Archives for November 2012

You Are the Reason

Personal Responsibility is a hot topic these days.  It does not matter what side of the political fence you are on, everyone wants other people to be more accountable to themselves.  By very definition, this is the wrong way to look it.  The easiest faults to see in others are gaps in integrity.  The truth is that you can only change yourself, no matter how hard you try to change others.

So, why should you want to be more personally responsible?  I have two reasons why I want to take more responsibility in my life.

  1. My irresponsibility will eventually become someone else’s responsibility.  The government and current welfare system is a great example of this fact.  There are people out there that really need some short-term help to get on their feet.  There are others that require a lifetime of help due to illness, injury, or another long-term issue.  However, there are many people out there that just enjoy sitting at home without a job taking advantage of a system that can not possibly police itself.  When someone fails to pull their own weight, someone else has to pay the way for them.  I do not want for my responsibilities to fall onto someone else.
  2. I know that we are all designed for greatness.  Every single one us are made to do great things.  It is why we were created, why we are drawn to movies about super heroes, why we read books where the underdog wins over the better equipped.  We want to be someone’s hero.  We ARE designed to be better than we can imagine.

“Everybody is a genius.  But, if you judge a fish by his ability climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing it is stupid.”

– Albert Einstein

Personal Responsibility begins with finding the right answers.  The right answers can not be found without first asking the right questions.  In my opinion there are is only one good question:  HOW (or what) can I (or other personal pronoun) ACTION VERB to IMPROVE (whatever your subject matter is)?  If you ask questions that start with why, when or who it zaps your ability to do what needs to be done.

It is much easier to wonder when someone else will do something to help your situation than it is to get up and do something for your self.  I want to make sure everyday I get to be on this earth, I do the best I can to acknowledge that I am where I am because of what I do, and only I can change that.

In light of this post, I guess the title should be: I am the reason.

What can I do to make my life better?

Are You Doing What You Are Best At?

There are some things that I am good at.  There are other things that I am bad at.  There are still other things that are just total time wasters.  So, why do I find myself doing time wasting things and things that I am really bad at all the time?

  1. It is the most convenient thing to do.  Usually I find myself doing things that are time wasters because it is convenient.  It’s there, right next to me, calling my name, “Stephen, look at Facebook.”  I guess I should stop carrying my phone with me everywhere I go!?!
  2. It is the way we are programmed.  From our youth we are told over and over to spend most of our time improving on the things we don’t do as well.  If you get a “C” in math and an “A” in Creative Writing the first thing you hear is, “WHY DID YOU GET A “C” in Math?!  Now don’t get me wrong, Math is important.  You should definitely apply yourself to do your best in everything you do.  Sometimes, however, I think it is best to take the things that we are good at, and continue to strengthen them.
  3. We are afraid to be good.  I enjoy doing good projects and being recognized for it.  The thing about doing good is that it sets expectations.  It makes people expect your good to become better and your better to become best.  At some point we become afraid that we can’t meet other people’s expectations.  I heard a quote the other day, “Today’s expectations are tomorrow’s resentment”.  I disagree with that.  There is a difference between expectations and being over bearing.  Without expectations, whether on ourself or from others, we will never stretch and get better.  It is not the fault of those who have expectations of us when we fail.  Besides you only fail when you quit.

Now that I have covered some of the reasons why you do not do what you are best at, I have a challenge.

  • Write the one or two things that you are best at and love to do.  It does not matter what it is.  Whether it is writing, helping others, playing piano, teaching, auto mechanics, or cleaning carpet; write it down.
  • Write the reasons why you are not doing those things.
  • Leave a comment on this blog, call your mom, brother, best friend, or anyone that can contact you and make a commitment to them.  Commit that you will eliminate the reasons you are not doing what you love and are best at one at time, every week until all of your excuses are gone.
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