Taking Responsibility For Your Life

Responsibility is a term very often regarded as something negative. You need to take the responsibility for your actions, you are responsible for what you’ve done, who’s going to take responsibility if this goes wrong? All of these have a negative conotation. However, taking responsibility is something every person who wants to reach a significant success in whatever area needs to do. In specific terms, you have to take responsibility for your life first in order to be able to take it to the next level. This is the topic we’ll be looking at in today’s article. Let’s make this happen!

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Is Responsibility Really That Bad?

As I mentioned above, responsibility is something people usually perceive negatively, usually as a result of some mistake. But is it really that bad? Let’s look at what it really means to take responsibility for your life. When you do that, you automatically take responsibility for whatever happens in your life. What does this mean though? How can I take responsibility for something I haven’t done? It’s important to understand the concept behind taking responsibility for your life. Let’s say something really bad happened. Say your unicorn caught a cold (let’s talk about unicorns to make the misfortune a bit less real and a bit more comical). Your unicorn caught a cold and you need to take the responsibility for it. Why? You’re not the one who made the unicorn sick and you haven’t done anything that would lead to you unicorn’s sickness. That is all true, but you still need to understand that you could have invested your years of university into studying about unicorns and the diseases that attack them and about how to prevent these diseases. Now, you might be thinking that I went a bit nuts!

Why Do I Need to Take Responsibility for Everything?

I might have gone slightly crazy when I decided to use the example of a unicorn, but the point stands. You need to take responsibility. Why? The reason is very simple. You need to take responsibility in order to remind yourself that you’re in control. You’re in full control of your life. You can affect anything that happens to you, the way you perceive it and how you react. Let me repeat it, you are in control. What does this mean? This means that you can achieve whatever you want to achieve, you can grow as much as you want to grow, you control anything that happens in your life and you control any outome of that situation. You are in control, absolute control.

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So How Do I Take Responsibility

Taking responsibility and thus taking full control of your life is not something you can start doing just like that. You first need to understand a very important thing. You want to take responsibility not to make yourself feel bad about something (like an average negative human machine would), but to remind yourself that you’re in control. You need to start looking for lessons and solutions in your hardships. You need to begin looking at things differently – then the things you look at will change. You won’t see a failed maths test, you’ll see an opportunity to get feedback and to learn and never make that mistake again. In short, you’ll see an opportunity to grow. You need to learn to understand that responsibility is not something bad or negative. It is a reminder, a reminder of your direction, a reminder of your vision and a reminder of the fact that there are hardships you need to overcome and grow through.

Success and The Size of Your Issues

Another very important thing you’ll learn to understand is that most of your issues are not even worth spending time and focus on. When you order a steak and get a chicken leg, is that really something that should take you calm away? Is it something you need to care about, or can you pick yourself up and get the hell on with it? Successful people never waste time on small issues and dramas. They focus on the greater problems that will take them somewhere. The size of your issues defines the size of your success. The harder it gets, the more you grow. However, the harder it gets doesn’t mean it gets harder for you. It might not feel harder, because you might be used to dealing with harder issues. When you grow, your issues grow. This means that the issues you perceive change. You learn to see the more important problems you have instead of the little drama you used to care about. This all is learnable. But first, you need to take responsibility for your life.

When you change the way you see things, the things you see change.

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The Instant Gratifiaton Trap and Why You Need to Escape It

In the modern society, especially among the youngsters, it is a very common value that enjoying your life as much as you can now, being happy now and “living your life to the fullest” now is something that everyone should do. There is nothing wrong with these values, however the ways we understand these phrases are significantly corrupt. To enjoy your life, to live it to the fullest and to be happy is many times connected to the actions that lie inside our comfort zones, or simply to the things that make us feel better. How come? Doesn’t living your life to the fullest mean growing as a person and reaching for your goals and dreams – working towards them every day? That is what it is meant to mean. But if you ask an average person why they go out drinking 2-3 times a week, spend money on alcohol and spend time, the most valuable commodity we all have, in clubs and then in bed trying to get rid of the hangover instead of reading books, exercising and growing every day, the answer will be – “This is what makes me happy, I want to live my life to the fullest.” My next question would be, what about you in the next 5-10 years? How do you want to live your life in the future and what are you doing for it? Most people are not able to answer. So what’s wrong about this and why am I bringing this up? What went wrong is, most people in our society live on something called “instant gratification,” which is essentially focusing on their short-term happiness and completely forgetting about the longer run.

