Archive for January, 2019

Active or Passive?

For many of my students, such a question is regarding their writing style: Active voice or passive voice? In addition, the question also applies to the type of people we are. Are we active or passive? Do we take the initiative and lead ourselves (Active) or do we react and respond to (Passive)?

I am reading a new book by John Maxwell: Intentional Living: Choosing A Life That Matters. Maxwell (2015) asks about our how we live our life. Essentially, the same question I’m asking: are we in charge or are we simply an observer? Do we actively take charge to live with intention and purpose? Or do we simply float by in life in our kayak and only react to what passes us by?

What is the reason for the question? Maxwell (2015) asks quite simply, what is your story and who is telling it? Are you writing your story or is the story being written about you?

Why is this important? The answer is simple. Are we in charge? Are we accountable for our decisions? Are we actively writing our story? Are we going where we intend to go? OR are we simply floating along (passively)? Maxwell (2015) suggests that if we are passive, that is intentional as well. People in this boat tend to blame others if they don’t get to where they wanted to go. It is easier when we aren’t accountable to ourselves or others. If we have no intentions, we have no expectations, and we have no failures. We aren’t in charge. Or are we?

We aren’t ACTIVELY in charge if we choose not to be . . . and for some this can be scary. If we don’t end up where we want to go, we can blame circumstances or others. The challenge is that NOT making an intentional decision IS an intentional decision–albeit a passive one.

Thus, as we move begin this new year of 2019, we have a simple decision to make. Do we tell our story in active voice or passive voice? AND are we ok with our decision? If we are not, if we are not where we want to be, the only one who can change our path forward is us . . .

Active or passive? Interesting question isn’t it? What do you choose?

Always thinking,

Dr. Cheryl
The Academic Entrepreneur

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January 16th, 2019 by admin