I was sixteen years old, a scrawny, bawling mess — the very first time I got my heart broken.
He’d swept into my life, all charm, come-hither kisses + CK One cologne. I was the center of his world for a few blissful weeks, and then … he got bored. There was another more, ahem, sexually-advanced + adventurous sixteen year old siren who caught his eye.
I got tossed.
I was in turmoil.
My mom held me and said — in that wise, cell-soothing tone that every mom uses at least once a week — “Al, what’s the lesson here?”
“I don’t knooooooow,” I blubbered.
“No, you DO know,” she said. “The lesson is that you gave all of your power away to this boy. The lesson is that you always hold onto your power. Next time, you’ll know.”
Whenever we give all of our power away — whenever we let other people make decisions for us, dictate the rules, or dominate our whole day — we drain. We dim. We die, a little.
And we don’t just give away our power to other people — we give it away to systems, beliefs, tools, even … the Internet.
Take back your power.
Start with the Internet. (It’s simple + the impact is immediate.)
You have the power + you are allowed …
: To delete your Facebook account. Yes, really. Completely. You can still run a profitable business … get a book deal … stay connected with friends … throw + get invited to parties. It’s possible. I’m living proof.
: To let certain emails — lots of emails — rest peacefully in your inbox for 2, 3, 7 or 10 days before answering them. You’re not “getting behind on your emails.” You’re “getting ahead on your life.”
: To answer ALL of your emails in the form of a three-line haiku. Just because you want to.
: To post poetry on your “professional, business-focused blog,” even if it’s not perfect + amazing. Why not? I do.
: To focus on building a body of work + sharing it with a small-but-devoted audience, rather than networking with “influential pro-bloggers” in the hopes that they’ll share your art with the world. (Or you can do both. Whatever feels good.)
: To take a digital sabbatical. For a month. A week. A few hours every evening. Or your whole life.
: To un-subscribe, un-follow, un-like, un-pin, un-participate in any online communities that no longer feel like a big, mighty YES. (Just don’t be a perpetual flake. When you devote, follow through.)
: To treat the Internet as a tool, a workspace, a publishing platform, an occasional playground, a means to amplify your message. It doesn’t have to be the core of your career. It doesn’t need to be your home.
: To slam shut your laptop right now + spend the rest of the day basking in the sunshine. Or curled under a blanket. Or making crepes with your kid. Or kissing someone who honors your power + gives you more, more, more.
Shut down. Power UP.
What’s ONE way that you could take back your power — online, offline, anywhere in your life + work — today?