Taking charge and personal responsibility have been old American values, but in today’s culture they feel burdensome and hard work to many.  As I speak at various venues and workshops, I notice that I hold back and not say the phrase, “You need to take personal responsibility for your future and your life.”  No one wants to hear that, especially when they are down.

I have been convinced for a while that no law, police force, public figure, or even our President can solve all the problems for us.  Too many of us, however, are looking for someone else to take care of our challenges and our problems.

For a year or so, I have been toying with the idea of popularizing the notion “A New America – It starts with You!”  Somehow, my intuitive awareness kept telling me that this wouldn’t fly with the masses as it puts the weight of the nation on their shoulders and is not empowering.

Last week, while reading Congressman Tim Ryan’s eloquent and beautiful book ‘A Mindful Nation’ for the second time, I had an epiphany – subtle, yet significant.  I modified my phrase “A New America – It starts with You!” to “A New America – It’s within You!™”

In my opinion, there is a huge difference between the two phrases.  One is empowering while the other feels like a chore and a statement we have heard growing up from our parents.  No one likes to feel blamed for their lot in life, whether they contributed to it or not.

When I first read his book a few months ago, my goal was to capture the essence of what Congressman Ryan was trying to convey and liked it.  Having met him in person and spending an hour at a conference recently, I was motivated to read his book again.

This time, I read every line very deliberately including the foreword, the introduction, and the acknowledgments.  My goal was not to just finish the book quickly, but to connect with his experience, his ideas and get in touch with his humanity.  I must say that he has added an additional jolt of inspiration to my life and succinctly points to the solution that is much-needed for our nation to move to the next level.

While his solution is simple, virtually free and the work required from each of us isn’t much, I do hope that it will not need an “Act of Congress,” no pun intended :-) for folks to realize that increasing our mental fitness and being mindful is the answer.  I love his phrase, “A Quiet Revolution” and envision it as the way mindfulness will be accepted by the mainstream.

The beauty of this solution is that it’s within everyone’s reach, not just the 1%.  Pick any contemplative practice and it’s available to you.  The answer is right within you, to be accessed and harnessed anytime with ease.  All you need is to calm your thinking, chattering mind and the stillness will open the doorway to immense wisdom, clarity and energy required to address any challenges you may face.

I truly believe that you can create an enlightened society where inner awareness empowers people to thrive in harmony.

Practice raising your inner awareness in a fun way by getting to know the PIG and the APE.  To learn more, visit my web site at www.krishnapendyala.com or my book Beyond the PIG and the APE: Realizing SUCCESS and true Happiness.

Peace and be well.

Krishna