A mentor of mine (though she doesn’t know it yet) is a lady by the name of Mellody Hobson. I was first introduced to Mellody Hobson by a Ted Talk she gave in 2014 on Financial Literacy. This talk, among other things, was a powerful charge to all on taking full personal responsibility. In particular, Mrs. Hobson, a highly-respected figure in finance and staunch advocate for financial literacy, repeated a quote from singer Judy Collins who previously said, “As women, we are raised to have rescue fantasies. I’m here to tell you…..no one is coming.”
This statement, first said by Collins in 1994, was initially an encouragement to women to reject the patriarchal idea that men were the key to their financial stability and success. More recently, Hobson, having had this statement as a personal mantra, uses it as a call to action to all persons to take full responsibility for their lives and decisions and in particular, their financial health.
INSPIRED BY LIFE EXPERIENCES TO TAKE OWNERSHIP
Hobson, who is the president and Co-CEO of Ariel Investments and member of several boards, is the youngest of six children raised by a single mother. In interviews, she speaks candidly about her early experiences of constantly changing homes, to having the phones disconnected, to having their cars repossessed. She is also very open about the fact that her mother, though strong, resilient and forthright, was not a good manager of money. This, along with other early childhood experiences, inspired Mrs. Hobson to reject the idea of being rescued, become financially literate and ultimately live her life as if no one was coming.
TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY
Living your life as if nobody is coming no doubt colours your decisions and your actions. It informs the way you work. It inspires you to think independently. It informs the way you spend money on a daily basis. It will inspire you to learn more about things like the economics of your house, your car, your relationships and health. It will inspire you to ask the questions you need to ask. When you live like nobody is coming, you take not only take responsibility and accountability, you take command.
We are all are responsible for ourselves and our progress. On this point, Hobson stated in a 2020 interview with TD Jakes that we are even responsible for the mentoring we receive. She gave examples of many persons who she never met, but who were mentors to her through their life stories and books – persons like Vince Lombardi.
TAKE BACK YOUR POWER
Taking full responsibility for your own life also means taking the blame from others. When you take the blame away from others, you also remove the power them and take it back.
And this does not mean that persons will not genuinely be willing to help along the way, or that circumstances won’t take a favorable turn – but what if it doesn’t. The lesson here is clear – take full responsibility and accountability for your actions and decisions. Think of the knowledge you will accumulate, skill you will cultivate or bravery you will exhibit when you rely on yourself. And just like Mellody Hobson, we all can achieve great things when we take ownership of ourselves and live like no one is coming.