Self-responsibility

CarlJungQuoteLast night I had an interesting dream. I was walking through some sort of party and I came across a guy who looked at me strangely, almost as if he knew me. So I smiled at him and said “hello”. He smiled back and reached out to shake my hand. I shook his hand and noticed that he could hardly stay up on his feet. He was extremely drunk. I asked him if he needed some help and he said, “yes, can you wait for me until my friend gets back?” He was afraid of passing out. “Of course I will”, I replied.

“What’s the special occasion tonight?” “It’s my friend’s birthday”, he replied. “However, I always seem to get too drunk at parties and I hate it. I am too old to keep getting this drunk (I would guess he was in his late 30’s) and I wish this would stop happening”. “Maybe you could set a reasonable limit on the amount of drinks you have when you go out”, I advised him. He laughed and said, “oh, he won’t let me”, referring to his friend. At that point, I was overwhelmed with emotion and I woke up.

In his mind, his friend was the reason he could not change….he was the victim of circumstance…his friend determined how many drinks he was going to have…he had no choice in the situation as his friend ruled his world. Is this true? Can anyone really rule over another person?

No,unless they let them.

The guy in my dream hated getting drunk, yet he allowed it to happen over and over. He let his friend make choices for him. He failed to take responsibility for his own choices and actions. Therefore, he (not his friend) is to blame for his drunkenness. His lack of of self-control, self-discipline and self-responsibility are allowing outside forces (in this case his friend) to determine his choices and shape his future.

Outside forces can be favourable or unfavourable to your heart’s desires or vision. We have no control over outside forces such as the weather or other peoples’ actions, but we can however, choose how to respond to these forces. For instance, the guy in my dream could not prevent his friend from buying him another drink, but he could choose to say no and not drink it. I know this is easier said than done. It often takes a great deal of courage to stand up to the people who you normally allow to dictate your life.

But know that you can! You have the power to overcome anyone’s negative influence over you! Remember, no one can control you unless you let them. Therefore, the power is ultimately in your hands. What will you choose?

For today’s mindfulness exercise, please answer the following questions in your journal:

1) Is there any aspect of your life where you allow another individual to make choices for you?

2) Are they influencing you in a way that does not resonate with your desires or vision?

3) How will you take self-responsibility and begin making your own choices?

Finally, below is Robin Sharma’s Victimhood vs Leadership Matrix which beautifully describes the difference between a victim and a leader. I think it is perfect for today’s blog topic.

19 Victim Versus Leader Distinctions:

#1. Victims talk about people. Leaders talk about ideas.
#2. Victims procrastinate around their goals. Leaders execute on them.
#3. Victims enjoy watching things (like TV and video games). Leaders like making things.
#4. Victims are distracted. Leaders are concentrated.
#5. Victims abhor change. Leaders Adore change.
#6. Victims read what everyone reads. Leaders read what few do.
#7. Victims associate with other victims. Leaders spend most of their time with superstars (and thereby dramatically elevate their productivity and success).
#8. Victims are stuck in the past. Leaders are inspired by the future.
#9. Victims resist hard projects. Leaders seek them out (knowing it refines their chops).
#10. Victims work at mediocrity. Leaders view work as an opportunity to pursue Mastery.
#11. Victims give most of their time to leisure. Leaders spend a ton of time on their learning.
#12. Victims tear people down (because it makes them feel better). Leaders lift others up.
#13. Victims are rude. Leaders are polite.
#14. Victims practise negativity. Leaders are unreasonably positive.
#15. Victims can’t wait to retire. Leaders are afraid to retire (why retire when you’re having so much fun building something important, growing more leaders and producing value for the world?).
#16. Victims waste time. Leaders exploit time.
#17. Victims achieve things for the applause. Leaders achieve them for the fulfillment.
#18. Victims sleep late. Leaders rise early.
#19. Victims view work as a means to pay the bills. Leaders view work as a way to change the world.
– See more at: http://www.robinsharma.com/blog/#sthash.eBwextYV.dpuf

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