There is a Chinese curse that says: “May you live in interesting times!” Its idea is that interesting times are times of change - which means they are fraught with dangers, challenges and perils.

There are analogies to be drawn between the rainforest jungles and the social jungles. Never before have the ethics of those “in authority” been under fire as they are today. The financial crisis, the ecological near-catastrophes, the rising healthcare needs and costs, the shifting demographics, the seriously damaged infrastructure most everywhere - and we can add concerns over education, immigration, world politics and more. We face a great many challenges... I can go on and on - but all to say these are interesting times.

Reports from the inner sanctums where decisions are made tell us that our leadership is either disconnected from reality, overwhelmed, or sold out to the various robber-barons. However way we care to see it, the system needs drastic changes and the vision for a better world isn’t coming from the elite or those maintainers of the status quo.

They may not see their interest in changing a process that has been very, very good to them... what with contributing to their wealth and all.

For the rest of us however, let us recognize the value of the not-so-ancient maxim: “
When the going gets tough, the tough get going!

It is time for you to take power. Self-empowerment means focusing your body/mind/spirit on the pursuit of happiness.

Take a reality-check whenever you stray from that path: Imagine that you're 75 years, in perfect health, sitting in a beautiful garden with family and friends, enjoying a wonderful afternoon. What happened? How did you get there? What changes gave you the power to enjoy that day in full vibrant health? Try to capture the mood of that afternoon. Try to feel the joy and wellbeing. And then don't let go!

An “emotional memory of joy" should be the sole focus of personal transformation. Without joy, accomplishment doesn't matter. Adjust to that feeling wherever you are and whatever you are doing. You must actualize every change needed that will result in you being where you want to be - healthy and happy.

There are no short cuts to reaching 75 in good health. And practice does makes perfect!

When I'm asked for tips on empowerment, the following are always at the top of my list:
  1. Eliminate resistance to empowering yourself by examining your fears and limits, and the situations that provoke your negatively. We often resist what we most need to learn. The next time you find yourself avoiding something, or reacting negatively to a situation, ask yourself: “What should I learn here?”
  2. Do away with the need to be esteemed by others. It's too easy to become preoccupied about what others might think, do, say, etc. This kind of concern is useless and wastes time and energies better spent working on yourself.
  3. Take care of your unfinished business. Most of us have unresolved issues like past hardships or failures, soured relationships and tasks left undone. Getting past that baggage is not always easy but there is a 3-step process: (1) Acknowledge it, (2) Forgive whoever did you wrong to rid yourself of the burden or apologize to anyone you wronged. Asking: "What can I do to make this right?" and then (3) Move on… Stop crying over the spilled milk, it is pointless.
  4. Learn to open your mind up to greater possibilities. Emotional intelligence tells us that empowerment requires an altruistic and creative outlook. The result of the process is joy and wellbeing. We’re most likely wrong whenever we prejudge options. Preconceptions and assumptions set up conditions for failure, as do expectations, fears and prejudices.
  5. Take things one-step at a time, start where you are. Think about it: Here, now and alive are the only guarantees in Nature. On the path of power, that’s the place to start. There-then is the destination. Don’t waste energy focusing on the destination. Start where you are at the moment and claim power. Then examine what will give you joy and move towards those ideas.

If you consider the real challenges we must now face is to build a world we can leave to our children, then there is little option but to acquire personal power. There are 2 more aspects to that ancient Chinese curse. One says: “May you come to the attention of those in authority!” And the second is more ominous: “May you find what you are looking for!”