II - ON CHOICE, DECISIONS, AND RESPOSIBILITY
Decision making is one of the most difficult actions a person can undertake. It requires self confidence and that is something a lot of people don´t have. There is a false sense of confidence running around, people actually think they are in control of their lives when actually they don´t even manage their own time. But assuming you are ready to take life into your hands and squeeze as much juice as you want from it you must make decisions and foremost, you have to take responsibility for them. Now, the first reaction from your brain, let´s call it "the defence mechanism" is to say that you are in control of your life. Our brain protects us from pain by giving us a false sense of security. Take in consideration that the brain works on its own. It assimilates everything it experiences, but it´s up to us to coordinate what we feel. We do it through the brain, but the brain itself is only a deposit for all our experiences, an attic filled with information. Your conscious mind is what tells your brain how to interpret the emotions, but ultimately you have to weigh in your emotions and you decisions.
You wonder now, hopefully, "Have I not been in control of my life so far?" I can answer you by saying that if you ever used the expression "that´s life", or "life is crap", you aren´t in control of your life. The first one "that´s life" says that you are not in control and the second one "life is crap" show that you are not in control and that you hate the state of things. You can sit on your behind and complain about everything that happens around you, or you can get up and do something about it. But you already make decisions don´t you? You decide what to wear, what to eat, which movie to see, which book to read, fair enough, but how much of that deciding comes from you?
By this I mean how individualistic are you when making decisions? Do you wear what you like or sometimes you are embarrassed to wear some clothes because you don´t want people to make fun of you, a funny hat, funny trainers, an odd balance of wardrobe like suit and trainers? Have you ever toned down on your clothes because of what other people might think? Do you wear black to a funeral and eat bananas with a spoon so you won´t look easy and cheap? Have you ever said, "I can´t wear this if I go there", "I´d like to but I can´t". If you still say this, you are not in control of your life.
But let´s focus on decision and decision making. This brings responsibility, and responsibility enhances self esteem and confidence. It is a logical chain that will make you leap higher and higher towards taking full control of your life. And do bear in mind that taking control of your life means exactly what it says. To take control is to assume responsibility for it, "but I assume responsibility" you say; do you, do you really? If you are in a meeting with your colleagues and work team, and your manager asks the entire team if there is something wrong with the work environment, do you tell him what is wrong? Do you say that the team is not performing and that that same problem is affecting you? If you don´t, then you are afraid of taking responsibility for what you will say.
Do your partners upset you with opinions or plans they have for you? Do you answer them "no" or are you afraid they´ll leave you if you don´t do what they say? Have you ever said "I did it as a favour" I did it because I had to" "I went there because he asked me" "Because he is my boyfriend" "because she is my girlfriend" "because he is my friend" "because she is my friend" "because it´s my parents" "because I didn´t have time" "because it was cold," "because it was hot" "because it was dark" Any justification that ends in this and more (excuses go on forever) is based on an action that you don´t assume responsibility for. "With great power comes great responsibility".
The great power here is the power of your decisions and how they empower you by making you more self confident. People don´t like to take responsibility for anything, anything important, that is, you see, to take responsibility is to admit victories and failures, and no one likes to admit they have failed. That is why that when something bad happens in your life you blame it on someone else. You were fired because your boss is an idiot, your relationship failed because it´s your partner´s fault. You were late to work because the transport was in disarray; you were late for a dinner because your boss kept you working.
Do you see the pattern of shifting responsibility here? Don´t make excuses here. There are exceptions like the company went bankrupt and you was fired, or you couldn´t stay in the country because your visa expired, these things are beyond our control, but the exceptions are not the rule. Making decisions is about choice, most people choose on instinct without thinking things through. They do it on emotion and they brag about it, and then they excuse themselves apologizing for said emotion, apologies aren´t meant to be given, they are meant to be avoided. In order to make a fair decision you must present yourself, or anyone else with choice. In order to be a fair choice, it can´t be only this or that, but also yes or no.
Let´s say for example, your partner has a romance with another person. They cheat on you. You find out. Now you have a decision to make, you either forgive him and keep him, or you can´t handle it and you let him go. And then you ask if he wants to stay. But the choice has to be presented. If this situation happens and you simply freak out and kick your partner out of the house, then there was no fair choice, you are the one who kicks your partner out and then you shift responsibility and say: "She didn´t give me a choice. I kicked her out because she cheated on me." Never are you heard saying: "I chose to kick her out. She wanted to stay with me but I chose to kick her out." If you admit choosing to keep the person, someone will disagree with you and call you a wimp, it doesn´t matter if you really love your partner, but because your "friends" call you a cuckold you cannot take the responsibility of being such a thing, that would make you a failure.
This is why humanity has such problems with taking responsibility, there aren´t many people doing it and the ones that do always get stomped. Look at the "credit crunch" the economy market collapsed and ruined pretty much the entire planet, who stepped up? Did anyone admitted doing it? Did the computers do it? The ones who went in court didn´t admit to it and they still went to jail. If they had admitted to it they would have been seen as a failure. Do you take responsibility for forgetting your partner's birthday, or your friends or family? Or do you blame it on too much work? Someone borrows you something, you brake it, do you admit to it or you say that you don´t know how it was broken? The food you prepared doesn´t taste good, was the recipe wrong or the ingredients weren´t the right ones? You arrived late at work, did you look for another means of transport on your own or did you stand in the platform asking why until someone told you to travel from somewhere else.
The lack of enthusiasm in taking responsibility will condemn you to a life of low self esteem and calling yourself shy and weak, inventing apologies to excuse why you haven´t accomplished everything you wanted. This circle of addiction has to stop. When you stop making excuses and start assuming responsibilities is when you begin taking control of your life. It won´t be easy, it will be an ongoing battle, don´t forget that pretty much the entire planet is against you on this. They will validate you not because you are strong but because you will take responsibility away from them. They will seek you for advice and help, you´ll be veneered as something Godlike, something they cannot achieve, nor do they want to achieve. Don´t forget that the week seek the powerful for their influence and the powerful seek the week for their vanity and for use.
No transformation of lifestyle can occur if you don´t take responsibility for your actions, don´t forget that everyone lives in their own personal cage and they are comfortable with it, they eat, sleep, defecate, buy, sell, upset and annoy others with every possible moment they can, these people will not take it mildly when you start rattling their cages with your individuality. Take responsibility, make your decisions your own and be free with them, you know what is best for you.