ON MARCH 11 JAPAN WAS HIT BY THE LARGEST EARTHQUAKE IN THE COUNTRY’S HISTORY.
The 9.0 magnitude quake triggered a massive tsunami along the northeastern coast — sweeping away entire villages with walls of water more than 30 feet high. Emergency relief staff are on the ground, assessing urgent needs and distributing relief supplies. Please help by responding quickly to this disaster.
PSI World would like to support the people affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
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Thank you in advance for any support you can offer in this time of need.
The past few days I have been thinking about those goals I set for myself for 2011. Here it is March 1st and I have not hit the mark on a few of them. Why not? I have had a lot on my plate you know. I have been given many projects to complete. The weather has been really bad this year. The list of excuses goes on and on and on.
We all reach a point where we’re sick and tired of our lives. Maybe we feel trapped in a relationship, stuck in a job we hate, or just flat bored and dissatisfied with how things have turned out. What happened to those dreams we once had? When opportunity lay before us like a huge buffet, ready to be consumed by our eager energy?
The truth is nothing happened. It’s still there – life is still full of boundless opportunity but as we each travel our own path, our vision narrows. We become battered by the storms of life and convince ourselves that those opportunities exist for others, not us. Overtime we even cease to believe they exist at all almost as if it were all a confusing mirage. Why do we do this to ourselves? Because it’s easy – it is much easier to offer a multitude of reasons why we haven’t achieved our dreams than it is to take responsibility for our results.
It’s easy not to strive for more – just do nothing. There are always a million reasons why it can’t be done, so it becomes very easy to pick one (or several) then settle down to an unfulfilling life. Of course, if you want something better, you’re going to have to give up something to get something. You must give up your excuses.
We all want to be successful whether that means to be prettier, smarter, richer, or more fulfilled. Seems pretty simple, but it’s amazing just how many people are afraid of success. Will I be good enough? Will they expect too much? Will they see me as a fraud? Don’t be one of those people that allows fear to kill your dreams. You have to want it to get it.
Responsibility is the first step in empowerment. It’s ownership. It’s not playing the victim. It’s taking charge of the situation and your own life. Looking for someone or something to blame is just a waste of time and energy. Time that could be spent working on getting it right.
People often think they have to get to the root of the problem before they can solve it. That’s not always the case. Some things don’t need to be understood; they just need to be fixed so you can move past them. Focusing on solutions is a much more positive approach than searching for the problem. The past is over, we’ve heard that a million times; but we still look there and try to make sense of things. Maybe it’s because the past is a known entity and the future is not. You have to ask yourself, “Where will I find the solutions for my life?” Is it in the past where the results are known and have been dissatisfying or is it in the future where anything is possible? Any lesson learned in life is valuable but instead of using the past to explain away mistakes you must use it as a teacher.
You are totally responsible for your life. This is the foundation principle you must embrace if you plan for happiness and success in life and work. The most important aspect of taking responsibility for your life is to listen to the little voice in your head. We become what we think about. Your thoughts are powerful. Blame and excuses are the telling signs of an unsuccessful life.
The people who take complete responsibility for their lives experience joy and control over circumstances. While no one can control everything that will happen in their lives, we can control our response to any situation and are able to make choices because we understand that we are responsible for those choices. Indeed, even when events that are not under your control, go awry, you can, at least, choose how you will react. You can make an event a disaster or you can use it as an opportunity to learn, to grow, to cherish your faith, to hold loved ones close.
The most important aspect of taking responsibility for your life is to acknowledge that the results you have in your life are your responsibility. No one can live your life for you. You are in charge. No matter how hard you try to blame others for the events of your life, each event is the result of choices you made and are making. Listen to the little voice in your head and observe yourself talking with coworkers, family members, and friends. Do you hear yourself taking responsibility or placing blame?
Following are three ways you can choose to take responsibility:
1. Eliminate blame; eliminate excuses. If the blame track or the excuse track plays repeatedly in your mind, you are shifting responsibility for your decisions and life to others. Once you become aware of this negative internal dialogue you have the power to stop it and replace those thoughts with responsibility and acceptance of your role in those circumstances.
2. Listen to yourself when you speak. In your conversation, do you hear yourself blame others for things that don’t go exactly as you want? Do you find yourself pointing fingers at your coworkers or your upbringing, your parent’s influence, the amount of money that you make, or your spouse? Are you making excuses for goals unmet or tasks that missed their deadlines? If you can hear your blaming patterns, you can stop them.
3. If an individual you respect supplies feedback that you make excuses and blame others for your woes, take the feedback seriously. Control your defensive reaction and explore examples to deepen your understanding with the coworker or friend. People who responsibly consider feedback attract much more feedback and learn to change faster.
So here is to giving up the excuses why I don’t have what I want in my life and just going for it! I can have whatever I desire in 2011 and beyond…. How about you?
Communication works for those who work at it.
Have you ever worked with someone who just seemed to rub you the wrong way? Perhaps there’s a co-worker with whom you always seem to be at odds, despite your best efforts. Are you the leader of a company or management team and you are not getting the results you desire with your team? Maybe you are not communicating effectively with your boss or leader of the team? Do you ever find yourself in a challenging situation with your primary personal relationship? Maybe your kids are not listening to you?
PSI Seminars Podcast featuring facilitator Paul Skok
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- How to improve your personal relationships
- How to improve your professional relationships
- How to be that person who seems to understand others
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