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Today, I would like to talk about personal responsibility. Back in 2006, a film which was followed by a book called "The Secret” was released. This book covered (or uncovered) a universal law that had been kept a secret called, "The Law of Attraction." The book and movie were instant classics. A lot of people felt a lot of different things about this particular information. Thoughts ranged from enlightening and life changing to sacrilegious and satanic.
However, one of the more simple principles in this information that got glossed over was the principle of personal responsibility. In other words, you are responsible for the situation that you are in. It isn't somebody else's fault, it's yours. Now... if that tidbit of information is correct, then that in and of it self is a secret.
In today’s society, we are not taught that we are responsible for where we are in life, and what has happened to us in our life. Credit repair companies, debt consolidation companies, insurance companies, and of course deviant men who want to take advantage of women who have been hurt in previous relationships make an absolute killing off of using the phrase, "It's not your fault."
Another common phrase that is used out there today is, "DON'T BLAME THE VICTIM!" And speaking of victims: A lot of celebrities have gained their largest amount of notoriety by being cheated on by or mistreated by their spouses. Now I'm not trying to be insensitive to anyone or their various situations, but I'm just making a point. We live in a society that loves victimhood.
We love a charity case. If we are watching a movie, and we see a person get victimized, then we want that person to have a happy ending. Why? Because they "deserve" it, because of what they went through. It has gotten to a point that people now WANT to be victims so that they can be loved, garner sympathy, and get attention.
The Manti Te'o Story is a classic example of this. Whether or not you believe that Te’o is innocent or not, he greatly benefited from his tragedy. It brought him and the school much attention. It was one of the biggest stories in college football! Te’o became a HERO! And now he is getting more attention than anyone else. Why? Because he was, or was allegedly a victim! We love victims! Losing your grandmother and lover to cancer on the same day? Wow!
Now I'm not necessarily saying that this (people sympathizing with a victim) is a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with being compassionate or wanting to help those in need. But this thought process is not one that brings success.
You see, unlike in the movies, you don't get a happy ending just because something bad has happened to you. You only get a good ending when you do what it takes to achieve a good ending (regardless of what trials you go through). But most people don't believe that. They believe (at least on a subconscious level) that success and failure are based upon luck. So if they are struggling, it's because they aren't lucky. This ideology has become a part of our language. Have you ever heard...
"You don't know what it's like. You are lucky you aren't in the debt that I'm in."
Translation: Me being in debt has nothing to do with my bad spending decisions, investment decisions, or relationship decisions. When I was three years old and I pulled my destiny out of the black hat, my card said, "You will be in debt." But when you pulled yours out of that hat, you got lucky and pulled the "you will be debt free" card out.
"You don't know what it's like. You are lucky that you don't have kids."
Translation: The reason that you don't have kids is not because you chose not to have them. You spread yourself around like peanut butter on a jelly sandwich. But fortunately for you, you are infertile. On the other hand, I just WOKE UP with these kids! And now I have this responsibility that no one else has ever overcome.
I could go on and on for days on the whole, “You are lucky... You don’t understand... You don’t go through what I go through!” language examples. But I’m sure you get the point. Apparently, nothing is more blissful than to win the “whoa is me” championship. The only problem is that the trophy that you win is a trophy of poverty, sadness and despair.
But Matt... How dare you say such things?! I am not responsible for XXX situation! It wasn't my fault. There was nothing I could have done to stop this. How can you sit there and blame me? You don't even know me, or my situation!
You know what? You are correct. I can't argue with you or anyone else on any particular situation that has occured.. Things happen. Maybe something did just flat out happen to you. But if it did, then it happened for a reason. You weren't put on earth to fail!
Here is the bottom line: If you don't control your own destiny, then someone else will. PERIOD. There are a lot of conspiracies out there as it relates to the banking industry, the health industry, Hollywood and anything else you can think of. But all of these mechanisms of control are contingent upon this one simple piece of information.
The main way that the elite class in this world control the masses is by making them believe that they don't control their own destiny. All of the major institutions out there teach people that their lives are a result of what has happened TO them.
I can't be successful because "The economy is bad." I can't be successful because, "I am not lucky like successful people are." I can't be successful because "The wrong president got elected." I can't be successful because... You fill in the blank.
Interestingly enough, if you took all the rich and poor people in life, and switched around all of the presidents who got elected, the rich people would still be rich, and the poor would still be poor. As a matter of fact, rich people decide who gets in office! But that’s a different story for a different day.
It's interesting how book shelves are saturated with stories of how humans overcame outrageous, buck wild, gut wrenching situations to become successful. Simultaneously, the world is filled with people who have situations not half as bad as the aforementioned humans, yet couldn't do well because of their circumstances.
The sad reality is that most of us are grown. But when it comes to our own lives, most of us are still children. We need someone else (like the government) to provide for us, help us pick the right relationships, help us stay healthy and help us be happy! But grown folks provide for themselves.
So... I am here to throw out a very contrarian message to all of us. For better or for worse, you are the result of yourself! If you are successful, you did it. If you are not successful, you did it. It’s on you. Now, finding out that it is all your fault can be a hard pill to swallow. But it also can be empowering. Because just as you got yourself in a mess (if you are in one), you can get your self out of it. But in order to do that, from now on, it has to be YOUR Fault.
So instead of focusing on what is going to happen next, ask yourself... "What am I going to make happen next?" It's up to you. If you leave it up to someone else (who doesn't have your best interest in mind), you will fail. I will leave you with these quotes.
“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them.”
George Bernard Shaw, Mrs. Warren's Profession
“The student who learns that power comes from within, that he is weak only because he has depended on help from outside, and who unhesitatingly throws himself on his own thought, instantly rights himself, stands erect, assumes a dominant attitude, and works miracles.”
Charles Haanel, The Master Key System
So until next time,
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