There are certain fundamental truths that regardless of circumstance seem to stand the test of time. One of these is the fact that victims never win.
Excuses, rationalization, blame, and finger pointing are the foundational cornerstones of a victim mindset. These are the single greatest killers to a life of promise and success. Nothing limits a person more than the thought that it is someone else's fault, there is nothing they can do or that they are powerless to change things.
Certainly bad things will happen in life. Circumstances will create challenges. People will say and do things that will hurt us. At one time or another, in one form or another, these things will happen to everyone. It is the unfortunate reality of life.
Spending too much time vacillating, pondering or beating one's self up over the bad things that happen will get a person nowhere. It will just make them unhappy. Bad things happen to everyone, not just us, accept that, it is the truth.
Close to two thousand years ago the Greek philosopher, Epictetus wrote "It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters." Throughout history there are thousands of examples of great things that come from very bad situations simply because someone reacted to them differently.
Jonas Salk invented the polio vaccine because more than half a million people every year were becoming paralyzed and dying from the virus. Out of bad things came something that has saved millions of lives.
Mary Kay Ash started a billion dollar company because she was passed over for a promotion by her boss. She decided that rather than be a victim, she wanted to control her own destiny and she created a company that has helped hundreds of thousands of people do the same. Out of Mary Kay's "misfortune", came her success.
John Hetrick invented the airbag after being in an auto accident with his wife and seven year old daughter. More than fifteen thousand lives were saved by this device in just the first twenty years after it was installed in automobiles. Out of John's trouble, came his inspiration to help save others.
These are but a few examples of the countless times that people have taken their bad luck', 'misfortune, or setbacks and leveraged it as an opportunity to benefit the greater good. The only reason they were able to do so is because they took ownership for their situation, rather than justifying, rationalizing, or making an excuse as to how bad they have it or why it always happens to them'.
The sad reality is that most of the people we will meet in life will not think this way. Rather, they will have spent a great deal of time perfecting their ability to find a reason why something won't work, why it can't be done, why it is somebody else's fault. They will have become masters of making excuses, rationalizations and pointing fingers.
However, here is the challenge. Whenever someone makes an excuse, rationalizes why something can't happen or points a finger at someone else, they have just relinquished all of their power, they have put themselves into a victim mode of thinking. Rest assured; victim thinkers never win. It is impossible because you can't build anything on a foundation of victim thinking. Conversely, empires have been built by people who were willing to take Ultimate Responsibility.
The good news is, there are only three things that people really need to take Ultimate Responsibility for in life to accomplish everything that they want. The first is the goals that they want to pursue. The second is who they need to become in order to accomplish those goals. The third is the challenges that they encounter in the pursuit of those goals. By taking Ultimate Responsibility of these three things, regardless of what happens, good or bad, they will always be in control of their own destiny.
From a leadership perspective, the concept of Ultimate Responsibility must be one of the essential cornerstones of a peak performing team culture. It fundamentally changes the way people think, the way they interpret, the way they act and react. It is, without fail, one of the most important things we teach at 2logical.
Ultimate Responsibility is truly life's single greatest equalizer.
The one common component in every great success story is motivation: an ever-elusive elixir that allows people to overcome challenges, work around roadblocks and find the drive to persist in the face of every adversity. Motivation is the rocket fuel of success. Those who possess it will always travel farther than those who don't.
There is one crossroad you will come upon every day. It's a subtle intersection point that, unless you are aware enough, you might miss, walking right by and not even noticing it's there. Yet this one point, this one transition, will profoundly shape the life you'll lead: Will you succeed or suffer? Will you endeavor or simply exist?
There are two things that separate us from virtually everything else on the planet. The first is opposable thumbs (a trait we share with a handful of primates, koala bears and some South American tree frogs). However, it's the second trait that truly makes us uniquely human. It is our ability to take in, process information and make conscious choices based upon it.
What if the one thing you avoided most, something you dreaded and feared, was the most important part of succeeding? Most people hate the very idea of failure.They loathe thinking of themselves as coming up short, missing the mark and not succeeding. For many, just the possibility of failure is enough to convince themselves that it is not even worth trying. Isn't always better to set the bar low, keepexpectations in check and minimize the risk?
What if I do this and it doesn't turn out right? What if I screw this up? What if I mess up this sales call? What if I forget what I'm going to say in this big presentation? What if I embrace this new strategy and it doesn't work?
People aren't born to fail. Both science and our own experience has proven this to be true. At the time each of us came into the world, we were born with everything that we would need to build an incredible life for ourselves. It was handed to us, gifted to us innately, woven into our DNA.
What is it that makes someone great? Is it some innate ability? Some unique skill set that they were gifted with? Is greatness something that is bestowed upon some but not others? Is the ability to be great at something, at anything, woven into the DNA of a select few?
The truth liberates, it empowers and propels us forward. Yet in modern day society, finding the truth is nowhere near as easy as seeing the rising of the sun and the moon. However, the lies that put limits on people and their potential are as abundantly available as the air that we breathe.
When you take the time to consider all of the common phrases that exist in the English language containing a reference to the work "luck", it is little wonder that so many people possess such an overriding belief in its mystical powers. In fact, most of us would be hard pressed to go through the day without someone making reference to the word, luck. Each time we hear it, we nod our head and subconsciously buy-in to the all fire trap of thinking that success and luck go hand-in-hand.