In the wake of last year’s election many Americans wonder about the stability of our government and question the competence of leaders on both sides of the aisle. It seems the only thing people can agree on is that they are not satisfied with what’s happening in Washington.

What’s more, with a special counsel investigation looming, the Beltway will be embroiled for months, if not longer, in the minutiae of political intrigue instead of the issues impacting Americans every day. If something is going to change in the next four years, the vision and leadership for creating real change will come from places far from this spectacle.

That’s where the opportunity for each of us is at the moment. If we can begin to shift the conversation from a debate over the actions of those in Washington, to what we can do to take action on issues that matter most to each of us, we move from a place of despondency over circumstances we can’t control to owning the power in our lives to lead where we do have influence and impact. This is not to suggest that we shouldn’t be aware and mindful of what is going on with our political leaders. I am, however, suggesting that keeping one’s attention predominantly focused on the behavior of others prevents us from focusing on our own actions, and our own potential to make an important difference. At the moment, an obsession with the politics is keeping many from shifting the policies that need to be addressed and feeling unempowered to create change.

The days when a biennial trip to the ballot box was sufficient to fulfill our civic obligations are long gone. Now, more than ever in the history of our nation, each of us to must see what needs to be done in our communities and must drive positive change. As this shift occurs, the power will again swing to the people, whom the Founder’s envisioned as sovereign, and we will be able to help create the change we wish to see in our country.