A Legacy of Success
By: T. Franklin Murphy | October 2016 (edited October 2018)
We create change by working through the unpleasant givens of life. When life seemingly doesn't play fair, we address the obstacles with creativity and resolve.
I advocate taking personal responsibility. We empower change through constructive choices. The motivational energy behind conscious choice is only possible when we recognize the self-empowerment to effect change. While we remain free to choose action, not all experience is of our choosing. We create our lives from givens not of our makings. The universe is not our servant, abundantly giving according to our desires.
The world turns independent of our wishes. We suffer from difficulties we don’t deserve. Some events crash into our lives and knock us flat—unpredictable and unplanned. Other people’s choices impact our experience with force. We may be hurt by those we trust and betrayed by those we love. These are some of the unpleasurable givens of our mortal lives.
"The world turns independent of our wishes. We suffer from difficulties we don’t deserve. Some events crash into our lives and knock us flat—unpredictable and unplanned."
The disrupting factors from outside our realm of control easily demands our attention, screaming unfairness and persuading us to cower to the immensity of external force. We want to blame. But by focusing on personal responsibility, we redirect attention back to areas where we control; our domain of empowerment—the behaviors we can enact that impact our futures. The events that happen are important; but more important is our response. When unforeseen obstacles challenge our good intentions, we shouldn’t quit, blaming the challenge for our failure. Our responses to difficulties are crucial junctures in our journey. Stop, assess, and adjust.
By focusing on perceived unfairness, we feel discouraged, giving energy to debilitating thoughts. We give these thoughts substance by validating them. By entertaining these disquieting delinquents, we lose strength and begin to compromise goals and give way to fears. Ill directed attention strangles motivation. We helplessly succumb to the unpredicted challenges of living. Justification may cool the stinging discomforts of failure but invites the deeper sorrows of unfulfilled dreams. Our outward focus invites dark shades of disappointment that extinguishes the previous brightness of hope.
Success requires we traverse the unplanned fields of difficult. We must fight the urge to blame, resisting pulling back into ego soothing helplessness. By proclaiming, “it ain’t my fault,” we feel less inclined to act; we protect a defeated ego, staining our futures with the scattered ashes of unfulfilled dreams.
When the moments arrive, instead of blame, energize your inner-creativeness, focusing on resolutions rather than fruitless excuses. We must believe in our capabilities to surpass the unplanned. We must constantly keep invigorated our minds with hope, energizing self-discipline to sacrifice present-moment enjoyments to achieve demanding future intentions.
Our paths to change will encounter both successes and failures. This is normal. As we continue, we build on the successes by learning from the failures. With positive movement, our confidence grows, and self-discipline strengthens. The journey will never be straight or smooth. We must continually learn from the knocks and bruises. We intuitively know, from the repeated success of taking personal responsibility, that we can handle the vicissitudes of life. We can take the unplanned and unpleasant gifts of life, stumble, but then regain our footing and move forward, building a legacy of success.
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