On most days, do you feel energetic, enthusiastic, and satisfied with your life? If not, perhaps it’s because you’ve given up control of your life to others. Many of us give up accountability for our lives, depending on others for our information, advice, and decisions. Each life is unique. Each life belongs only to one person-we normally realize that fact, but still often give up accountability to others. Sometimes it’s easier that way, though less satisfying.

It’s not surprising that this occurs so frequently. In our early years, we look outside of ourselves for everything we require. As young children, we are totally dependent on parents or caregivers for our very lives. They feed, clothe, and shelter us. We remain alive and secure only to the degree they continue to provide for our needs. Later, our parents teach us the rules of childhood living-the do’s and don’ts of every aspect of life in their home.

We go to school and learn the three R’s, as well as cultural norms for getting along in classroom and playground. Perhaps we have religious training, providing the rules of God according to the religion of our parents. Again, all selected for us. It’s not until our teens that we begin to question; then we question everything, to the dismay of so many parents. But then we also learn a new set of rules-staying in the good graces, if not being popular, among our peers. We enter sports, hobbies, band, music, dance, and many other activities, each with an adult teaching us.

Late teens, perhaps early twenties, and we’re now adults, perhaps even parents ourselves. Are we still looking to others for the rules of life? Perhaps, and it shouldn’t surprise us, for now newspapers, magazines, movies, and certainly TV all bombard us with their views of life, often describing views of life bearing little resemblance to real life itself. So-called reality shows are a prime example. Depicted as real life, these shows are tightly scripted and managed for optimum viewer attraction.

Are you living the life of your dreams, or the life someone else has dreamed for you? Or perhaps you feel that life happens to you, that you are the recipient, with your only control being your ability to choose how to react

It may be helpful to think of life as a play, someone writes the script, someone directs the actors, and someone plays the starring role. Thinking of your life, put names to each of these: scriptwriter, director, and star. Did you put your name down three times? To feel fully alive and have a chance at a fulfilling and satisfying life, we must recognize that we are all three; scriptwriter, director, and star. We are living the life we scripted, even if we took on the script of someone else’s life. It was still our decision to do so.

If you’re a person who hasn’t been fully in charge of your life, you might be feeling discouraged about now, but the awareness that you’ve been giving up control of your life can be the beginning of an exciting new journey into self development. Can you recall the day-dreams you had as a child? Do you remember the excitement and wonder you felt at seeing yourself in your day-dream future? The enthusiasm you felt for life when you were eight years old can be yours again at twenty eight, thirty eight, or fifty eight. Life is exciting, a wonderful adventure-but only when it’s your life.

If your life now seems a boring, unsatisfying, and humdrum day to day existence, why not start writing a new story? Just for the fun of it, take out a piece of blank paper and put this at the top: My New Life Story. But before you start writing anything, do this. Remember the story of Aladdin’s Lamp? Aladdin found a magic lamp and when he rubbed it a genie appeared granting him three wishes. Well, you’ve just found your magic lamp. Rub it and see the genie appear, granting you the power to wish anything for your life that you desire.

Now go back to your piece of paper with My New Life Story at the top, and start writing. Write the next chapter of your life. Describe the star of your story in great detail. The star is you. How do you feel? What do you do? Who are you with? Does this new story excite you? Does it feel more like the real you? Don’t answer these questions with your head; your heart will tell you the truth. You’ll know deep inside if what you’ve written is the right path for you. It may be scary to think about, but if it feels right then it is right.

At this point, perhaps your initial excitement starts to wane and you’ve put down your pen in frustration, discouraged and thinking that this just isn’t practical; it’s unrealistic, just another day-dream. This is your ego protecting the status quo. Change is hard, and it can be frightening, but dreams do come true.

Scientists know that people who visualize their goals in great detail and with strong emotion, generally achieve those goals. You, too, can change your life, though not instantly as in the Aladdin story. Even though it will take some time, energy, and courage to change, taking control of your life can be very satisfying in itself. Just knowing that you are in charge, responsible and accountable for your life can bring new satisfaction and fulfillment to each day. Life’s difficulties and challenges can become more manageable, seen more as temporary obstacles than permanent blocks.

Once you decide to take back control of your life you’ll probably find yourself picking up books, magazines and internet sites that provide self improvement advice. Read as much as you can. Try on suggestions for improvement. If they seem to fit keep them, if not discard them. Your path of growth is unique, just as you are unique.

This article was originally published by and appeared at Suite101.com, where I am a contributing editor. Find additional self-empowerment articles and participate in discussions at http://www.Suite101.com/Welcome.cfm/9822.

Author's Bio: 

Jerry Lopper is anauthor, personal coach, and consultant. Find your true purpose in life at http://www.YourCoachtoSuccess.com. Review his latest book at http://jumpforjoy.yourcoachtosuccess.com.

If you are a peaceful person, or someone seeking peace amidst chaos, visit http://livingpeace.YourCoachtoSuccess.com.