You brought this upon yourself. What are you going to do about it?

by Mark on January 26, 2010

The title of this post is exactly what I thought to myself last Thursday morning. Wednesday was a very stressful 12-hour day, and I had put myself in a position where I then had to stay up late to write my blog post for Thursday in order to maintain the personal standard that I had set for myself. Two things bothered me: 1) I had put myself in a position where I have to work for others doing a stressful job that I hate, and 2)  I had procrastinated on the blog post until the last possible moment. I woke up tired and cranky, and as was so often the case, stress and anxiety began to build up on that Thursday morning as I got ready for work and anticipated another stressful day ahead of me. My brain wouldn’t let me off the hook by blaming outside forces. Instead, the voice in my head pointed out that I was responsible and that if I want to change my situation, then I had better do something about it. That pesky little voice in my head is right!

Take 100% Responsibility for Your Position in Life

I am a big believer in the idea that we need to take complete personal responsibility for our lives. While there are obviously things that happen to us beyond our control, the fact remains that you are where you are because of all the past actions that you decided to take, and you are responsible for your decisions. It is the interaction between external events and the actions that we have decided to take that determine our situation. Think about something as simple as your current physical position. Are you sitting at a desk? Are you sitting in a seat or a couch with a laptop on your lap? Wherever you are, you are there because you have decided to be there. It is conceivable that you could be on the other side of the world right now if you had decided to be there.

Think about every aspect of your life. If you are working for a particular company in a particular position, it’s because you have decided to do so. A series of decisions may have brought you there, but the fact is that you simply couldn’t be in your current position if you hadn’t decided to be there. If you had made different decisions, you would be in a different position. You are responsible for your current position. Every single decision you make affects your path through life. It’s that simple.

Stop Pretending that Your Position in Life is beyond Your Control

Yeah, I know. Shit happens. Bad things happen to good people. We all encounter “bad luck” from time to time. It’s how we respond to these negative outcomes that determines the direction of our lives. If we surrender to our environment and to the negative people around us, we are doomed to a miserable life. Too often we underestimate how much control we have over our lives. You may currently find yourself in a situation that presents serious challenges. Many people start in circumstances that are much more difficult than mine. I get that. However, you still have the ability to think and to act. Don’t underestimate how powerful that is. Get rid of the excuses. Stop the complaining about your problems, and begin to look for solutions.

By the way, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m far from perfect in this regard. I often find myself complaining, even though it accomplishes nothing, and I’m not always as quick to focus on solutions as I’d like. It is something that I will continue to work on improving. Understanding my personal responsibility in creating my life is a good start. I’m not waiting for external circumstances to improve. I’m doing something about it.

Are you unsatisfied with your current situation? What are you going to do about it?

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