13 Truths to Help You Take Charge

I hiked up a hill where the end of the trail was uncertain. Willow brush grew all around, making it hard to see where we were going.


My guide had been there before and was yards ahead of me. Yours truly has short little legs, so I struggled to keep up. “Hey”, I shouted. “Slow down. How much farther ‘till the end? Are we there yet?”

He yelled back, “We’re on the right path. Hang in there, it won’t be much longer. Are ya with me?”

Good grief! I felt like I was flying blind. The mountain was steep. My legs were sore. And since it was impossible to look over the willow tops, there really was no end in sight.

“Are ya with me?” he yelled. Sheesh! What choice did I have?

So up we went. I had to simmer down and trust my guide that the trek would be worth it. And it was. We’d come through the brush like mice in a maze but there was a big old piece of cheese waiting at the top. The view was spectacular.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” -Confucius

I know you’re struggling up your own personal hill. (I said hill, not hell.) It’s probably hard to see where you’re going and picture the top of the trail.

Perhaps you’re ready to start a new phase of life and don’t know the best time to launch. Maybe you’re gritting your teeth, wondering how much longer to tolerate a difficult situation. Some lose trust. Some want a different guide!

Whatever your circumstances, take charge of something – even if it’s only one short leg of your “trip”.

Also consider this:

  1. Follow your instincts. You know best how to serve the people who matter.
  2. Discover your mission. What cause are you fighting for?
  3. Have faith. Now may not be the right time, but it will come.
  4. Do one thing each day to make forward progress.
  5. Use this time to build resources, gain advice, map strategy.
  6. Don’t judge success or failure by one sliver in time.
  7. Know that fear may be part of the package, but so is the joy.
  8. Build on what brings you confidence.
  9. Explore what you’re capable of.
  10. Expect uncertainty. It is a time of transition.
  11. Decide. Choose a first step, then commit to take the second.
  12. Remember, the path you take will also leave a trail for others.
  13. And when in doubt, look up.

My Mom gave me a rock as a gift. (She’s frugal that way.) The front says, “Turn me over…”


and the back says, “Thanks”.


When she first gave it to me, I stood there flipping that darned rock over and over trying to figure it out. I thought I’d find a punchline on the backside. I had expectations of something significant. I just didn’t “get it”. But there really wasn’t a point to get.

Don’t do what I did. Avoid investing time in a game that leaves you wondering, “Where’s the punchline? Is that all there is?” Your future has to make sense. It’s a bonus if you matter to others, but your life should definitely be meaningful to you.

So go get yourself a rock and a felt pen. Try out the joke on your spouse, a neighbor or co-workers. Now that YOU know, let’s see how long it takes them to “get it!”


  1. Janet Herzog says:

    Laura, I love your point of view! You identify and break down struggles and challenges, and make them bite size so that we see them as an hors d’oeuvre instead of a main course.
    Thank you for sharing your gift with me!
    Janet Herzog