With the New Year right around the corner and thoughts of a restart go through the minds of many people, it is possibly worth the time to put all of these cards on the table. If 2021 is going to be better than 2020, then there needs to be a basic understanding of who is responsible for the varied facets of life. Although the answers to all of these questions will be self-evident, the exercise is important because it releases all of the stories that come along with circumstances.
If you are a student, who is in charge of your grades? Your teacher? She/he is responsible for the delivery of the content but in the end, you are in charge of acquiring it. I won’t go on my grades rant here but remember that every teacher that you have will eventually be gone. They transitory figures in your life who are intended to teach you something. EVEN if they are the worst teacher in the world, it is on you to cope with that situation. It is your knowledge that is at stake.
Who is in charge of your health? Your doctor? You go to see her/him a few times per year. Those visits are checkpoints but in no way do they have the impact that your daily decisions do. A doctor can be part of a health strategy but in the end, you must implement that strategy. If you’re out of shape, overweight, or lethargic, that’s on you. The strategies for correcting most ailments do not require a PhD but rather SADD (Simple Actions Done Daily). If you’re in a health hole, you’re the only one who can dig yourself out. People can help but they cannot drag you along or the results will be short-lived. The reverse is also true. If you are fit, strong and flexible, that’s on you! Pat yourself on the back if you can.
Who is in charge of your mindset? Your psychologist? Your parents? Your ex? While your therapist may be able to help you refocus and create new meaning for your situation, the patterns of thoughts and behaviors are ultimately on you. People from your past have definitely contributed to your present mental framework, however you do not have to hold onto it. Blaming your present on others may feel better than owning it but that makes you a victim. You’re not a victim. You are the captain of your ship.
Who is in charge of your career? Your boss? Perhaps you are fortunate enough to have a boss who is looking out for your best interest in your career, most people are not that lucky. Most bosses are concerned with your performance in your present position. Their job is not to clear a path for your ultimate success. They already do that for themselves.
Who is in charge of your finances? Wall street? The President? Your banker? Your finances are your responsibility. All of these institutions can influence your financial standing but the decisions are on you. If the market has taken a turn for the worse and you take a hit, that’s based on your decisions not the circumstances. When the situation changes (and it always does), it will be the alignment of your sails rather than the direction of the wind that will dictate your course.
None of these ideas is revolutionary or even difficult to understand. However people are going to struggle this year with the circumstances that they encounter. They are going to look around to find an easier scapegoat than themselves. This protective maneuver is an attempt to make the self feel good in the moment. “It’s not my fault because of ….” Feeling good in that moment is robbing them of the power that they have to make the big changes that they desire.
No one is going to scoop you up like Superman and protect you from all of the bad things in the world. It’s on you to save yourself and help the people around you. So as we progress into 2021, get your thumb ready because it’s the appendage that separates us from most other animals. It’s also the device that will separate you from most other people, if you use it often enough when giving responsibility.
Thumbs before fingers people!