A Legacy of Success Focus on Personal Responsibility By: Troy Murphy | October 2016
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I advocate personal responsibility. We empower ourselves through constructive choices. And constructive choices can only be made when we recognize personal responsibility to make them. While I support freedom to choose, I don’t suggest all experience is of our choosing. It isn’t. The universe is not a servant. The world continues to turn independent of our wishes. Numerous events occur outside our control. We suffer from difficulties we don’t deserve. Some events knock us flat, crying out, "why me?" Other people’s choices impact us. People we trust occasionally challenge that trust. The people we lean on occasionally let us down.
By focusing on personal responsibility, we re-direct attention to the choices we do have, the behaviors that impact the final outcome. The events that happen are important; but more important is how we respond. When unforeseen obstacles challenge the best intentions, we shouldn’t simply quit, blaming the challenge for failure. These are the key points in our journey. Stop, assess, and adjust.
By focusing on the unfairness, we feel discouraged, giving power to debilitating thoughts. The thoughts have no substance but great power. We give thoughts substances by validating them, compromising goals and giving way to fears. Ill directed attention strangles motivation. We helplessly succumb to the unpredicted challenge. Justification doesn’t soothe the sorrow of unfulfilled dreams. The dark shades of disappointment never obtain the brightness of hope without traversing the unplanned. As seedlings of helplessness take root, we blame instead of act, protecting the defeated ego with the ashes of unfulfilled dreams.
Instead of blame, we must energize inner-creativeness, focusing on answers to the problems—not the problems. Self-discipline to surpass the moment and achieve our attention is more than a mind game achieved with self-affirmations but the fortitude to consistently act. When we reflect on past responses, we must acknowledge both successes and failures. We build on successes and design new approaches to avoid failures. By approaching life in this manner, confidence grows and self-discipline strengthens. We constantly learn from the past. We know, by experience, we can handle the vicissitudes of life.