I’ve been watching a lot of videos about… well… self help actually. Or maybe it’s self actualization, or attaining your potential. Any of those things, I suppose, they all boil down to the same philosophy: making something of your life.
And it doesn’t matter which book, or webinar, or podcast, or youtube video you watch, they all have the same premise. Find yourself. Then find out what you can do to make yourself better. Either by organizing your life, or learning new skills, or teaching, etc, etc. There are so many ways you can find that path, and for each person it’s going to be a little different, because we’re a little different. What drives me, and makes me happy isn’t the same thing that makes you happy. Or my children happy. Or my boyfriend happy. And that’s okay.
Personal responsibility. It’s a difficult thing to suggest these days when everyone seems so keen on blaming everyone else for their failure. I grew up around people who constantly blamed the rich for keeping them down, or jobs stagnating, or prices being fixed. Very few of them actually considered learning a trade, or starting their own business, or doing side work, or maybe even getting a second job.
There has been an anathema to this idea of “picking yourself up by the bootstrap”. So many keep saying it doesn’t work, that there are obstacles. Well, of course there are obstacles. Life is filled with them, no matter who you are. You might have some things that help you get past the obstacles a little faster, like training, or money, or a family willing to help you, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be obstacles.
For me in my writing, my biggest obstacles are my spelling (hire editors), and my ability to procrastinate. I’m amazing at procrastinating. If there were a masters in procrastination I would get it…eventually.
But that’s where personal responsibility comes in. Being responsible for my children was easy. If I didn’t feed them they let me know about it and I got myself into the kitchen and made them some food, or taught them how to make something. Feeding myself isn’t as easy. I often forget to eat, and don’t think about it till my body starts reminding me that without proper food intake it doesn’t do so well. Same with writing. If I have a deadline for a professor in a college class it is much easier to get it done than if I am just writing for myself.
Now that all of my children have moved out and it is just Gregg and I in the home it’s…interesting. I’m taking a whole new look at personal responsibility, and realizing I’ve never really had any for myself. I’ve had responsibilities outside myself like bills and children and work. But for me? That is so completely different. To take responsibility in improving yourself, pushing yourself to do great things, even making sure you put down the video game and pick up the pen, complete what you started. Being responsible to yourself instead of just doing what others tell you to do. It’s a completely new way of looking at the world and I’m only beginning to understand it.