There is a story of two brothers who grew up with an alcoholic, drugged out, criminal father. One brother grew to be an alcoholic drugged out criminal. The other grew to be a high achieving hedge fund manager, who never touched a drink or a drug in his life. When asked separately (later on in life) “How did you get here?” Both had the same answer: How could I not with a father like the one I had.
You know it is interesting to me how many of us use our past and current circumstances and experiences to dictate why we are the way that we are. This story so eloquently teaches us that we are who we are because of the choices that we make- not by the “hand that we were dealt”. But it is easy, isn’t it, to avoid taking responsibility for our own choices and actions and to blame others or experiences? Shore Locals, I cannot tell you how detrimental that is to your futures.
I say to my children, my team, my family, my friends (and basically anyone who will listen to me) that
life is a result of the choices that we make.
The sooner that we take personal responsibility for our own choices and the outcomes that happen because of them, the sooner we will become who we were destined to be. Do experiences help shape us? Yes. Does our upbringing have an effect on how we parent or value ourselves, or handle conflict, or react instead of respond? Yes. Does that mean that we are paralyzed by those experiences or people? Absolutely freaking not.
In order to move forward and break free from that,
you must first stop blaming your behavior and circumstances on others. Just stop. Now…. No really, right now.
Get quiet and think about the choices that you personally have made which have brought you to where you are. You have so much more control over your life than you realize and guess where it all begins? In your mind.
Let’s talk about a super taboo subject: infidelity. I have come to learn that it is a fade that happens slowly, then quickly. I have heard so many spouses blame their infidelity on their spouse or the fact that their mother/father taught them that it was okay to treat their spouses with such disrespect. You all know what I’m talking about, either you or someone you know has totally told you the story. I, myself, have heard it over and over and over again, to the point of exhaustion, if I am being honest. I bet if you go back, all the way back, you will see that one small, innocent enough, little choice is what led to the crap show that you eventually would experience, and guess where it began?
It all began in your mind.
You allowed the thought to enter your mind and then you allowed it to take up residence there. That thought grew into a fantasy, which then grew into desire, which then grew into you walking that ever-so-thin line with the object of your fantasy, “just for fun” (a little text or facebook message can’t really hurt, right?). Before long, you find yourself alone in an unstoppable situation and then like a freight train speeding down the tracks, you were unable to hit the brakes. Then what happens? You begin to make excuses. It couldn’t possibly me! It’s my partner! I’m unhappy in my relationship, because he doesn’t help me with the house or the kids, or he works too much, or she is too controlling or gained weight, or doesn’t desire me the way she once did. If this is you, I want you to stop it right now and think. How did this all begin? Was it him? Was it her? Or was it you?
Friends, life is a result of the choices we make, every single, solitary moment of every single day. We, and only we, have the ability to change the course of our lives and it comes from making a steadfast decision and a commitment to taking personal responsibility for our thoughts and our actions.
My column this week is absolutely not to pass judgement. For crying out loud, I have made my share of mistakes, probably way more than you ever have. The difference? I have learned to take responsibility and to use those past experiences to make better decisions going forward. I only want that for you. I want you to take personal responsibility for your futures. You are destined to become something great. Don’t allow your poor choices to dictate your future. Stop where you are and use that God-given, beautiful, brilliant mind of yours and reflect on where you went wrong. Maybe you need to stop this infidelity bit, or stop wallowing in self-pity, or put the drugs or alcohol down, or apologize to that friend that you deeply hurt, or go back and get that degree, or insert whatever awesome choice you can make to change the course of your life here.
You are powerful beyond measure.
I believe in you. Now, believe in yourself and make great choices.I am sending you peace, love, and good vibes from my crazy jumbled up mind, to your’s!