I’m naturally an independent, introverted person.
I’m also a big believer in capitalism. I think you should be rewarded if you provide value to others. I don’t think it’s the government’s job to take care of me.
And theologically speaking I’m an Arminian, not a Calvinist. In other words, I believe in free will more than predestination. My favorite quote about this is from William James who said:
“My first act of free will shall be to believe in free will.”
Because of all this I tend to be a responsible person. In other words, I don’t expect that the world owes me anything. I don’t feel entitled.
But even though this is the world I live in, I recently realized I’ve never really decided to take 100% responsibility for my life and for my happiness.
I think I was probably hovering around 80–90% and putting the other 10–20% on my wife and the church.
Not anymore. I recently decided to take 100% responsibility for my life. What does that mean? It means:
1) No blaming allowed: If I’m truly responsible for my life then I automatically forfeit my right to blame others. I can’t blame my wife, church, family, government, society, business partners, or anyone else for where I’m at in life. If I don’t like the results then it’s my responsibility to do something about it.
2) I’m responsible for my desires: It’s amazing how unclear we can be about what we really want in life. Nobody else is going to reach down into the depths of my soul and pull out a picture of what I want. It’s up to me to figure this out. I believe other people can help, and I believe God can illuminate the room so we can see better; but it’s not God’s job or anybody else’s to figure out what we want.
3) I choose to be happy: This one is hard. And I’m not great at it yet. But I’m getting better. I’ve recently decided to choose to be happy even when other people do things that would normally irritate or anger me. When I feel that start to happen I remind myself that I’ve chosen to be happy and so I’m not allowed to get angry. I can still talk about this issue but I no longer have to do it out of anger.
4) Letting others be who they are: If I believe I’m 100% responsible for my life then I of course believe others are too. Therefore, I’m not responsible to change them. I would be a hypocrite if I believed I could be responsible for my life but I thought others had to be managed by someone else.
5) I must plan and act: Since I don’t expect the government, the church or even my wife to be responsible for my life and my happiness then it’s up to me to imagine the future I want to live in and then make a plan to get there. It’s also my responsibility to wake up every morning and take actions that align with this plan.
What about you? Are you taking 100% responsibility for your life or are you still blaming others for part of it?