“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.”
― Lao Tzu
Have you ever met people who just hate the way their life has turned out? The people who sit at home always complaining about why things aren’t going the way they want them to? (and why it wasn’t their fault?)
You hear them all the time;
“Yeah, that’s just the way life is…
“Life never works in my favor”
“I have no time in my days because I’m just so busy with all this work I still need to do”
“I missed out on a great opportunity, but that wasn’t my fault but someone elses. “
Well if you’ve heard these people before, there’s a chance that caused their own problems.
Do you mean they themselves are the cause of their circumstances? Don’t be so ridiculous man, you don’t know what you’re talking about…
No-one would want those bad conditions for themselves.
I beg to differ.
In this post I’ll talk about why it’s important to become completely responsible for your life and how you can do this (and why it’s so damn difficult)
There are many ways I see people destroying their own opportunities when I look around me. Even on a daily basis!
- My co-worker who became outraged at his boss who tried to push his argument in order to “win’ the fight (fighting circumstances rarely works and often causes more pain than it can “solve” problems) See post on Basic Social Skills
- My classmates (B., E., K.) who sometimes skip on short-term sacrifices in order to get instant gratification. (getting tempted into buying that new iphone instead of saving up for that investment that could’ve impacted their life in a better way)
- My friend (H.) who’s hoping to win the lottery, inherit some money or “get lucky” otherwise and therefore remains passively waiting for this “golden opportunity” Yet he’s complaining how he doesn’t have enough money to pay his bills.
- My other friend (S.) who came to me complaining his weight and how it had rendered him unconfident to take off his shirt during the summer. Yet eats fast food at least three times a week and consumes volumes of alcohol on the weekend.
Sound familiar? I hear these complaints continuously around me and people always manage to direct the blame on somebody else. I’ve even heard the stupidest reasons why people don’t have what they want in life or blame their circumstances on other people
We delegate responsibility to outside circumstances, other people, “bad-luck” or whatever.
To a certain degree I find that ridiculous.
It’s like driving your car and handing the steering wheel to somebody else…
- It’s like robbing a store and suing the store-owner for shooting you.
- It’s like suing apple for your porn addiction
- It’s like spilling your coffee in a drive-trough and suing the store owner for “serving coffee that is to hot”
Anyway, these might be “extreme” cases but I don’t doubt that there are other people who think likewise.
Do you see where I’m getting at here?
I agree that there are things outside of our control like;
- Our genetics
- Place of birth
- Some sicknesses
- instincts (although we can override these)
- Initial financial situation
Limitations or excuses?
- Are bad genetics really a valid reason of why you’re not able to gain muscle?
- Is a low IQ a good reason not to read many books?
- Is your difficult financial situation really limiting you from increasing your wealth?
- Is “being tired” from your work a valid reason not to work on a side project after your hours? (which could change your life if you stick to it)
Sometimes it just means you’ll have to work harder, be more creative, sleep less or otherwise invest more energy in solving the problem. A lot harder than some people around you.
The harder you work (in the right direction, that is), the “luckier” you get.
I’ve touched upon this mindset in my previous post titled “The STFU-Manifesto”
Anyway, there are obviously many things we are able to control! But the problem with this is that many people don’t see it this way or choose not to use their “special powers”
Many people don’t understand how their thoughts and actions are actually able to influence their circumstances and therefore we’re partially (I’d say 80 -90%) responsible for the life we have.
Yet we don’t take control… Not even the things we ARE able to control
Who’s Responsible then?
The truth (IMO) is this;
- You’re not allowed to complain about your lack of time – if you still watch 4 hours of tv a day.
- You don’t have the right to complain about being overweight if you consistently eat food that is ruining your body.
- You can’t possibly complain about not having enough money when you splurge it on eating out, designers clothes and new smartphones.
- You can’t complain about not finding “the right man or woman” when you don’t go out and actually do some approaches (or at least set up a dating profile)
I believe what you’re doing then is just making excuses to justify your own shortcomings.
Whenever I fall short in anything I take full responsibility. I have no-one but myself to blame for the outcome of my life and therefore I’m also fully responsible (and accountable) for making the right choices.
- If I’m getting out of shape that’ll be my own fault.
- If my blog fails to attract new readers that will be my own fault.
- If I don’t pass in school that will be the result of my own actions.
- If I don’t get the relationships in my life that I want, that will be the cause of my own inaction.
- If I don’t reach financial freedom that will be caused by my own wrong-doing.
I even take this to extremes sometimes (although they sound obvious to me now)
- If people don’t connect with me, that’s caused by my lack of social skills.
- If my girlfriend hops in bed with another man (true story), that will be my own fault for not “being valuable” enough or not setting clear boundaries for the relationship.
- If my friend picks up a cute girl that I was really into, that’s my fault for not taking any action
And honestly? I believe you should do the same!
Hold yourself responsible (you’re the cause) and accountable (you should solve it) for the results/problems in your life. Not only for the things that you can act upon now but also the things you need to be prepared for like death of family member, heart-break, cheating, recessions and so-forth
“Everything not prepared for, is your fault”
What do you say? Time for a change?
Why Should I Take Control?
