We all have the tools necessary to succeed in life. I see this time and time again through a disadvantaged individual who goes on to achieve great things. They often overcome their disability and then continue to rise.
They grow and improve. They don’t complain about their lot in life. They push past their limitations. In fact, they often push further than many non-disabled.
Yet time and time again people turn to their shortcomings to use as excuses. They use them as a scapegoat for why they are unhappy. They say their bad luck is to blame. Or they same someone or something caused them to feel this way.
The problem isn’t really the situation. The problem lies in our response to situations. Everyone has good things happen. Everyone has bad things happen.
It isn’t just a matter of how much good or bad. In fact, our responses will actually contribute to future good or bad.
If we go to the doctor she may tell us that our unhealthy eating is starting to drastically hurt our health. We are on the road to developing diabetes if we don’t turn things around.
Many would walk out of that appointment and put the blame on their doctor for not having a prescription to heal their condition, their friends or family who cooks unhealthy food, society for encouraging overeating, fast food for being too convenient, etc.
It would be easy to find something external to put the blame on. But we all know this isn’t accurate. We aren’t forced to eat specific food, we choose what to eat.
So the situation is what it is. Now we have an opportunity to change. We can direct a different course of life. We can change our habits. We can improve.
But it is up to us. It is all about our response to the situation that matters.
If we end up blaming others and continuing on the same path, then we will likely have more bad news in the future from our doctor. If we don’t change, the path we are on will lead to more misfortune.
If we take that path then we are likely to react to that next situation similar to the first one. We will continue to blame others while we do nothing to change. We will attribute our bad luck and misfortune to everything else. We will feel life is unfair.
In systems thinking this represents a feedback loop. The output of a system folds back onto the input of the system. Feedback loops can create all types of structures but this specific one will continue to cause our health to deteriorate. Each time we come face to face with this fact we will blame others and then continue to live the way we have been. In fact, many times we will feel sorry for our self and make it even worse by overeating more than we were.
But there is an alternative. The alternative for us is to accept the situation for what it is, and then RESPOND in a different manner.
We can choose to be different. We can choose change. We can choose improvement. We can overcome the challenges of the moment and work to get better.
In Good Thinking: What You Need to Know to be Smarter, Safer, Wealthier, and Wiser by Guy P. Harrison, the author says, “Much remains to be learned, of course, but the fact is hard work over many years by many scientists has revealed a remarkable amount of practical information about our brain. Why not take advantage of it to better your life? Unfortunately, most people don’t know or don’t bother. As a result, they inevitably become the unwitting victims of their own brain’s natural functions again and again. Possibly without meaning to, they cling to nonsense and habitually make bad decisions. And once negative consequences come home to roost, they blame it on bad luck, their enemies, or perhaps a divine plan.”
Our ability as humans to grow and improve over time can easily be stunted by the habitual way we respond to situations in life. We have control over this and this is where we need to focus in order to break free from blaming everything bad on the outside world.
We can start to see how we interact with various systems and create the future for us. Yes there are factors outside of our control, but today’s decisions are creating tomorrow’s consequences or benefits. So learn to adjust to situations and make changes in order to improve in life.