In ancient Greek mythology, Zeus, the supreme god, forced Atlas, a Titan, to shoulder the weight of the celestial skies for eternity. In classical art, Atlas is depicted as exhausted, stooped and virtually crippled by his burden.
The word shoulder is an apt metaphor to describe the responsibility that weighs heavily on us—the subjective load of our autonomy. None of us can avoid the heavy lifting that accompanies being responsible for ourselves. Yet the Atlas myth serves as a warning about bearing too much weight. Happily, we who study the philosophy and practice of behavioral sovereignty, very aware of Atlas' fate, have learned how to reduce the excessive load of our subjective burden.