I went to see the latest James Bond movie recently, which incidentally I really enjoyed. As usual there was the ‘baddy’ and whilst usually I’d be totally against anything they said, there was a quote that he said that really made me stop and think.
“The thing that no one wants to admit is that most people want things to happen to them. We tell each other lies about the fight for free will and independence, but we don’t really want that. We want to be told how to live.”
I am sure you can imagine that my initial reaction was to completely disagree. After all, my whole philosophical stance in life and business is to empower people with choice and control. Indeed personally, I absolutely pride myself on my level of independence, being in the driving seat of my own life and making my own decisions.
That said, when I run workshops I often get into debates with people about whether we are correct when we assume that everyone wants to be truly empowered and so the quote in the film caused me to question to what extent that this may be true in the broader population.
There is no doubt that the majority of people I know and have had the privilege to work with would be on the same page as me. However, I am challenging people today to take a moment to be honest with themselves and acknowledge to what extent this statement may be true for them.
It’s even worth starting to think more deeply about in what situations this may be true or indeed with which people it may be true. I always remember a lady once told me that she often sits in the ‘happy to be told what to do’ space with her husband, without her actually making a conscious choice to take that position.
Digging a little deeper, lets also acknowledge that being responsible is sometimes a scary place. Isn’t it easier to sit back and be told? We can’t be held responsible, and we can always then point the finger of blame towards others. Sometimes its easier or more comforting to be ‘rescued’ than be burdened with the responsibility of choice and control.
I’m interested to hear your own thoughts on this. To what extent is this statement true in your experience of the world? Are we more docile and complicit than we think and enjoy sitting back to be told rather than standing up and taking responsibility for ourselves?