Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, Empowerment, living with chronic illness

Charles Schwab Wants You to “Own Your Future”

I’m always mindful of my surroundings leaving me open to inspiration. I was passing a construction site not far from my home. Charles Schwab is building a brand new campus for it’s local operations. There are two large buildings and a third building that reminds me of a visitor center. The front of the building is enclosed in glass allowing passersby to see the lobby of the building. On the wall, displayed prominently are the words, “Own Your Future”.

“Own Your Future”, obviously to a financial services company that means something very specific. They are hoping to entice, motivate, and assist you in creating a financial future where you are in charge, not at the mercy of things like social security or simple savings. However, for those facing adversity, such as the diagnosis of a chronic or life-threatening illness, it would mean something very different.

Once you enter the challenge vortex it may feel like you’ve lost your power and your voice. Your future is dictated to you through the powers that be; the professionals. It’s not our fault! We’ve been conditioned to be good sheep; unfortunately sometimes we’re led to slaughter (figuratively of course).

What would it mean for you to “Own Your Future”? It may require some education. I’ve spent the past twenty years reading pathographies, memoirs and biographies that share a person’s experience with an illness; they can shorten the learning curve when facing a health challenge.

Support Groups are another great way to understand the health challenge (or any challenge) terrain.   It’s easy to believe that we’re on an island alone, but support groups provide socialization, support, and encouragement. They give you the tools to feel empowered as you navigate this new arena in your life.

It’s also important to find inspiration. Listening to speeches like Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture (which has been turned into a book) can be invigorating to the soul. It can be a catalyst for you to explore new ways of living your life. It can serve as a blueprint for your spirit to embrace whatever the future holds and how you can reframe any situation to one of ownership instead of victimhood.

Owning your future requires energy and perseverance. Owning your future will alleviate some of the stress associated with overcoming adversity. When you feel in control, part of the process, and informed in the decision making process, the result is a sense of peace. The angst of not knowing subsides and your gain clarity. This clarity is the essence of “Owning Your Future”.

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