“Among the most important personal choices you can make is to accept complete responsibility for everything you are and everything you will ever be. This is the great turning point in life.” Focal Point by Brian Tracy
If you haven’t yet - go back and reread that quote a second time.
Pretty harsh, right?
This past weekend I was scrolling through interesting articles on my phone when I came across one in particular on Inc. titled, Want to Change Your Life? Make This One Choice, which caught my eye.
As I read through it, I screenshot the quote above thinking - THIS is one of those quotes worth remembering.
Why is it worth remembering?
Why because accepting responsibility is scary. It puts any feelings of insecurity, failure, unmet expectations upon ourselves - rather than on something else. And it’s always easier to blame someone or something else.
But isn’t it true?
No matter what our excuse, there IS an aspect of personal responsibility that has led us to our current situation - especially once we are adults.
Sure a situation at this moment may be difficult to change. But aren’t you the one who decided to marry your partner? Aren’t you the one who decided to get a degree in that major? Aren’t you the one who daily chooses to eat in a way that shows love to your body or damages it? Aren’t you the one making the excuses that keep you from becoming the person you want? From doing that thing you said you would do as a New Years resolution?
I’m not suggesting that we each start blaming and hating ourselves for the mistakes and problems we face.
Also I am not suggesting that we have any control over the uncontrollable. Like untimely deaths or unexpected tragedies, debilitating illness or natural disasters. These are unfortunate circumstances that can come crashing into our lives at any time and wreak havoc.
Far from it.
Rather, I am suggesting that we each turn away from our past for a moment, take count of where and who we are now in the present moment, and look at the huge opportunity that awaits us in the future - in each day.
For it is in the daily decisions and the life-long strategies that we can craft a life that we love.
And if we’re unafraid of accepting responsibility - we have the ability to do so.
By looking at life with a long term lens we can choose to start developing a new skill now, with a potential future business in mind.
If we are single and interested in marriage, we can choose to believe that there is someone with a matching life vision out there - and we can wait for that person rather than compromising with someone else who may only share part of what we want for the future.
We can choose to make healthy food choices today to lose the weight and finally keep it off - even if results are slow coming.
We can choose to cancel the TV subscription and instead start reading for an hour everyday and expand our imaginations and allow our mind to dream of lives far outside our own.
We can choose to go for a walk today with the goal of running in a years time.
We can choose to make lunch and coffee at home, rather than go out while at work, and save that money with the goal to travel the world in a few years.
We can choose to start writing a weekly blog on a personal website to break our fear of writing, develop a voice and see where it may lead (yup thats a personal one of mine and you’re reading a piece of it now!).
We can try something new - like painting. Or pick up an instrument again and just start playing and enjoying the experience of learning a new skill, just for the fun of it.
These are all CHOICES. These are all things we can CHOOSE.
Yes time, money, family, responsibilities, jobs, and on and on get in the way. And yes, most times these goals will take far longer than you will like or will have anticipated. But isn’t it better to get started now and take the time necessary to achieve a goal and take yourself that much closer to something you’ve always wanted for yourself - than never take the step at all?
Even the tiniest sliver of time redirected or change in behavior to something you know fits your goals can make all the difference.
Because when we take personal responsibility to become the best versions of ourselves and to lead the lives we so strongly desire, we start to see the impact each of our decisions has on these outcomes.
And rather than life happening to us, we choose to actively participate in it.
So be excited. WE HAVE RESPONSIBILITY and thus WE HAVE OPPORTUNITY.
The future is a blank canvas that we can rewrite from where we are now.
So I encourage you to start today - embrace life, take responsibility and choose to make the decisions necessary for the future to be even better than today.
And remember, nobody is perfect so don’t expect to be yourself. This whole process is a journey. Enjoy the journey - you never know where you may end up.
So tell me, what decisions will you make to bring yourself one step closer to your “ideal”? Let me know in the comments below.