Thursday, April 13, 2006

Taking back control

More and more, I’ve been noticing that people refuse to take responsibility for their actions. People aren’t willing to admit when a mistake is their fault. People don’t like the idea that we are the only ones in control of our future.

Someone might be performing poorly in school, so they might say:
  • "My parents didn’t push me hard enough."
  • "This professor sucks."
  • "My friends won’t help me."
  • "My underwear is too tight."
Well, I don’t really know what to say about that last one, other than ‘buy another pair’. For the other excuses though, while they can be true, they are usually just ways of shifting the blame away from themselves.

If we continuously externalize the burden of learning – pushing the onus on our parents, friends or even inanimate objects – then self-development is impossible. We won’t feel compelled to grow because the factors controlling personal growth are always out of our hands.

Well after all this negative talk, does this mean there is no hope? Of course not.

The solution: Take back control of your life.

Once we realize that we are in charge of our lives, we become empowered to create sweeping changes. This is a pretty important point, so I’m going to elaborate a bit, just to drive it home.

Your success or failure in anything really only hinges on one factor: You. Your drive and dedication, your attitudes, your knowledge – all of it, stems from you.

It doesn’t really matter what your dad says, or what your friend thinks or what your grade 3 teacher wrote in the comments box. When it comes down to it, it is just you and your thoughts before you go to sleep. Well, there may be someone else with you, but that’s none of my business.

Once again, when we take back control of our lives and take responsibility for shaping our future, we can break free from limited thinking and affect drastic changes.

For example: You are hesitant to begin reading your text. You cite a number of people who have distracted you, causing you to lose focus, leaving you with little time to read the text. How dare those people force you to talk to them?

Aaah! This is garbage. You start to realize that you are allowing yourself to be distracted. Once you realize only you can change this, you move to the library (without your computer, come on) and finish your readings in record time.

This sort of process can only happen went accountability lies with a specific person. Can you guess with whom? Yes, you. *gives a cookie*

I have to point out, that this sort of responsibility-shifting is actually quite insidious, because most of the time, people don’t even realize that they are doing it. I’m not one to name names or point fingers, so I recommend we all do a little introspection to see if we can catch ourselves doing it.

While shifting responsibility away from ourselves may make things easier in the short term, in the long run, it only robs you of your potential. So take your life back!

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