Posted December 1, 2006
The Ride Of Your Life: Who's Driving?
One of the biggest challenges that most people face in the exciting times we live in, is the feeling that their lives are just spiraling out of control. They feel like the events and circumstances of their lives have lead them along a torturous route and that they have no control over all the misfortunes and wrong doings that brought them to this moment in time.
The truth is that your life will not change until and unless you assume full responsibility for it. Responsibility, or your ability to respond, is not a way of accepting some form of blame as most people think, but rather a way of accepting your ability to respond to any situation. It is absolutely critical to realize and accept that it is never the actual events of your life but only your responses to these events that will shape and create your life. You are never the creature of circumstances and you have the ultimate ability to consciously decide what things mean and how to respond to it. You are the only one that can and the only one that will take you where you want to go in your life.
Responsibility is not some skill you need to go and find outside of yourself but it is something you already possess. All you need to do is to assume this power that calls on you to stop blaming any and everything other than yourself. Most of us have been conditioned to blame someone else for the parts of our lives that don't work. When you take full responsibility for your life you put yourself back in charge; you get back in behind the wheel of your life and now you have the ability to control and direct your life the way you choose to. Ultimately it is not the conditions of your life but rather the decisions about what things mean and what you are going to do about it that will create the real conditions of your life.
When you are fully responsible you recognize that you are the creator of your life. At some level you were responsible. If not by your conscious actions, then by the meanings and emotions you attached to the events and experiences. Only when you accept responsibility for creating everything in your life can you start to un-create and re-create it the way you truly want. If you keep blaming someone or something else you will remain bound because you will always rely on something or someone else to be responsible for the way you feel and ultimately someone else will be responsible for the state of your life. You have to consciously unfold your arms, get out of the back seat and get back behind the wheel and start directing your life towards where you want it to go, instead of just going with the flow.
See, there are only two real choices in life, the one conscious and the other unconscious: you can either choose to be directed by the events and circumstances of life and let the river of life take you wherever it's going or you can have both your hands on the steering wheel and decide that you are in full control. You get to decide where you go. Although you can't control all the events of your life, you can always decide what the events mean to you and how you are going to respond. Whenever anything happens to you, you have to respond to it in order to create the outcome. Most people have fallen into the cultural hypnosis that just passes the responsibility on to someone else. This is why their lives feel out of control, because it is. They have not taken responsibility.
You create your world. When you assume your responsibility you are in charge and this is an internal shift in your thinking and behaviour. Your psychology is not just a big part of your life but it is "everything." Winning and losing in life is an internal game. By learning to control and direct your mind you get to choose what things mean and therefore you get to choose your response, also known as your responsibility. No one can ever give you responsibility. It is an internal process and a switch that only you can turn on or off.
Being fully responsible doesn't mean you live in blame and self pity. It means that you live life from a place of power where you know that on some level you are fully responsible for what happened and you will be responsible for everything that is to come. Be careful how you utilize your past experiences. With responsibility comes a new emotional territory that reinvents your past. You want to use your past as a place to learn from and a place to pull pleasure from. Right, wrong or indifferent, there is a gift in there somewhere. You just need to find it. It's never too late to have a happy childhood - you have the ability (and response-ability) to find an empowering meaning in whatever life gives you.
Responsibility means that you are in charge. You call the shots. Nobody and nothing is in control and to blame other than you. This is how you turn problems into opportunities and how an ordinary life becomes extraordinary. Helen Keller, who was both blind and deaf, said that life is either a daring adventure or nothing. What is it going to be for you? You can either let the environment steer your life or you can get behind the wheel and take responsibility for every aspect of your life. Life is one amazing adventure , but only if you perceive it as that. By being responsible you can take yourself anywhere you want to go because you are the only one who gets to steer your ship and direct the course. You can't control the wind but you can most certainly direct your sails.
Copyright © 2006 Deon Du Plessis
Deon Du Plessis is the creator of A Course of Action, a free e-course designed to empower you to break through your limitations, take action and transform your ideas into reality. Visit The Self Improvement Gym for more self improvement and personal development insights and resources.
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