I want to tell you a story – let me set the scene for you…
I was a 16 year old boy with eager eyes starting my first day at my job.
I hadn’t been burnt out by the ‘eccentric’ range of customers we all meet in retail and I was excited.
I was out on the floor serving when suddenly a mother pushing her pram spilt her boost smoothie all over our blue carpet. I remember the disappointment I had (probably because I was thirsty at the time as well) as I realised quickly that there was no-one else around to clean it.
As the new employee at the bottom of the pecking-order, it was my job to get the mop & bucket out and make sure it was sorted.
Now was it my fault that she had spilt the drink? Absolutely not. However, you can sure as hell assume that my manager made sure it was my responsibility to get it sorted.
I wonder if you’ve ever experienced something similar?
Fault & Responsibility
Too often we confuse fault & responsibility.
There are many things in life that are not our fault –
Maybe you’ve had a time where you’ve faced an upcoming deadline you must reach at work or an impending exam. Preparations are going well and suddenly the dates have been changed.
Have you experienced something like this that’s thrown your plans completely out of equilibrium?
These happen through no fault of our own, but the responsibility is on us to sort it out.
It takes some time, but at some stage in life we have to come to terms with reality.
Life isn’t fair.
We can either complain about situations that we can’t change or learn to adapt to whatever situation that life throws at us.
On the more macro level I set out this year with a clear intention to really take responsibility for every aspect of my life.
For years I lived with a chip on my shoulder…
There were situations in my past that meant I grew up in some ways in a disadvantageous situation.
I’ve explored some of them and other factors I’m not yet ready to discuss.
For a long time, I rationalised with myself that because I grew up without a father and was hurting inside that I had the right to act out.
When I was younger I believed, immaturely that it was just me getting ‘even’ with the world because of the unfair lot I was given.
As I got older I started to realise that the world didn’t care about what I did, nor how I acted.
The only person I was hurting by holding onto bitterness was myself
We’re the only people who can make ourselves happy – we have the choice to determine our mindset everyday.
The world owes us nothing
It is counter-productive to believe that we deserve anything.
The quickest route to disappointment is to believe that we deserve an easy ride.
Obstacles & challenges are a part of life not an unlucky occurrence.
There’s 7 billion people living life and we’re in a blessed position, having been dealt better hands than many others out there.
Life may not be perfect, but it’s only through gratitude that we can overcome any disappointment that we may harbour towards the world.
Life’s not unfair – It’s just the way it is.
The sense of entitlement to say “That’s so unfair” is not a way to live a happy nor productive life.
I’ve been there before and I’ve seen the effects it has.
It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Something goes wrong and you say “wow my life sucks”.
So you stop working as hard and start feeling sorry for yourself, then suddenly you stop achieving things.
You look around and see everyone else succeeding and you put it down to ‘luck’ or rationalise it because they were ‘blessed to grow up rich’ or it is ‘unfair’.
It’s only when we take responsibility for our actions and the circumstances of our life that we’re able to truly pursue the life that we deserve.
J.K Rowling, one of the most successful novelists of all time recounts the story about how she was living in essentially poverty while she was writing. The initial manuscript for Harry Potter was rejected by TWELVE publishers. She had the work in her hands for one of the best books of all time and yet no-one would give her the chance. She had every right to say – ‘life isn’t fair’.
Instead, she explains the truth about the world that we live in –
“Well it may have escaped your notice, but life isn’t fair. The moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.” – J.K Rowling
Let’s start taking responsibility for the lives that we want to live.
It’s time to start living a life that we chose & not one that we’ve settled for…
The power is in our hand.
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If you haven’t yet, please check out my first posts – Introduction: Who is Nahu, The Night I Almost Died, Are Our Lives Really That Bad, The Life Lessons From Tanning, What’s The Worst That Can Happen?, My 4 Favourite European Cities, Time Isn’t Real, Life Without a Father, Running A Half-Marathon, Stories From The Street, Filter Bubbles, The Growth Mindset & My Biggest Fear!