The Fundamentals of Success # 1: Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life

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Everybody wants to be successful, right? Who wants to be a failure, anyway? Success can take any form — whether it be owning your own house and lot, traveling around the world, winning in the Olympics, marrying the person of your dreams, getting the job you want, having a well sculpted body, retiring at an early age, being blissfully content every single day, etc. But more often than not, it is easier said than done.

Take 100% Responsibility for Everything

The very first principle I’d like to share with you is to take 100% responsibility for your life. No more, no less. Do you even know what this means? Let me ask you something, do you think that you are taking 100% responsibility for your life? It’s either you answer yes or no. There is no “I think so”, “Maybe”, or “Perhaps”. It’s either you do or you don’t.

There are many instances in my life when I always chose to take responsibility for myself. Back in high school, I was deported to may grandparents’ house in Cagayan de Oro City because even if I graduated with a higher average than our Salutatorian, I did not get that particular award just because I slacked off in Science during the first quarter of my final year in Elementary. They blamed it to my being very friendly with the boys in our neigborhood. I didn’t. I enjoyed every moment I was with my guy friends. I then welcomed being deported to my grandparent’s house because that would mean new adventures for me and for once I get to experience a “privileged life” (my grandparents are pretty much well off, famous and successful in their own circle). So even if there were times that I wanted to get back home to may parents, I stood my ground, I was accountable for every experience I had whether good or bad and I believe that helped me become the person I am today.

Give Up All Your Excuses

Now fast forward to several years after that. I got employed by a very lucrative government financial institution. I stayed there for several years because 1. I was earning a lot of money; 2. I was famous; 3. I was making a lot of friends; 4. there was a lot of opportunity for career advancement. But I was not happy. For six years, I was miserable at my job. I knew it was not what I wanted to do and that it was tearing me apart. But I had all these excuses in my head (this is one job that a million people would die for; this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, I’m lucky enough to even be here; I want to make my grandparents happy; etc). But the moment I gave up all these excuses, I saw the light. I realized that there is still so much I can do to attain my full potential and this was not it. This was not the last company that will hire me. This was not the last job that will give me wealth. This was not the career that will make me happy. I’ve been doing the same thing over and over so how can I expect different and better results? If I want a different and better life then I’d have to create different responses to my life’s situations. This is where the equation E+R=O comes in.

Event + Response = Outcome.

Do you want a different job? Look for another one. Do you want to lose weight? Exercise some more and eat right! Do certain people make you feel bad about yourself? Surround yourself with people who inspire you and give you unconditional love and support instead. If you want to change the outcome, change your response.

I wanted to quit my job and find my passion. So after 6 years, that’s what I did. I resigned and a few months after that, I got hired as a VA which paid twice than my previous one and had a lot more perks than I imagined. When I didn’t want that anymore, I resigned again and pursued my other interests which I am doing now. And I am happy more than ever!

Everything You Experience Today is the Result of Choices You Have Made in the Past

Do you feel happy, depressed, inspired, defeated? Are you overweight? Are you with the man/woman of your dreams? Are you living the life you want? Do you end up blaming others for the quality of your life? Are you the type who always find things to complain about? Whatever your answer is, things you did in your past have brought you to where you are right now. And if you want to be at a better place in the future, then it’s high time to make the appropriate responses right now. Be accountable for your actions. Take risks. Take full responsibility on how you want your life to be weeks, months, years from now.

“You only have control over three things in your life — the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take.” (Jack Canfield, The Success Principles). If you don’t like the way things are going in your life, make some changes. Think positive instead of negative. Make new habits and discard your old ones. Change what you read. Read inspiring books instead. Change your friends if you must ( I did that and it was liberating!). Quit eating junkfood and eat right. Quit your job and pursue your dream. Complain to the right person instead of telling everyone how you feel. You either create your own reality or just simply allow everything that happens to you.

Just recently, I made a promise to myself that if I am presented with an opportunity that can make me feel bad about myself or something that does not have the potential to bring me closer to my dreams, I can actually say no to it. Before, I’ve always said yes to each and every opportunity that came to my lap just because I was grateful that life handed me them. But in the course of saying yes to some of these blessings, there were many instances when my gut would revulse. You know that bad feeling in your stomach when you’re not really liking what you’re doing? I’ve had that. And I’ve told myself a million times to never again be caught in a situation like that. But I kept giving the same response so I kept getting the same outcome. I felt like I was a victim of the situation or I had no control over it. But in actuality, I could’ve always said no. This way, I can become more clear & specific with what I want out of life, think that, attract it and create new and better realities for myself.

Listen to those Yellow Alerts

I’m sure you’ve had these so-called “yellow alerts” but most often than not, you tend to ignore them. It’s not just the gut feel you have about something from time to time. It’s all those signs that the universe is throwing at you and you don’t even realize it. Yellow alerts are warning signs (both internal and external) that tell us where our life is potentially headed at that particular moment.

could be the inspiration that struck you while taking a shower…
the bouncing check in the mail…
your employees plotting your demise…
a dream you had that woke you in the middle of the night…
a lipstick smudge on your husband’s shirt that isn’t yours…
the pattern of thought on your diary or blog entries…
your intuition…
an inkling…

These alerts signify that you still have time to change your response to a particular situation. However, like I said, people ignore all these alerts all the time simply because it’s uncomfortable to confront them. Then they end up wondering where they went wrong when everything in their life starts to fall apart. I heard Oprah once said that we should listen to our life. Acknowledging these alerts is one way of doing that.

Life Can Become Easier

Once you begin to take action and responsibility for your life, you will also start to see your desired outcomes, internally and externally. Then your life will become easier to handle after that. All you have to do is keep acting in ways that will keep producing more of what you want. It is that simple. On moments when you feel it’s getting difficult, another thing you need to learn to do is to not be afraid to ask for feedback on what others think you are doing wrong. “The truth is the truth.” Once you know this, then you can do something about it to create your desired results.


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