Friday, March 23, 2007

Take 100% Responsibility for your Life

This idea is not a new one but it has been talked about a lot recently in light of the DVD The Secret and many other presentations in the media etc.

I was listening to a Jack Canfield recording and he told a great story that I feel answered the question that is often asked “How can I take responsibility for something that happens to me?”

An earthquake wiped out a freeway into Los Angles a while ago and driving into the city was horrible, long queues moving nowhere. During the chaos a local TV interviewed two people. One guy was complaining and arguing about the situation. All he could do was blame and he was very upset and having a terrible day. The second guy was sitting in his car very content. He had brought food and coffee, had a book to read and music to listen to, a warm rug in case it got cold. He had left home at 5.00am so he felt he had done all he could to get to work and that his boss couldn’t have asked more of him. He was dealing with the situation with calm forethought and a happy demeanour.

This simple story illustrates that you can take full responsibility in the way that you respond to a situation. After all, the dictionary definition of responsibility is 'the ability to respond’. The guy who was happy with his situation was dealing with the same set of circumstances that the guy who was unhappy. He had just responded differently. Instead of being the victim of the traffic jam he had done everything he could to ensure his experience was going to be ok. He had taken responsibility for his life in that moment.

Each time we complain/blame or are resentful about something or someone we are not taking responsibility for our lives. We can choose to act differently. We can choose to see the best in every situation, and respond accordingly.

I was contemplating this for a few days when I received some mail in the post in which one of my tax forms had been wrongly presented. Now it wasn’t my ‘fault’ I had actually filled them in correctly, but still I now had to deal with the fallout. In Spain, a foreign country and foreign language this is not the easiest. In the past this would have driven me mad and I would have spent the most part of a day bitching and complaining about the incompetence of everyone else but me! However, because I had been focusing on taking 100% responsibility I remembered, and in that moment chose to respond differently. I was calm, did not get angry and just worked out what I had to do and who I needed to talk with to sort it out. I have to report that never, in all the five years I have lived here has my experience with Spanish Officialdom been so easy. I responded with ease, and so did the tax office. By taking responsibility for my life in that moment I create a far better scenario than my blame/complain attitude of the past would have done.

Where in your life do you blame? Where are you holding resentment? What do you complain about? If you do any of these things you are not taking 100% responsibility. Until we do we cannot be the master of our lives. Fancy giving it a try? You have nothing to lose and, from my experience, a lot to gain. Your world is in your hands.


Blogger said...

When we start out spritual journey we all seem to think we have made it too soon. It isnt until we take responsability for our life, is when everything seems to slot into place. Yesterday I told something to somebody which has taken me a year. Sounds pathetic. Since I did it, I feel so much better, so go out everybody and speak your truth!

11:40 PM  

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