The Most Important Rule to Remember This Election Season

IVoted

Photo by jamelah e.

Keep Calm and Carry On

Election season is upon us in America. Brace yourself for lofty promises, smear campaigns, and hyped-up political commentary coming at you from every angle. If your side – whichever that is – loses what’s guaranteed to be described as “the most important election of our lifetime,” it will surely signal the end of America, right? Panic!

Are elections important? You bet. Leadership matters in all aspects of life, and public service is no exception. But wherever you fall along the liberal-conservative spectrum, you need to keep the upcoming Presidential election – and all elections, for that matter – in perspective by remembering the most important rule of elections: no matter who wins, only you can improve your life. Regardless of who holds political power, personal initiative on your part is always required if your tomorrow is going to be better than your today.

Personal initiative on your part is always required if your tomorrow is going to be better than your today. Click To Tweet

Preying Upon Ignorance

To the delight of power-hungry politicians, however, some people are ignorant of this most important rule. I recently ran across a few memes on Facebook that got it all wrong:

CharlesBarkley
OccupyDemocrats

Both of these memes are garbage. They inherently suggest that voting for one political party or the other keeps you down – and passively suggest that voting for the other party is the path to prosperity. But really, how often do you vote? Maybe once or twice per year? These memes prey upon ignorance by intentionally omitting acknowledgement of the most important rule – because, in reality, the choices you make for 364 days of the year determine your quality of life, not the choice you make one day of the year in the voting booth.

If you think that some gallant politician – Democrat OR Republican – is going to save you from your problems, make you wealthy, or improve your quality of life, I have bad news for you. No one is coming. I don’t care if America somehow reelected President Obama for an all-out-socialist third term or resurrected President Reagan from the grave: your life isn’t going to improve until you first put in the effort to make it happen. That’s just the way this world works.

You’re In Control

But don’t get bummed out – the most important rule is actually good news! Despite what the talking heads might tell you, your quality of life doesn’t depend on some high stakes popular vote. It depends only on you and your choices. You possess the power to choose.

Accepting this reality is why I support principles like limited government and free markets, both of which empower individuals to make choices for themselves on a daily basis. It’s also why I tend to support political candidates who truly advocate these same ideas (unfortunately, such candidates are hard to find – let me know if you’re aware of any). But regardless of who wins elections, I never forget the most important rule. Only I can improve my life. Only I can pursue – and hopefully realize – my own version of happiness.

Elections happen. Sometimes my preferred candidates will win, sometimes they’ll lose, but either way, I’ll work to improve my life and pursue my dreams – because I’m not willing to throw half of my life away whenever the “wrong team” inevitably holds power. Are you?

Discuss!

What choices do you make on a daily basis to help improve the quality of your life? What dreams will you pursue regardless of who wins in 2016?

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Ross Brown
President at LTP
I'm a 2007 Luther College grad trying to make the most out of every day. I enjoy spending time with my family, charcoal grilling, downhill skiing, double IPAs, fine scotch, going to church, jogging, Texas Holdem, fishing, reading, and watching the Green Bay Packers dominate the NFL.

I'm passionate about passion. Whatever you're passionate about, go do it!