I’m sure you’ve had a friend lament a bad situation and say that “someone should do something about that”. Perhaps you’ve said it yourself, and I’m sure I have at some point too.
Perhaps the person to “do something” should be you.
It’s a tricky line, because when things look bad, sometimes the best solution is still to do nothing. In most cases, though, rolling up your sleeves and digging in will be a much better solution than sitting back and wishing for someone to help.
In Ryan Holiday’s book “Courage is Calling“, he shares a variety of words to this effect, including these three quotes that caught my eye.
First, he shared a quote from Joan Didion on taking responsibility for your own life and your own actions:
“The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life, is the source from which self-respect springs.”
Holiday also shared:
“The belief that an individual can make a difference is the first step. The next is understanding that you can be that person.”
And closely related:
“People who did what needed to be done. People who said, “If not me, then who?””
There are times when you should let others take charge, there are times when you should leave well enough alone, but there are also times when you should step up and be the change you want to see.
If you can learn to discern between them and then take action, people will appreciate what you do.