Tonight I had the blessing to hear one of my awesome mentors, Wayne MacNamara, give an incredible talk. It was hard hitting, silenced the room for a few minutes, but one that everyone needed to hear, whether they wanted to or not. As Orrin Woodward says, “the truth shall set you free. After it ticks you off”.
Wayne spoke about taking responsibility for our lives. That if we only had $200 in the bank, that it was our own fault. If our marriage was in trouble, that was our own fault. If our marriage ended in divorce, that was our own fault. Tough words, but no truer words have ever been spoken.
We have grown up in a society that loves to play the blame game. I personally played that game my whole life. I blamed my circumstances on my parents. My teachers. My brother. My friends. Etc. etc. Everything negative in my life was blamed on someone or something else. But, in reality, each and every situation was my fault. My fault for the way I reacted. My fault for choosing to play the victim. And all that did was bring me to the circumstances I was in. For I had a CHOICE.
Life is a choice. Every moment of every day is a choice. When we play the victim, we are giving someone else the responsibility for our life. In doing this, we also lose the power to fix the issue. However, if we take personal responsibility, we empower ourselves to fix it. That is the only way we are going to be able to change our circumstances and grow into a better person, and into better circumstances.
I personally have begun to do this in the last couple of years, after finally learning that playing the victim card was getting me nowhere, except into the same type of circumstances time and time again. Another of my awesome mentors, Scott Staley, had told me during a conversation that this wasn’t the first time I was in the situation that I was in, and that if I didn’t change, it wouldn’t be the last. I was not happy to hear that. But I am so blessed to have people in my life who tell the me the truth- not as I wish to hear it, but how I NEED to hear it. I took offence to what he has said, and undoubtedly stewed about it for a few days ( victim thinking again!!!). But I then started to realize that he was absolutely right. I could look back and see quite a few times over my life where I had been in similar circumstances. And I thus began to dig into the why. And there, began my journey to a world of discovery of who I am, who I used to be, and who I wanted to be in the future. It was through this temporarily painful perspective that my life truly began to change for the better. I took control of my attitude, and began to take responsibility for everything in my life.
It hasn’t been an easy adjustment to make. And I must admit, it is really easy to fall back into the old habits of blaming someone or something else. I just try to always remember that I want to have control of my life. I want to make the right choices. I want to be able to change. To grow into a stronger, better person. A better leader. And unless I make the choice to take responsibility for where I am, and where I am going, my road will quickly turn into a dead end. For those who choose not to take their life into their own hands, will never be able to find the path to success, in any area of their lives. Attitude really is everything. And I choose to have a good one. I choose to hold the pen, and write my own story. And I choose to write one with a happy ending.