Why 2023 Is The Year of Sovereignty and Agency

A Life Worth Living | Jan 21, 2023

Every Saturday I share a story about my life in a way that you can hopefully relate to. I believe we are all here to share our journey, both the highs and the lows, as this is how we collectively raise the consciousness of the planet. If anything resonates with you, please share! 🙏

Are you successful?

What does that even mean nowadays? It feels like such a loaded term, which could be defined in a number of ways.

If I'm being honest, I would likely give myself a range of grades depending on the what we're talking about. I have a lot of room for improvement when it comes to being a better, more communicative partner, a more-engaged and empathetic listener, or a consistent friend, just to name a few.

Thankfully, there is one area where I feel I'm just now starting to find my footing, and that's as an entrepreneur.

Since becoming an entrepreneur in 2014, my journey has definitely had its share of ups and downs and it's only recently that I've started to feel comfortable about where I'm at.

When I first started down this path I was influenced by a lot of the 'hustle' and 'grind' mentality. Since I didn't know any better, I thought that that was the answer. Just keep working harder.

What I soon discovered was that I just substituting one job for another.

New entrepreneurs quickly become familiar with this idea of working "in" your business as opposed to working "on" your business. It's a subtle shift, but it can make all the difference in the world. This doesn't happen overnight as there is still a lot to learn and plenty of mistakes to make if all you've been taught is to stay in your lane and work on what you're told.

It takes a bit of de-programming to be sure. Those first few years you actually end up working harder and longer than you ever did at your previous job. The allure of not having to answer to a boss or show up at a designated hour, is quickly offset by the realization that without the proper structure and discipline, you'll be sitting at your desk at home without any clear direction.

Coming from over 20 years of corporate life I will tell you that that discipline, or rather indoctrination, was instilled in me early on. I'm sure it started with school, and partly due to the work ethic instilled in my by my parents, but eventually that push came from the expectation built into every new job and promotion.

The understanding was that I would be at my desk by 8:30am, come rain or shine. As you might imagine, if you're job is in New York City and you live in the suburbs, and you take into consideration buses, trains, occasional delays and weather, that would mean waking up at 6:30 in the morning, 5 days a week, to in order to make that happen.

Now extrapolate that out over the course of 20+ years of a 9-5 job and you can start to see how that becomes ingrained in you, and how you start to think that maybe this is just the way life is.

This in no way is meant to denigrate anyone for whom this is a current way of life. There are people in life who thrive with that structure, who don't have an entrepreneurial bone in their body, who look forward to getting out of the house and enjoy the camaraderie of their work team. I have fond memories of work outings and karaoke happy hours with my coworkers.

Over the last 2 years, it feels like we're moving into very interesting times and many of the ways in which we were programmed to think about work have been challenged at their very core. It took a global pandemic to force those conversations.

We used to think that having employees on site from the hours of 9-5 was the only way to ensure a productive workforce. Until a Black Swan event and forced experiment in remote work proved that otherwise. Many people started asking themselves, "What other preconceived notions should I be questioning?"

We're seeing other centuries-old institutions beginning to crumble and make way for the new. And these changes are scaring many people. Traditional medicine and the pharmaceutical complex are actually making people sicker.

Given the recent upheaval in the worlds of education, work life, healthcare and finance, just to name a few, I feel like now, more than ever, we need to start turning inward and begin to claim agency and sovereignty over our own being, our own health.

Agency refers to the ability to act independently and make decisions for oneself. It means having control over one's own actions and choices.

Jordan Hall defines Sovereignty as "...the capacity to take responsibility. It is the ability to be present to the world and to respond to the world — rather than to be overwhelmed or merely reactive. Sovereignty is to be a conscious agent."

If you're interested in digging deeper, I highly recommend his article 'On Sovereignty' as a good primer.

It's time to stop outsourcing decisions about how to better ourselves to out-dated institutions whose sole interest is profit, and instead focus on our own personal growth and development. This could mean investing in our own education and learning, exploring alternative health solutions, or taking the time to explore our hobbies and passions.

As I think of my goals for 2023, it seems like my most ambitious list to-date. But it doesn't feel unattainable. These are projects that light me up. These are experiences that will make me a better partner, a better sibling and son, a better friend, and just as importantly, a better citizen of this planet.

I've spoken before about my increasing awareness of my spiritual path and how that manifests in my daily life and I appreciate the pressure I've put on myself to communicate my ideas in these weekly Letters. Some weeks are definitely more challenging than others.

There is something inherent in me, this need to take continuous imperfect action. I'm a firm believer that the Universe rewards momentum. You don't need to take my word for it as I'm not here to convince you. I can just tell you that I've experienced it first-hand and I know that it works.

This is a recent quote that surfaced during my daily Readwise updates:

"If you need to solve a problem, act. Contemplating the complexity of the problem simply creates excess potential and feeds the pendulum your energy. When you take action you realize the energy behind intention. “The hands do what the eyes fear to pursue”, as they say. When you set about realizing an intention, trust the alternatives flow and the problem will resolve of its own accord."

Vadim Zeland, Reality Transurfing

If you're not familiar with the concept of pendulums, it can be best explained as a metaphor for the situations and conversations in which we participate daily. For example, political debates are a form of a pendulum. What I find fascinating is that whether you are against the argument, or for the argument, either way you continue to feed the pendulum, or what I like to simply call 'the drama'. Avoid that trap.

Vadim's book explains the concepts of transurfing, which is this take on alternate timelines. It's this idea that every possible outcome for your life that has happened, is happening and will happen are all simultaneously co-existing. It's a heady subject and been covered in movies like Sliding Doors, The Butterfly Effect, Terminator, Groundhog Day and Source Code, to name a few.

When it comes to deciding what you want your 2023, and the rest of your life for that matter, to look like, I invite to think about all the ideas and preconceptions of how your life is 'supposed to be'. Re-examine from this lens of limitless possibilities. What if there was a better version of your life already existing, and all it took was a shift in your mindset to move over to that new reality?

That is a very real vision for me and I invite you to stretch your mind. Avoid being sucked into the dozens of pendulums that cross your path every day. That's not your reality and that drama is not deserving of your attention. Choose to not feed it, make better choices every day, and you will start to see and experience what I'm talking about.

NOTE: This week's letter was a bit more challenging to get out than usual. I hope my thoughts were able to come together in a cohesive way. More to learn as I continue down the path of becoming a better writer.

🙏 with gratitude,

Harry

What I Created This Week

🎧 Vertical Farming Podcast (Season 6) sponsored by Cultivatd

🎧 Podcast Junkies sponsored by Focusrite

🙋‍♀️ P.S. When You're Ready...

Here are a few of ways I can help…

✡️ Download a free copy of my Conscious Voice Expansion Plan. The most powerful way to transmit and elevate your voice is with a podcast. This plan will outline for you the pillars of success needed prior to the launch of your show!

🎥 Watch my free video, 5 Key Pillars of a Profitable Podcast that every business owner needs to know prior to launching their show.

🎙️ Subscribe to Podcast Junkies + Vertical Farming Podcast to hear inspiring stories guaranteed to make you a better host.

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