(MoneyWatch) It's your fault. It's all your fault. Everything wrong in your life is entirely your fault.
And thank goodness for that! If it wasn't your
fault, then what control would you have when it comes to making your life better? Of course, it's not politically correct to write these things. If you are unemployed, it's
because of a lousy boss, bad economy or terrible political leadership. If you
have diabetes, it's because of your genes or the lack of money or time
to eat properly.
We are conditioned to believe that such problems are decidedly not our fault. We're told it's never our fault. Our weight problem is not because we drink too much soda, it's because evil convenience stores provide cups that are too large. We watch presidential debates where both candidates talk over each other to tell the American public either how government is to blame or how government will fix everything -- but hear nothing about the individual's role in improving the economy.
Few are willing to accept that they are responsible for their life. But for those who do, it changes everything.
Everywhere you look you will find an escape hatch from personal responsibility. But what's the harm, really? If you can sleep a little better thinking you're not to blame, is that such a bad thing? Isn't it better to feel good about, rather than blame, yourself? No. Not even a little. Because every time you abdicate responsibility by blaming someone or something else, you weaken your ability to do the one thing that can improve your life -- take action to change it.
It's worth noting the obvious -- namely, that some things really aren't your fault. Bad things happen to good people all the time. Trust me -- I've had my share of crises just like everyone else. The moment calamity strikes, you always have two possible reactions. You can immediately look outward to find fault with someone or something else or you can look inward and figure out what you need to do to get whole again.
Is it your fault the company you worked so hard for went out
of business? No. But it is entirely your responsibility that you are unemployed
and entirely your responsibility to find another job. I write this not to rub
salt in the wounds of the millions who are unemployed and struggling, but to offer
it as a gift -- the gift of accepting personal responsibility for whatever
It's nearly impossible to find a new job when you are stuck blaming your old employer. It's hard to improve your marriage when all you can do is blame your spouse for what's not working. It's hard to lose weight when you exert more effort blaming others instead of working out at the gym. You cannot achieve success and happiness by giving anyone or anything control. And that's exactly what you are doing when you point the finger -- you are giving something outside of yourself the control and the power. Blame has never got anyone a job, a more fulfilling marriage, or better health.
The greatest gift you can give yourself is to fully embrace the truth that -- regardless of what's happened in the past or what's wrong with your life today -- you alone have the power and the ability through your thoughts, choices, decisions and actions to change your life now.