Taking Responsibility for Your Own Happiness
On occasion I find myself having a bad day. And while these days don’t come around very often anymore, the complaining, short temper, and overall lack of motivation and happiness sneaks in and, before I know it, has taken over my day. Our minds are a powerful thing and, when given the freedom to do as they wish, they like to do one thing consistently: find the easy way out.
Our brains are wired to circumvent issues, despite the feeling we sometimes get that we are dwelling on something in particular. This obsession with an event or a person stems from a different part of the brain and is a different beast to tackle entirely. But the practical part of the brain, the one that makes lists and solves problems, is always looking for the easiest possible way to accomplish whatever it is that is set in front of it. These shortcuts aren’t always bad - at the end of the day, they are what help us get shit done.
However, these cranial shortcuts cause a really big issue in the majority of people’s lives - they cause us to pass responsibility to someone or something else. Our brains, as taxed as they are these days, want to shorten their lists of burdens as quickly as possible so they can focus on other seemingly more pertinent things. The fastest way to shorten the list?
Give the responsibility to someone else.
Pass the buck.
Blame some other sucker.
What’s the harm in this, you ask? The more you start to hand personal responsibilities over to others, the less control you have over your life. You start to feel powerless. You begin to complain - constantly. You find yourself living a life that no longer feels like your own. Your life begins to feel like a giant shit show, everything happening to poor little you, the innocent victim sitting with a broken umbrella on the curb during a massive rainstorm.
I say, fuck that.
A beautiful thing begins to happen in your life when you start taking responsibility. And I don’t just mean for some things. I mean for everything.
That jerk that cut you off in traffic? Your fault. That meeting that ran long? Your fault. Your current income? Your responsibility. Your inability to land that dream job? Yep, you're to blame.
And I know exactly what you are thinking right now. How can everything be your fault? How can your life dramatically improve just by taking responsibility for things that seem out of your control?
I didn’t believe it could work either when I first started doing this a few months ago. But I was eager to find a way to overcome this wall I felt like I couldn’t get over. My life was good, but it didn’t feel great. I was generally happy, but I would find myself complaining regularly throughout my day, feeling defeated before I even began my work. I had lofty ambitions and goals for my life (both business and personal), and I simply wasn’t achieving them.
It started with a simple challenge: Stop complaining and start taking responsibility. I challenged myself to try this for a week and to see what changed.
With no exaggeration, literally everything in my life changed. I started being proactive when it came to my work schedule. I began waking up early to ensure that I had time to do everything I wanted and needed to do. I stopped seeing work as “work” and started seeing it instead as an opportunity to serve and to help others. I practiced more yoga and meditation, knowing that these things helped me to stay calm and focused. I read more and stopped making excuses for why I didn’t have time. I planted seeds for my business that I was too scared to even think about a month earlier because I took away the “what-if’s” and the fear.
In short, I made sure I did everything I wanted to every day. No excuses.
Taking responsibility for your own life and your happiness is empowering. You rediscover just how incredibly powerful you are and you stop letting others limit you.
I challenge you to try the same challenge I did for a week and see where it leads you. Rather than allowing your mind to slip out the backdoor while giving the world the middle finger, teach it to hold its ground. To stand up for itself and for the life you really want.
Your happiness is yours to claim. Are you up for the challenge?