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We have more power to design our life than we think.We don’t control what happens. We can, however, control our response to what happens. Every moment…now, and now, and when tonight becomes now… is a choice point.

Who are you willing to be? Courageous? Compassionate? Clear? What will you put on your TO NOT DO list? Checking your phone every 5 minutes? The choosing that enlivens us originates from a creator mind-set, not a victim’s. See your positive power.

Sure, there’s negative power over others, but there’s also the power to and with. The power to create with others originates with someone who sees a creator, not a persecutor in their mirror. We can choose at every moment who we’re willing to be, then align our action with our words.

Clarity is power. Extraordinary results begin with clarity. Clarity about what? Purpose? Focus? Outcomes? Sure, but my first choice is always who I’m willing to be in order to produce an extraordinary result out of any interaction. Present? Compassionate? Vulnerable?

Present, because the real, not second-hand experience, lives only in the now, not in the past, the future, or in our electronic devices.

Compassionate because compassion affords us the experience we all hunger for– connection. We connect with people when we see that we could be just like them, for good and for ill.

Vulnerable because our true power derives from our vulnerability, not from trying to control and fix everything. We can’t be vulnerable without also being courageous. If we don’t feel at risk, then what we’re about to do is in, not out, of our comfort zone! The first thing we look for in others is their vulnerability. The last thing we look for in ourselves is our vulnerability. We hide the very quality that everyone hungers for, leaving our relationships gasping for breath! Why not exercise the power to expand the meaning of being vulnerable to include “letting the winds of life blow freely over our soul”.

The key to designing the life we love is our burning desire to see our blind spots. Are you willing to make yourself vulnerable to seeing your blind spots? Power through clarity is your reward.

My blind spot regarding feedback, for example, once I saw it, changed my life, my energy, and my relationships forever. While blind, I naively assumed I should apply–even though I often didn’t–all feedback offered by family and friends. The first time I saw this as assumption, not truth, thrilled me. My twisted understanding of feedback had bruised my ability to be at ease in relationships at home, work, and play. Seeing it with new eyes cast me in the creator role.

Now I reflect on feedback, use what I can, and simply toss the rest. Life and relationships are made for enjoyment. Why spend time with anyone who demands obedience to their way of seeing? Isn’t life too short to spend time with anyone who isn’t thoroughly delighted in your company?

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Ingrid Martine is currently the CEO of Your Leaders’ Edge Coaching, Consulting, and Training, a firm specializing in transforming resistance to change. She focuses on changing the organizational culture of small businesses and for-social-profit organizations.

Some of Martine’s certifications are in organization development, 360-degree assessments, and as seminar leader for The Academy for Coaching Excellence. Her most recent certification is in Harvard professor's Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey’s mind-mapping process, which uncovers the little known origins of the resistance to change.

In 2014 she was the featured presenter and workshop leader for ICF-North Texas on overcoming the immunity to change. And she has been selected as a presenter to the prestigious Vistage organization, whose members are distinguished CEOs, community leaders, and other luminaries of the nation and world. She is the author of the Un-Game.

For more information, please visit

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. This was an incredibly refreshing and honest perspective on life. I appreciated the humility with which you write and the explicit notion of “purposefulness”. This really motivated me again.

  2. Thank you Ingrid, I agree that letting down the barriers, admitting your strengths and weaknesses to yourself provides a sense of freedom and empowerment. just what I needed for this morning.

  3. A nice reminder to those who with take heed to it and practice it! I enjoyed the inspirational advise which is a reminder for me not to forget. Thank you!

  4. Life and relationships are made for enjoyment. I especially like this comment. If we all practiced this more frequently, the happiness level of all would rise.

  5. Thank you for the great wisdom,
    life too short to spend time with anyone who isn’t thoroughly delighted in your company?

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