Ask yourself this question: who is in charge?

Is it your clients? Do you jump as soon as they click their fingers? Are they demanding your time, energy and headspace above what you promised? Are you working with them or for them? Are you doing your best and being appreciated or will your efforts never be enough? Is this how you pictured it would be?

Is it your boss? Do you patiently wait for orders only to be told your work isn’t good enough? Are you at the mercy of their every request, or have you earned autonomy? Is your vision your own, or do you go along with theirs? Is your progression down to you or is hope your only strategy?

Is it your colleagues? Do they shirk responsibility and leave it all to you? Do they submit subpar efforts and let you make amends? Do you find yourself explaining away their actions and backtracking to paper over the cracks? Do you work as a fully functioning, unstoppable unit or does every member have their own agenda?

Is it your friends? Do their opinions matter more than yours? Would you choose a different outfit or go out when you didn’t feel like it, because they said you should? Do your friends lift you up or bring you down? How much power do they hold?

Is it your parents? Do they have expectations, hopes and dreams for your life and career that you’re unconsciously trying to live up to? Would you change your plans based on their opinions? Would you play down your real wishes to make them happy?

Is it your kids? Do they run riot every day leaving you with no time for yourself? Do tantrums and requests take precedent over everything else? Do you fit around their life or do they fit around yours? Do you put your own life jacket on before helping others?

Is it your partner? Are you cohabiting with a sleeping tiger and praying you won’t wake them? Do you tiptoe around and keep a low profile? Are your plans your own or do they call the shots? Do they bring out the best or the worst in you?

If you aren’t intentional about how you spend your time, your life will be spent fulfilling the expectations of others. In the long term, it doesn’t serve anyone, and it certainly doesn’t make you happy. You’ll create dependencies on you. You’ll learn helplessness. You’ll lose who you are in favour of who others want you to be.

Be the boss of you.