“Everything you now do is something you have chosen to do. Some people don’t want to believe that. But if you’re over age twenty-one, your life is what you’re making of it. To change your life, you need to change your priorities. ”
John C. Maxwell
Maybe you have met this person. This person is the person who is constantly reminding you of how bad things are and how broken the world is and it is only getting worse. There are wars, this is crime, there is unemployment, there are only bad people, the taxes are too high, the only jobs are minimum wage jobs, you can’t have fun anymore, there are too many rules, the cat got run over yesterday and on and on it goes. In a few minutes all the energy you had is sucked right out of you and the world does look a whole lot worse.
The “victim” sees the world and the people in it as some great failure rather than a great success. A victim wants their words to create your world. Some people by into their story and start adding more to that victim story. When was the last time you said, “enough already”, your story is never going to make things better, your story is only about inaction rather than action. Taking action is the only way to change the story.
Taking action is the only way the dirty streets can become clean again. Taking action is the only way to make the stalled economy take off again. If the world is broken the only way it can be fixed is if people take action.
Taking positive action
To shift from victim thinking to “owner” thinking is to start with a series of questions. Explore each question and write out the answer in as much detail as you can.
What do I really want?
Define and create a crystal clear picture of where you want to be in a few years (5 years works as a good horizon goal). Describe in detail what you want for yourself. What will it look like when you get there?
What do you want your life experience to be? Define it!
What do you want to experience when you reach the goal? This is a description of what you will feel like when you reach the goal. It might be daily excitement, satisfaction, joy, comfort with a definite pull towards something bigger, an internal smile that spills out on your face.
What am I missing or avoiding in my life?
Understand what is missing today and put that into your definition as part of your future goals. Make sure you aren’t avoiding or holding back from something. It might be that you are avoiding change because where you are right now in your head is a safe place to be. The reality is your reality is in your head and nowhere else. Change is what will set you free so understand what you are avoiding if you aren’t making the changes that will make your life better.
What questions should I ask myself?
I normally ask people questions, that is what I do. Eventually my clients start asking those questions before I do. What questions are going to move you forward? There is a question right on the tip of your tongue right now and you want to ask it, so ask it.
What can I do?
At this point you recognize there is a reason to make a change. It might be a whole host of things that aren’t working for you right now and you’d like one more chance to change it and today is that day. The first thing you is make a commitment to you for change. Want a better job then change. What a better relationship then change. What more money, then change. Want more happiness then change. It is your choice to make the changes you that lead in the direction you want to go. No one is forcing you to feel the way you do.
Where are my thoughts right now?
You got to this question and you’re wondering if you can really do more and have more. You’re doubting yourself and thinking, it can’t be for me. Life isn’t like winning the lottery. Life isn’t a matter of chance it is a matter of choice. What choice do you want to make for you? Write it down.
What action steps can I take ?
Write down what you want to do. Write down in great detail where you want to be in 3-5 years. Then think about what it would take to get there. If you are like most people you’ll write it down and think about it for a couple of days and drift right back into the place you don’t want to be. It takes a certain fortitude to make change happen. It takes discipline. We unfortunately live in a society where everything comes to us in a box in a couple minutes or less. We live in a nation of convenience and instant gratification. If we want entertainment we flip on the TV and select from over 100 possible choices. If we want some food in a few minutes there is a fast food joint just around the corner. We don’t even have to get up out of our seat for most things anymore. A remote will handle the TV and a driver will bring the food right to the front door.
Change takes time and it takes work. It takes a willingness to believe that something is greater for us out there if we want it. Do you “want it”? If you don’t someone else does.
Now, what are you going to do?
“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” Carl Rogers