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Instant Gratification

This concept is something that is so engraved in the traditional way of thinking that it is almost a taboo talking about this. How come? This is because all the brands such as Mc’Donalds, KFC, Marlboro, Hennessy etc. are all based on this fundamental preference of many people. Let’s take the example of Marlboro. Marlboro is one of the most famous cigarette brands valued at 26.6B$ . Actually, we can take this a step further. The whole tobacco industry is based on instant gratification. What does that mean? It means that all their products are based on how they make you feel at the moment you use them.  They make people feel good at that specific moment, but they make them feel terrible in the long run. So how come people still use these products even though they know they will feel awfully bad later on, maybe even die as a result of using these products? The answer is – instant gratification.

This is how most people think, this is how most people’s brains are programmed. They want to feel good now and forget about the future and the brands like the ones I mentioned realise this fact and use it to their advantage. This is the reason we’re dealing with a huge amount of lung cancer patients that wouldn’t have to be so desperate if they would’ve understood the concept of instant gratification and how dangerous it really is.

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Delayed Gratification

So what should we do about this? How do I escape the trap of instant gratification? To start with, as with everything we teach, you first need a strong reason, a strong why you want to escape this trap. Be it your health, be it your dreams and goals, you need to figure out something that can motivate you internally, because external motivation can only take you so far. But what really matters is why you want to do this. Once you have figured out a strong why you should be able to see why trading long-term happiness for instant happiness kills your dreams in the long run. It is immensely important to understand that what you really want is usually something that takes lots of work and more importantly lots of personal growth.

Delayed gratification is the understanding of the fact that you need to do the hard work now in order to live the life you want to live later. This doesn’t mean that your next 5 years will be full of suffering. It means that your next 5 years should be years of growth and self-development. You can still hang out with your friends, if that is something that you feel like will personally develop you and push you towards your goals. But if you want to become the superstar football player and you want to train tomorrow in the morning, if you friends ask you to go out tonight you can guess what the best answer is (hint – sorry, I’ve got some goals to hunt). The concept of delayed gratification allows you to understand that each decision you make now needs to be made for the greater benefit in the long run. This is something we spoke about in one of our recent posts. If you want to learn how to make successful decisions, definitely do give it a read.

Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.

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The Magic of Successful Decisions

Watching the ultimate heroes of the recent world in terms of success. such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Grand Cardone or Richard Branson, we tend to think that they are extraordinary, that they are gifted in some way. Now that is correct and incorrect. It is incorrect to assume that they have some sort of ultimate gift, that they were born this way. They had to go through more hardships than most people in the world. That is why they are where they are right now. It is wrong to assume that they have some fixed characteristic we can’t develop. We talk about this kind of mindset more in-depth in our post about The Mindset for Success. On the flip side, we are correct in the sense that they are extraordinary. More specifically, the way they have learned to think, the thought processes they have developed are their ultimate weapon. In this post, we will look at some of these thought processes. We’ll answer the question, how should I make decisions? How do successful people think through their problems?

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The Why

The #1 reason people who you look up to so much succeed is that they have asked themselves the most important question. Why do I want to succeed? You need to identify the reason why you want to succeed. The most successful people on this planet are successful because they have found a solid reason the want to succeed. Let’s think about the next scenario as an example. Imagine 3 birds sitting on a cable. One of them decides to fly away. How many birds are there now? The answer is 3! The bird decided to fly away, he didn’t take action. Now imagine these 3 birds on a cable again. Suddenly, someone shoots one of them. How many birds are there now? The answer is – none! Why? Because the reason has changed. Friedrich Nietzsche once said: “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” You need to figure out the destination where you’re heading before you look for your way!!

 

Making Complicated Decisions

We tend to think that making the decisions on our way to success must be something very complicated. Successful people must be super smart right? It’s super complicated to succeed right? Is it actually? If you look at one skill that is in the core of progress that leads to your personal growth, it is seeing the effects of every little decision that you make in the long-term. This might look very complicated at first, but if you think about it in simple terms, it also becomes very straight-forward. The only question you need to focus on is – Where does this decision take me? Is it a step towards my goal or is it a step away from it? Let’s take an example. It’s Friday evening 7pm and you still need to finish your daily reading in order to sustain your habit practice you’ve started a few days ago. However, at the same time your friends called you to go out and have some fun with them. What should you do? This absolutely depends on your goals. You set your goal to create that habit of daily reading. This means that you need to read every day without a break. If you go out with your friends, you can start again. If your goal is long-term personal growth through the habit of reading, then this is the decision you need to make. On the other hand, if your goal was to make more friends or socialize and have fun, the other choice would be correct. How come? This kind of thinking is very important, yet fairly simple. You need to look at the choices you have and evaluate, which choice brings you closer to your goal and which choice takes you further away from it. Then, it logically follows that you take the choice that brings you closer to your goals, whatever it is.

