Anne Frank once said,
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment to improve the world.”
Our moods often dictate how we appear to people. Others only see our behaviour, which is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to who we really are. Lurking beneath the tip are all our prejudices, judgments, ideas, attitudes, motivations, rules, standards and a multitude of other concepts that make up who we call ‘us’.
We judge others by their behaviour, we judge ourselves by our intentions. When we act in a certain way, we have reasons why we did that, and can always find something or someone else to blame for our inadequacies. It’s never our fault, is it?
And yet, when we accept that we actually can control things by saying, in effect, ‘I am responsible’, it unleashes a new-found energy and strength inside of us. No longer do we have to find excuses; no longer do we have to go down the route of explaining away inadequacies.
We can start to drive ourselves forward proactively. We can accept things that would have crippled others’ self-esteem and deliver results that make us feel we have more power.
You can start right now. You don’t have to wait a single moment longer. Yes, it may take time to bed in. Yes, you will still have thoughts about how others’ opinions affect you. After a while, though, the journey will become easier as you firstly start and then maintain an attitude of proactive nurturing.
I find blaming other things for my results debilitating. It saps my energy because I am effectively giving them control of my mental faculties. I no longer control my feelings and emotions…others do. And no-one else has my interests at heart more than I do.
So, think about how you can make the world a better place by starting with your own neck of the woods. Don’t give anyone reason to question your motives or drive. Be proactive in what you do today. Accept that you take personal responsibility for all your own actions, not someone else.
If you’re late because of bad traffic, don’t blame the traffic. Accept it as ‘just one of those things’, resolve that it’s not going to affect your mood (you can’t do anything about it anyway) and move on. Blaming something outside your control only makes you more of the victim. And the victim mode doesn’t bring sympathy from others…it only brings the subconscious desire for you to take responsibility for a change.
As Gandhi said, ‘be the change you want to see in the world’. If you take personal responsibility starting today, you’ll see how you can have an impact on your part of the world, starting today.
Head of Training
Originally published: 5 October, 2012