Taking responsibility, and what comes of it

. 2 min read

Have you ever listened to the people around you? Perhaps you have. But have you really listened? Have you heard the types of words and phrases they use?

Once you take a moment to really hear what they say, you probably notice a pattern: blaming external circumstances (politics, weather) or even straight ahead other people (mostly bosses or in-laws) for their bad luck or mood or things that aren't going well in their lives. (I know a person who, after being happily remarried for over ten years, still blames their ex-spouse for their own mistakes over 30 years ago.)

And if you're being honest with yourself, chances are you are of have been one of those people. Yes, I used to be, too. And I can honestly say nothing has ever been more liberating than taking complete responsibility of everything that happens in my life. Honestly. No joke.

I used to be miserable, feeling sorry for myself and blaming other people - like my parents, the professors at university, my former employers - anyone who ever had made me feel sad even for a little bit. The change about to happen was unforseeable. And enormous.

Not only do you get full credit of everything you accomplish, you also get a massive load of negative feelings and grudge off your shoulders once you fully embrace the idea that everything, good or bad, happened because you lived your life and because you made the choices that actualized them.

Blaming my parents? Heck, they were just doing the best they could. Professors at the university? It was I who enrolled in the courses in the first place! Former employers? I took the job fully knowing they weren't decent people! To think about it, even being late from a meeting because the train was delayed is just an excuse. You could have chosen an earlier train. It's your responsibility to design your commute so that you're on time. I remember Grant Cardone saying in one interview that it's your fault if you're stuck in traffic. He's right, and quite profoundly - no one forced you to take that route. You chose it. You alone.

Stop whining how external circumstances and other people are making your life hell. You control your life. Only you have the power to change it.