Among the many “single most important factors” on the road to success is the one of taking 100% responsibility for all that not only has occurred in our lives but more importantly, what will occur in our lives.
It is quite easy to find all the reasons in the world why we either have not progressed, cannot progress, or will not progress towards a better life. Whether that better life be in the area of relationships, health, finance, what have you, we always find an excuse, some way of pardoning ourselves from a more satisfying, rewarding, or even acceptable life.
Yes, as any successful person will tell us, the only way to achieve what we want in life is by taking 100% responsibility. When we look at the word “responsibility” we see a clue that can guide us on our quest. It is the “ability” to “respond”. In every situation that life presents us we have the free choice to respond how we wish. That response is what will shape our future in the short and long term.
Should we “choose” to blame the economy, our spouse, children, boss, weight, bank manager, parents, what and who ever, we in essence choose to allow others to design our lives for us. In the words of Jim Rohn “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
When we choose however to design and create our own outcomes then we choose the path of success, in all areas of life. Of course, all the external factors play a roll in what we can do to a certain extent but they can never determine the final outcome. No, we cannot change others. If we have truly done our best and are still “stuck” in that bad relationship, that depressing job, that toxic neighborhood, that not-so-great financial situation, then we very well may not be able to even set the positive example needed in the hope that others will change. We may need to make some very hard decisions and change the environment we are in by leaving it.
There’s a story about school boy who would open his lunchbox every day and complain, “Here we go again, I always have tuna sandwiches for lunch!” One day, his friend asked, “Why don’t you ask your mom to prepare a different lunch for you tomorrow?” The boy replied, “My mother doesn’t make my lunch, I do.”
Do you have a “tuna sandwich” in your life? A situation you complain about every day but don’t do anything about? Don’t do anything to change your outcomes?
- Do you hate your job so much that you get chest pains every morning before work?
- Are you in a relationship that makes you cry more than it makes you laugh?
- Are you aware that you’re carrying some extra weight, but planning to start exercising tomorrow? Next week? Next month?
- Do you know that incorporating fruits and vegetables to your diet is beneficial, but you never buy fruits and vegetables?
The reason people are living “tuna sandwich” situations is because they are not taking full ownership of their lives. 100% responsibility, 100% of the time! In my own personal experience I’ve learned that the most important step a person must take in order to create the lives of their dreams is taking 100% responsibility of their lives. Not 99%, 100%!
The word “rationalize” come to mind. When we stop “rationalizing”, making “rations” of the amount of personal responsibility we have for our own outcomes, and start understanding and “knowing”, that the only person who can truly bring a better life to ourselves is ourselves, we start moving towards that better life.