Janet Walkow Christine Jacobs

Casting Call

           Who Do You Want in Your Life?

Just as writers must ponder whom to include in their scripts, each of us should be deliberate in selecting those who are in our lives.

Times & Needs Will Change

At any given time, people’s roles in your life will change according to the situation, taking on greater or lesser prominence. This is normal. When you were 10, your parents and teachers provided the majority of guidance you received. As you transition into high school and beyond, the influence shifts to your friends and other role models you encounter. This is the time you begin to realize that you have the ability to choose, to a certain extent, people you want to include, exclude or limit.

Deciding whom we want and need in our lives comes through both good and bad experiences. You may feel comfortable confiding in a friend, parent, aunt, coach or teacher and want to incorporate them in your script. Or, you may have had a bad experience with an inconsiderate roommate or coach who made you feel badly about yourself and want to ensure they don’t play a role. Most of us can identify who we do and don’t want to be around, but it can be difficult, and even complicated, to fully write some people into or out of your life.

Produce and Direct Your Life with Intention

Selecting your cast of characters requires you to be intentional and reflective. Think about who you are, what kind of person you may be striving to become and who are the people that reflect these values. It can take time and perspective to recognize the people who can help change the path our lives take, affect the way we approach conflict or help inspire us to be all that we can. You may be right on target with whom you decide to include; you may make bad call. This happens to us all. Sometimes, you just get lucky.

Janet Walkow is the Executive Director and Chief Technology Officer of the Drug Dynamics Institute at The University of Texas and a co-founder of Leading Women. Read her full bio.

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