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Application

Applying this kind of thinking is nothing complex, but it matters tremendously and most people do not understand that. It is so simple, yet nobody truly applies this method. The good news is that it is applicable on every little thing you can think of. Should I take a shower today? Since I want to become a successful entrepreneur, that requires me to hold my hygiene and health in check. Thus I shall take a shower. I want to save some money on bills, should I take a shower today? Maybe, I should only wash my face and save some water bills today and take a shower tomorrow (a very naughty but a simple instance). Make use of this method in your life and start making the decisions that will bring you closer to your long-term goals. Yes, long-term goals. Focus on the long-term. Short-term gratification is a trap most people fall into, but I’ll leave that for another post.

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Your Environment Is Killing Your Success!

You’ve heard this many times… “You are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with.” I personally like to forget the number and focus on the part that says “you spend your time with.” Why is that? Because the number is completely irrelevant. If you spend all your time with a single person, that person will inevitably have the most influence on you. Or will she? In this article, we’ll look at how your environment affects your progress, your thinking and ultimately your success.

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Taking responsibility for your life

In the introduction above, we stressed the importance of you spending your time with the people around you. It is crucial for you to understand that you are responsible for everything that happens in your life. This doesn’t mean that you should blame yourself for everything that has happened in your life before. You need to remind yourself that you are in control of your life. That is why you need to hold yourself accountable for everything that happens to you. You are in control. You are the only person that can change something and your environment that affects you greatly is one of those things only you can change.

The power of your surroundings

Why is my environment so powerful? Why does it influence me so much? This has to do with your subconscious mind and the way it is programmed. There are many ways you can programme your subconscious mind that include your self-talk or for instance your environment. The one feature that underlines this influence is the regularity of anything in your life. Our brain works in a way that allows it to make fast decisions based on your memory from the past events that were similar to the present one. This means that when you encounter something brand new, your brain looks for the closest similar thought you have stored and connects the present thought to it. Furthermore, our brain works on the basis of regularity, which basically means that it works based on the habits it creates. This means that the more you think a certain thought, the more true it becomes. Thus it follows that the more you hear or see something negative, the more negative you will think. This analysis comes from the book called What to Say When You Talk to Yourself written by Shad Helmstetter Ph.D. Now that you see why the environment you live in is so important to your state of mind and to your behaviour, let’s look at how you can improve it so that you think positively, grow and progress towards your goals.

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Setting your surroundings for success

When thinking about how to create a positive and growth supporting environment, you need to think about the ways you perceive the environment around yourself. You are what you consume. We are ultimately affected by our thoughts that are triggered mainly by our vision and hearing. These are the two larger things you can directly affect. First, let’s focus on controlling what you hear. It sounds more than obvious that you need to switch from all the depressing songs about lost love to something more forward-looking that will get you to a more focused and positive state. Further, you need to make sure that you spend more time around people who are forward looking and who like to talk about positives, rather than to brag about negatives. It’s good to regularly listen to positive talks, motivational songs etc. to keep yourself on the track and to support the believer in you. Always tell yourself, you are what you consume. Second, you need to control what you see. This includes the videos you watch, the posts you read, the books you read, the news you skim through, everything that is visual. This can be, again, controlled by you. You need to make sure that you see little of negatives and lots of positives. For instance, you can create posters with positive quotes or your goals (for goal visualisation) that you hang somewhere visible in your room. Stop following these deep-quote pages on Instagram that are relatable, but make you feel terrible about yourself. You are what you consume, so go crazy on seeing and hearing only the stuff that will help you grow.

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Speaking to yourself

Finally, as we have already discussed in our recent post, where we look at how incredibly you can affect your subconscious mind only by thinking specific thoughts regularly, you need to make sure that when the most important person (yes, that’s you) is speaking to yourself, you can hear positivity and support. Make sure you go through that article as well to truly bulletproof your mindset. Learn how to speak to yourself in a way that kicks you in the butt and reminds you that you are in control, you are the winner and that you need to progress and change positively in order to achieve whatever you are aiming for.

