to my face.  Our life is made up of choices and each one of us has the opportunity to use them to our own benefit and/or the benefit of others.  

Since our time on earth is so short, why not control the flow and rhythm of your life?  Isn’t a life on your terms the most worthwhile? 

I realize it can be a tough road to navigate as often people think they know what’s good for you, when in reality they are trying to persuade you to think or be like them. Sometimes, your inner voice is the one to adhere to.  One can still listen to and/or follow the wise advice and counsel of others (I have and still do) as long at they have your best interests in mind.

Some didn’t think moving to New York City was the right move for me. I appreciated their concern but I wanted the sizzle, challenge and excitement that only the Big Apple can provide.  It was a GREAT ten years and invaluable, both personally and for my business career.

Often, one’s journey makes it impossible to live a life desired although in my experience, bad choices and/or irresponsibility are the main culprits in that regard. If one is prudent and responsible (not easy to do in our world of temptations), doing what you want in life is usually within your control. Irresponsible choices can put a severe damper on an otherwise bright light.

Or sometimes one makes a good decision too late, thus wasting precious time/years in life or relationships. I spent four years in Boston although that was almost cut in half as two years was enough for me. I didn’t listen to the wisdom of friends and my inner voice. It was the only period where I wasted time living in a place too long. Fortunately, it’s been rare when I wasted time in a relationship.

We've all known numerous people who haven’t been bold or courageous enough to control their life in the manner they desire – some going with any flow or the opinion of another, while others let life control them.  In addition, those who pepper their conversations with “should have” or “could have” can frequently be guilty of not fulfilling their dreams.

Below is a list of “Controlling Your Agenda” aspects I’ve admired, embraced or lived; with many emanating from people close to me who exemplify “being the author of their own life”.

CYA aspects of life including but not limited to:

--    Living life on your terms, NOT for others like a parent, friend or family member
--    Choosing a life of Responsibility over Irresponsibility
--    Doing a job you like or are passionate about
--    Having daily or weekly “Me Time” – undisturbed time for yourself to do whatever you enjoy
--    Embracing life like a child occasionally
--    Having a least one passion or hobby outside of your day job
--    Not living “solely” for your kids and neglecting your needs
--    Helping others
--    Putting yourself FIRST in order to serve others best
--    Standing up for your beliefs
--    Not living vicariously through others or your children
--    Embracing music, nature and the unknown
--     Having a pattern of healthy relationships NOT toxic ones or NOT those that waste years of your precious time
--    “Choosing Wisely” for marriage and NOT being with someone who only makes you feel good
--    Not falling victim to any type of addiction
--    Having good friends who enhance your life, not those who dampen your spirit
--    Having a yearly men’s/women’s weekend – no spouse, no kids...only those friends who you enjoy spending time with
--    Embracing the good values taught by your parents
--    NOT being controlled by a bad or non-caring parent
--    Embracing a life of healthy eating and moderate exercise
--    Passion, Enthusiasm, Boundless Energy, Positivity and Gratitude
--    Knowing how to relax and taking time to relax
--    Being focused, having a direction and setting goals
--    Loving deeply
--    Having of the most important 
--    Teaching one's children with love, discipline and boundaries
--    Living outside of your birth country for a few years

The aforementioned list is not the “bible” of what one should do nor does one have to embody the entire list.  In my opinion, embracing some or many of these elements can help one lead a balanced, low stress and enjoyable life – the kind of life that leads to longevity.

You may have a different set of criteria or not even care about CYA. There are different strokes for different folks.

Also, one can find many ways to effectively lead the life they envision or desire…but it’s hard to implement if you’re not controlling your agenda. And it’s almost impossible to reach one’s dreams if one doesn’t have a goal or direction.

Some final questions:

A)    Are you in the “would have, should have, could have” crowd?
B)    Are you leading an unfulfilled or complacent life?
C)    Are you not living up to your potential?
D)    Is your world uninspired?
E)     Are you unhappy?
F)     Are you unmotivated in your job?

If you can answer NO to all of the questions, keep doing what you are doing.

If you answered YES to any of the above, chances are that you are not adhering to CYA, or in simple terms, NOT knowing what you want in life, NOT caring about what you desire or NOT doing what you want.

If you want to change your circumstances or outcome, CYA in some form or fashion must be top of mind.

I love the words from the song “Secret O' Life”:

And since we’re only here for a while
Might as well show some style
Give us a smile
(James Taylor)

How’s your style? Do you have one?

How’s your smile? Do you show it?

Finding your OWN style and doing it with a smile is a good way to start “Controlling Your Agenda”.  If you begin the CYA journey, life may start to bloom in ways you may have never imagined.

The late and brilliant Mr. Technology said it best in his version of CYA:

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
(Steve Jobs)

Remember, if you’re not controlling your agenda, something or someone else is!

Control Your Agenda.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

He took CYA (Control Your Agenda) to its highest form.

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