Take responsibility for your life

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in Life | 0 comments

Take responsibility for your life

We are a product of our choices, in every single way.

Our body is a reflection of our choices, what we choose to fuel it with and how we choose to use it.  Want to lose weight but consuming fast food, soft drink and chocolate?  Don’t have time to exercise, meditate or call your friend, but are up to date on what’s happening on your favourite reality show?

You are constantly choosing what is important to you.

Our minds are as educated as we want them to be.  We feel as angry or as happy as we decide.  This one took me a while to figure out and for a long time I played the blame game.  I told myself I was angry because she said something awful to me, I was upset because my boss was being unfair, etc.

A communications workshop leader finally got it through to me, that I was choosing to be angry, choosing to spend my time upset.  No one “makes you angry“, you choose to react that way and you can also choose not to.  It doesn’t make their behaviour acceptable, it just means you are choosing how you let it affect you, or rather not to let it affect you.

Emotions are a reaction, we cannot control the emotions that come up, but we can control how we feel.  People will undoubtedly behave badly and say things they shouldn’t, but you can choose not to take that on board.  We get to chose how we respond in every situation.

My favourite quotes about this are “deflect don’t defend” and “it’s not about you”.

My immediate response was to get defensive and combative.  Now I try and deflect it away, it’s a waste of energy getting defensive, and what does it matter?  I won’t agree with someone to avoid conflict, but I’m also not going to go into battle for no reason.  You can’t control what other people think or say and there is no point in trying to.

Nine times out of ten, if someone is being irrational, nasty or combative there is something deeper going on with them.  They might be insecure, having problems at home, who knows, but chances are it’s not really about you so let it go.

Stop caring so much what people think, it only matters if you let it.  What someone says is nothing more than their opinion, but we choose to give it so much more power.

Life’s too short to get caught up in the bullshit.  Spend your time with people who lift you up.  Talk about your health, your career, your aspirations and dreams.

Don’t loose sight of the big picture or you’ll end up staring at a tree and not even realise you’re in a forest!

Life is what you make it.  It’s about choices, big choices like where you live and what you do, and little choices like how you choose to feel each morning, how you chose to react to a situation. These choices determine what kind of life you have, so decide what kind of life you want and make it happen.

It’s not always easy. Many people questioned what I was doing when I quit my job and moved to China, they thought I was crazy.  But you have to listen to yourself, because you are the one who lives your choices.  I never want to look back and think “I wish I had done that / gone there / tried that”.

Life is unique, precious, and can be taken away in an instant.  How do you want to spend yours?  If you wake up every day dreading going to work and carrying out a mundane routine, change it.  Change something.  You don’t need to move to the other side of the world, you could move city, move suburb, change your job, change your friends.

Whatever it is that doesn’t give you satisfaction, remove that from your life.  Surround yourself with interesting and supportive people, get a job that makes you feel invigorated.  It won’t be easy, and it wont be handed to you.  YOU will have to go out and make it happen.  Create the life you want, and know that if you don’t, you are the only one who will suffer.  You are the one who will live the life you have made, every day, so what do you want?

You don’t need to follow a plan, not knowing the next step is ok.  Know that it will be uncomfortable.  If it’s uncomfortable you’re on the right track, it’s a sign that you are growing.  We need to embrace discomfort, if we stay comfortable we won’t get anywhere.

You know what’s comfortable – routine, not taking chances.  Being uncomfortable means you are growing.  When you do weights and it’s uncomfortable it’s because your muscles are getting small tears, so they can rebuild stronger than before.  When you stretch or hold a yoga pose that’s uncomfortable you are becoming more flexible.  If you only did what was easy, you would never change and never improve.  It’s the old saying “if you only ever do what you’ve always done, you’ll only ever have what you’ve anyways had“.

Of course it would have been more comfortable to stay in my good job, in a city where I spoke the language and had friends and family.  But by getting uncomfortable and challenging myself I have grown and changed in ways I never knew I would.

I am constantly improving my mandarin by speaking to people, it’s often uncomfortable and I make mistakes all the time, and I know what I am saying doesn’t always make sense, but that’s how I learn!  We need to change our perspective and see discomfort as a good thing – start thinking ‘yay I’m feeling challenged and uncomfortable, imagine how much I’m growing!’  Because if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

So ask yourself, what is the difference between the life you have now and the life you wish you had, and what are you going to do about it?



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