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Speaking your dreams into existence

Dreams, vision, faith, goals, all of these concepts are crucial for your growth. All of these concepts are necessary for you to succcessfully change, develop as a person and finally achieve what you desire the most. But having these in your mind alone will not lead to your final victory. It will not help you get there. These are only the partial ingredients to your success cake, but they will never stick together without one simple thing – action. The question loads of people ask then is, well how do I take action? How do I make myself take action? The answer to this question is to be found in the discipline of psychology. You need to understand how your brain works before you can make it change and develop. This is the moment when one of the powers everyone has, but rarely anyone uses properly comes in. That is, the power of the spoken word.

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Welcome to your brain

Before you get to the stage where you can take action without looking back, you need to exercise your most powerful weapon that separates you from everything living on this planet – your brain. The issue here is the way the world around us is set up, which results in a traditional way most kids grow up these days. And that way is unfortunately not very positive. According to Shad Helmsetter, Ph.D. who wrote an excellent book about this topic called What To Say When You Talk To Yourself, more than 70% of the things people hear in their childhood are negative. These are usually in some form of: “You can’t do this” or “You are not good enough to do this”. You might not hear these specific sentences, but these are the general messages the kids’ brains receive. So first, to be able to take action on your dreams, you need to re-programme your brain. This involves a ton of effort and most importantly, habits and repetition.

Repetition and Habit Creation

Our lives are mostly run on habits and on subconscious, repetitive actions. Why is that? Aren’t we all supposed to have a free will of our own? I definitely do everything on purpose, my actions are all conscious – is what you might be thinking. But, do you really? It is said that an average person makes about 40 thousand decisions every day. Do you really make all these decisions consciously? (clue – no!) Our lives are run on habits. In other words, our lives are, from the greatest part, run by our subconscious mind. The most successful people realise that and make use of it. Jeff Bezos makes approximately 3-4 major decisions every day and the rest is delegated or subconscious (such as his morning and his evening routine). Check out our post on how to create and utilise a habit  to learn more about this specific area. Now to the point. Since our subconscious mind runs our lives, it is crucial for us to know how to control it (a.k.a. how to programme out brains). Doing this is definitely a matter of habit and repetition, as I’ve already mentioned above. Changing the way you think, changing the way you feel and the way other things affect you is completely in your power. You only need to change one enormous part of your life that you might not even be aware of.

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Watch how you speak… to yourself!!

The number one thing that affects your subconscious mind incredibely, which nobody really realises, is your mouth (inside your head). All day, it runs and runs and never stops. Everytime you think about something, it goes off. Why is it so important to control it? Because, as it is mentioned earlier, the only kind of things it can speak now is negativity. This is too boring, this is too salty, this is too cold, this is such a terrible day, this will never work.. Why do I look so weird today? I bet she/he thinks I’m stupid! Who am I to even try? You might not realise this, but this is what happens in your head all the time. And it’s not even your fault, it is the way you’ve grown up, the media you’ve consumed, the people that influenced you – the world you live in. This is all done subconsciously, it is a habit. Now what should we do about it? Your main concern is not getting rid of the negativity, but outnumbering it with positivity.

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Speak your dreams into existence

How do I outnumber negativity if it’s already there though? Instead of thinking negative stuff, you think positive. You specifically need to focus on the good things around yourself. In every adversity lies a seed of an equal or a greater opportunity. Speak what you want in life. Read the next few lines out loud (if possible shout them, it feels much better then):

I am me, nobody can put me down. I am grateful for what I have in my life. I am grateful for (fill in what you’re grateful for). I am grateful for (fill in what you’re grateful for). I am in the process of succeeding. I am growing every day. I am developing every day. I am making it happen. I am (fill in your aspiration). I am (your aspiration). I am (your aspiration).

I bet it felt great, didn’t it? Do you know why? Because you yourself said it, you yourself brought positivity into that moment. Imagine that this is how you would think every day, every moment, every second. Make this a habit, do it every morning and every evening. Whenever you think about a negative thing, speak out two positive things to outnumber it. You are in control of that. You can take the charge. You can start looking for positivity to outnumber the negativity that has grown in you. You can do it. Make this a habit, make your subconscious mind accept that your life is wonderful, full of positive things.

Now back to the start. As you start seeing the positivity in your life, watch your actions change. Your actions will change as a result of the way you think. You will feel better and you will do better. This is the power of the spoken word.

 

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