We’ve all heard that “to give is better than to receive”. And I would agree with that statement. Mostly.
One area where it doesn’t hold true is responsibility. It’s usually better to take responsibility than it is to give it away.
(Tip: When you give away responsibility, you are missing the opportunity to make your dreams into reality. You have to own it to move ahead.)
Your Life, Your Responsibility
No one else is responsible for your life. People will encourage you, criticize you, cheer for you, cheat you, and ignore you. But that doesn’t mean that they control you. You get to decide how to act. You get to decide what your goals are, and you get to work towards them.
Many people bounce around through life like a ball in a pinball machine — no control over where they’re going, just bumping into things. And until you decide to chart a course, you’ll just be bouncing aimlessly as well.
Stop the Bouncing; Chart a Course
Have you ever done an activity where someone told you to picture your life in 5 years? Or 2 years, or 10 years?
That’s more than just an exercise in imagination — it’s supposed to be a motivator, something that spurs you towards making the changes required to get to that point. Even if you see yourself winning the lottery in 2 years, you still have to start buying lotto tickets. If gambling takes effort, then why shouldn’t building a family, a business, or a fortune?
Whether or not you’ve done it before, picture where you want to be in 2 years. Write down the job you want to have, the relationship you want to fix, the car you want to buy, whatever it is. Now work backwards and write down some incremental goals. What steps can you take to reach them?
If you really want to make it happen, write down what changes you are going to start making tomorrow. Write down how often you’ll check on your progress. If you don’t know what steps to take, build in some time to research and find out. When you’re all done, share your 2-year plan with a close friend and ask them to help you stay on track. If you don’t think you can do it, you might need to reshape your attitude.
No One Else Can Do This For You
Remember, taking responsibility for your life means it’s up to you to build the life you want.
You can’t wait for someone else to give it to you. You can’t take it from someone else. You need to follow your plan, even when it’s hard, even when there are setbacks, until you get there. Even if it takes you a year longer than you wanted, as long as you don’t quit, you’ll get there. And it will be worth it.
Take Luck Out of the Equation
Taking responsibility means you can’t say that some people are more lucky than others. The good fortune of others has no bearing on your own; so you must prepare yourself for your ideal vision of the future.
Luck is that moment in time when preparation meets opportunity. There’s a quote that says, “I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.” It’s up to you to make your own luck. No one else is going to do it for you.
Start Taking Responsibility
Sometimes it’s easier to blame someone or something else when all is not well. But complaining about unfortunate circumstances will never change those circumstances: that’s YOUR job.
Don’t let events, people, or emotions dictate how far you can go. The more you put into life, the more you’ll get out of it.