“Great, why do I have to be the one who does all the hard work?”
I hear you thinking.
Why not? What’s wrong with hard work?
Yes, it will be more difficult, but will provide much more fulfillment in your life.
Take charge of the way you control your emotions, the way you relate to people, the direction you take in life, the thoughts you harbor, the way you manage your health, the way you manage your finances and the way you shape your beliefs about this world.
If you don’t, you’ll just be another leaf in the wind directed by the storms of life and you might even end up as my biggest fear;
to become an overworked, stressed-out, out of shape 9-5 worker with long-forgotten dreams who dwells in his cubicle together with his debilitating fears and endless self-doubts. His sole aim in his meaningless existence is to jump robotically from pleasure to pleasure without thinking what is best for him.
I’m not saying you should constantly be blaming yourself for the problems in your life, that would only discourage you. With this post I’m just sharing my perspective on how “taking charge” of your life is the causation of many new and exciting opportunities in your life.
The point is simply this: Take charge of your life already or you won’t get to where you want to be (or your life will be at least sub-satisfactory)
What’s Holding Us Back?
It’s a great day when we realize that we’re able to give our life form by creating ourself into the person we want to be. But again, it’s the Road Less Traveled and often riddled with obstacles.
So what’s the main thing that’s keeping you from taking charge of your life?
From my experience (I’m only 20, so I can be wrong of course) it’s mainly been resistance. This shows up in my life mainly in the form of fears, doubts and procrastination. Poison from within myself that limits my possibilities.
So then again, we’re able to blame either our instincts (The Shocking Truth On How You Sabotage Yourself“) which wouldn’t make much sense since we’re talking about responsibility in this post.
Or we can actually start overriding our mind and control our own thoughts!
(Re-) Taking Control
Like I said there are different “voices of resistance” in our head that make us afraid, insecure, doubtful and lazy.
You need to understand that these “voices of resistance” are like cancers; mercilessly destroying our opportunities in life. It’s poison that corrodes you from the inside out. These voices never sleep, they are infallible, they are insidious and invisible.
And they aim to kill.
They kill your dreams, your mind, your body, your relationships and your ultimate potential. See the pain they cause in your life.
The first thing I want you to realize is that resistance is not you,
Don’t identify with the voices that only bring you down.
See these voices as the enemy that is trying to take away everything you want out of life.
What I’m suggesting is allowing a new responsible force (mindset) into your life which governs everything you think and everything you do. A new authority which is the master of your mind.
Whenever a thought comes up that is based on irrational fear, self-doubt or laziness I want you to think about which voice is talking to you at that time.
Is it the enemy? Or is it this new authority?
So, how do we overcome this enemy Simon? Get to the point already jeeez…
We do NOT answer to them.
Don’t fight it, don’t resist it and don’t run away from it, that will only make it worse. Look the enemy straight in the eye as this new authority and say:
You have no power here
This mind is my domain and I rule it by force.
That’s the attitude I want you to have. Simply smile at the pathetic voice that’s telling you you’re never going to make it, the one who says you’re not good looking enough, the one who says it’s OK to binge-out on the weekend, the one who says you can skip training because it’s raining outside, the voice that says you should buy that new Iphone instead of saving for a better investment and the voice that says you’re not good enough.
Because it’s ALL BULLSHIT
There is NO reason for why you are not enough
Don’t EVER let those pathetic voices in your head take control of you. Run your mind instead of having it run you. Run your mind and you’ll control your life (a.k.a. taking full responsibility)
I highly recommend listening to the “5 Simple Steps To Make Yourself Fearless” Audio-tape by Guy Finley. It is GOLD and has helped me tremendously in re-taking control of my mind. Can’t recommend this enough
A great video of a person who talks about taking control of yourself is this one by Lizzie Velasquez. She has an extremely rare disease which has left her blind on one eye, unable to gain weight, has a weak immune system and is scarred by some progeroid physical characteristics.
Can you just imagine what the “voices of resistance” are constantly telling her?
“even though I have this syndrome, even though things are hard, I can’t let that define me.
My life was put into my hands ,just like your lives are put into yours. You are the person in the front seat of your car. You are the one who decides whether your car goes down a bad path or a good path.
You are the one that decides what defines you”.
– Lizzie Velasquez
Are you really willing to let your identity and therefore your life be dictated to you by people who have no idea what you’re capable off? Are you willing to let your life be defined by “the voices of resistance” that will lead you to your own destruction.
Lizzie had it right when she said that we’re the ones who define our-self.
We’re the ones in charge of our life although I see many people delegating the responsibility to their life to others. Here’s what you should take away;
- You’re mainly responsible for the circumstances of your life
- Identify the voices that are poisoning your mind – and don’t listen to them
- Allow a “new authority’ to run your mind.
- Don’t let others define what you’re worth.
Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.
provide for yourself the life you want, don’t be dependent on others.
So tell me;
What Voice Is Ruling Your Mind?
If you feel like this post can help anyone out that you know, feel free to share it with your friends or send it in a mail to your mom! It helps me out a lot! If you’re having any thoughts or questions on this topic, feel free to share those with me in the comment section below.