A Strong Finish, A Strong Beginning
Fail Frequently – Part 4 of 6
As we approach the end of 2012 and start thinking about the beginning of 2013, we get both reflective and hopeful. We reflect on what happened to us in 2012, what went well, what not so much.
We think of the hopes and dreams we had back in January and about how close, or not, we came to bringing those to fruition. It’s time to put all your successes and failures for 2012 into perspective, to see what you can learn from them, and to use those lessons to move boldly and positively forward in 2013!
So far in this segment we have covered failure to get started, failure to prioritize, and failure to forgive – all serious roadblocks that you now know how to overcome in 2013. Failure to be accountable is the next big pothole for you to recognize and avoid so you can start over successfully.
If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve come to appreciate what the saying “there is no free lunch” means. Everything has a price. If you fudge on your insurance claim, everyone’s premiums go up. When a few people behave badly, everyone gets policed more stringently. The reckless driver endangers many beside himself even as he thinks the speed limit or no-texting laws apply only to others, not to him.
I want the best for you and the only way to get the best is to be the best. You only have control over you, nothing and nobody else. So excel, develop yourself to the highest standards, and be accountable to and responsible for your own results, good or bad.
If that sounds too hard, here’s some inspiration for you.
The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking. – Albert Einstein
There aren‘t nearly enough crutches in the world for all the lame excuses. – Marcus Stroup
There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstances permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results. – Art Turock
If it turns out that my best wasn’t good enough, at least I won’t look back and say that I was afraid to try; failure makes me work even harder. – Michael Jordan
I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity an obligation; every possession, a duty. – John D. Rockefeller
The price of greatness is responsibility. – Winston Churchill
It is not the mountains that we conquer, but ourselves. – Edmund Hillary
Freedom requires responsibility. That is why most men dread it. George Bernard Shaw
If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders. – Abigail Van Buren
What are steps you can take today so you don’t fail to be accountable? Here are 7 ways for you to step up to full ownership of your life, 7 steps to accepting the responsibility that comes with freely living and enjoying life on your terms:
• Stop lying to yourself – Lying is a habit. It starts out small – white lies, omissions, half truths. We justify that it is to protect others. We rationalize it is harmless. First we direct it outwardly and then we direct it inwards. We treat it as harmless until we believe our own lies and can no longer tell the difference. When everything becomes everyone else’s fault and we appear blameless to ourselves in EVERY instance, we are indeed lying to ourselves. The only way back to health and life and fulfillment and hope is to stop. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.
• Give up playing the victim – You can no longer indulge in feeling sorry for yourself. We all know stories of bad things happening to the best of people. Life can be unfair, unkind and unjust. Your challenge is to rise above, to be a beacon, to lead others to the understanding that they have it within them to overcome and move beyond harsh reality. You can only do this by taking stock, regrouping, and moving forward in an attitude of positivity and gratefulness. When negative thoughts and emotions creep in, stop, acknowledge them, and focus more tightly on your immediate present. Find something, anything, to be grateful for now in this instant. Feel the anxiety recede and be kind to yourself for taking action. You are not now, and never have been, a victim. The power has always been within you to choose to be present and look forward with hope.
• Decide to stop complaining – Nobody’s life is better than yours, just different. Each person has different abilities to cope so what looks easy from the outside may in fact be difficult for the person you envy. When life trips you up it’s to get your attention, to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not have the perspective to see or understand everything the moment it happens, but when you reflect back objectively you will realize a pattern; what seemed rotten at the time often led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. When you make a conscious decision to stop complaining and start appreciating, you will instantly find you are rarely disappointed. Choose to lose the negativity and not only will you be stronger and more prepared to deal with inevitable hardship. You will also find burdens much lighter. Not only that, but with your pleasant, grateful attitude, people will come out of the woodwork to help you and be with you. You’ll be amazed at the instant bounty and abundance in your life when you internalize a mindset devoid of complaints.
• Give up the entitlement mindset – Success builds upon itself, step by step. When you hand over your power to someone else by feeling that they owe you, you are unproductive and can’t experience the reward of earning your own results. Making up the story that there was an injustice done to you somewhere along the line that someone has to pay you back for puts your energy and focus in a weak, unhealthy state. Appreciate everything around you right now. Be grateful today, come from a place of service today, see how much you can help and give, and you’ll experience all the joy that you once thought someone else should provide to you just because you were breathing. Grow strong, do your own work, and earn respect.
• Stop doing things you know are wrong – The person who pays the ultimate price when you go against integrity, morals, and values is you. It doesn’t matter how holy your speech is; your behaviors and actions tell the real story. Just as failing to forgive can eat you alive with bitterness and anger, no amount of denial will allow you to thrive while you are doing what you know in your heart is wrong. Be better. Now.
• Take full accountability of your own life – It is not easy to navigate the obstacles that trip us up. However, if you don’t take steps to acknowledge and accept responsibility for the role you played in your mistakes, and if you aren’t willing to improve your responses the next time you encounter similar difficulties, then you condemn yourself to a life of mere existence. It may not be easy but it will be rewarding.
• Stop following the path of least resistance – Life is not easy, especially when you plan to achieve something worthwhile. Accept accountability. Embrace responsibility. Choose to excel. Do something extraordinary!
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