Let’s talk today about responsibility and the messes we make. Prepare to hate me.
Okay, so maybe it wasn’t you, originally. Maybe it was your mother, because, after all, she birthed you. Unless, that is, you are one of my rare monkey-bird readers who was born from immaculate conception—for you, quit showing off and stick to the topic. Ahem. Where was I? Oh yes, your birth.
Truth is, we all come into this world the same way and while some of us seem to have obvious advantages (think: Kim Kardashian) or clear disadvantages (think: Kim Kardashian again), we all pretty much start with a clean slate. What I mean by that is, we don’t start out with enemies and we all have a pretty fair shot at making something of ourselves. Agreed? Nice, you can proceed then (those of you who disagree, please re-read this paragraph again, until you are too weak to argue).
In all my years of working with people I have come to two very basic conclusions:
1) We need other people.
2) We don’t get like other people.
Do you see the problem?
Now, this is not to say we really don’t like, like other people. Well, some people just don’t care for other humans…like IRSS auditors, for example (sadistic little bastards, aren’t they?), but overall, most people will tell you that they like other people, long walks on the beach, and Mozart. That is, until someone gets in their way, pisses them off, pisses on their parade, or fails to “like” their most recent post. Then, it’s game on; you suck! Am I right?
When we hear the word “responsibility,” we tend to think about paying the electric bill (oops), taking the trash out, or not letting our kids play on the freeway late at night (damn curfews). However, in this context, we’re going to take responsibility to a brand new roller coaster high of an idea. What if everything you have in your life right now, this very minute, is because you caused it? Ouch. Please, do not flog the messenger.
I know, it’s not always what we like to hear, but there is indeed good news afoot (a breast? I dunno, some body part) and that is, with the right knowledge we can change ANYTHING. That’s right, you heard it here…ANYTHING. Well, anything as far as what’s possible. I’m not promising that after you read this post you can build a Lego ladder to Mars and drink wine all day (but if you can, um, call me?), but rather that with the right tools, mind-set and understanding of people, you truly can kick some serious get-whatever-you-want-in-life-bootie.
So what do I know about any of this? Fair question. Quick but impressive bio: My degrees are in psychology and communications, I teach at colleges and universities, *waits for thunderous applause to die down * (thank you), I’ve worked in training, coaching, and selling for something like a quarter of a century (no wonder I need Botox!), and I’ve written several personal and professional development books (19?!) as well as studied under some pretty impressive teachers (I can name-drop later if that helps?). While all the education and training have certainly been helpful, I really think it was the advent of social media, online college classes I teach, and the housing crash that has caused me to dive even deeper into my understanding of how people tick and how they tend to stand in their own way.
Sometimes I find myself deep in profound thought about human behavior. Other times I zip a red laser light around my office and see how many things I can make the cat run into, but that’s not the point. Sorry… I forgot what the point was. Oh yeah. Human behavior and causing our own problems. Case in point, I get an email like this more often than you might believe:
Dear Professor Dorris: I know it is the end of the semester and I haven’t turned in a single assignment, showed up for class once, or taken any exams, but I have been really busy at work and I HAVE to pass this class or my grandmother won’t be able to have her surgery. PLEASE, is there ANYTHING I can do to for extra credit? Signed, your dedicated student.
Or, here’s one from real estate:
Hi Tamara, I know I haven’t paid my mortgage since 1972, but now the bank says they are going to foreclose in 15 minutes. Is it too late to do a short sale? Signed, a serious seller.
Now that I’ve more or less blamed you for ruining your own life, let’s dress up and play tea party. No? Okay, what I really meant to say is now you have the greatest opportunity on the planet to create exactly the kind of life you want. I’m being serious now. But it’s true. Once you understand the importance of taking responsibility for whatever mess you might have created in your life thus far, you also take back the power to create whatever it is you want. Notice I said “take back” because in truth, what we do when we blame others for our messy pants, I mean lives, is ultimately give our power away. It’s like inviting Superman to play Hot Potato with a chunk of Kryptonite (“Ahggg…I’m melting! Call Lois, quick!”).
Once you take responsibility for your own life, your life gets better. In the end, I can guarantee that if you subscribe to this blog and buy all my books, you will lose 12 pounds and win a beach house in Malibu. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating about the beach house in Malibu, but the 12 pounds? For sure, or my name isn’t Mr. Magoo.
So put your clothes back on (why do all my readers always undress?) and make a list of five things that bother you right now about your life, then, send me some gummy bears. After you’ve mailed the care package, sit right down and review that list and note at least ONE THING you did or said that contributed to the cause of the messy mess mess.
Think more, blame less, and zip your fly for God sake.
*waves a Miss America wave, holding imaginary roses*