Being responsible for our own actions

If you are in the habit of blaming others for your attitude, behavior, thoughts or words, make a conscious attempt to stop. We are in control of our own actions. Learn how humility, guts and a willingness to improve can change your life.

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  • As I sat in my fifth grade elementary school class, I remember having trouble controlling my amusement with the class clown. After several demands from my teacher to cease my laughter, I explained that my friend was making me laugh. She quickly responded with an inquiry “does he push a button on a remote control that says ‘make Dustin laugh?’”

  • We can rephrase my teacher’s question to fit any of our circumstances. Does someone else have a remote control that makes us say unkind things, abuse a spouse or a child, sleep too much, eat that delicious looking dessert, think about something that we shouldn’t, waste our time, lie, steal, cheat or be dishonest? We are free to choose as we wish and, as such are responsible for the choices that we make. With that in mind, when someone in your family makes unwise choices, it is not your fault. You can be there to offer love and encouragement as she deals with the consequences of her actions, but you should not blame yourself for the choices of others.

  • You hold your own remote control that enables you to choose your behavior. You can use it to make people smile, encourage others, serve those in need and take care of your family. Accepting responsibility for our own actions requires humility, guts and a willingness to improve ourselves.

  • Humility

  • It is OK not to be the best, the smartest or the most talented. Humility is a powerful characteristic which allows you to grow. It is accepting responsibility for your actions and their consequences. We should never blame others for our circumstances. As we develop the ability to be humble, we will be able to submit ourselves to whatever circumstances we find ourselves. We will have the strength necessary to overcome any obstacle.

  • Guts

  • Admitting that we have made a mistake, that we are not all knowing and that we are imperfect takes guts and courage. Taking the blame for mistakes you have made or of your personal failures will allow you to become successful. Michael Jordan has become one of the most well-known basketball players in history. He explains "I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions, I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." Instead of trying to be better than your neighbor, compete with yourself. Have the guts necessary to keep on improving.

  • Willingness to improve

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  • Once you accept the way things are you are on the road to greater success and happiness. Set realistic expectations for yourself and be willing to set goals that will stretch you and help you to become a better person. If you are too busy blaming others for your misfortunes, you will not have time to improve your circumstances.

  • If you are in the habit of blaming others for your attitude, your behavior, your thoughts or words, make a conscious attempt to stop. We are in control of our own remote. This power allows us to control our circumstances, our thoughts, our words and our actions. This knowledge should dispel any temptation to blame someone else for our adversity, trials, luck or success. We are responsible to take action with the resources at our disposal. He can choose to learn from the encouragement and disappointments others offer along the path of life.

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Dustin A. Wiggins, author of 180 Experiences that will Strengthen your Marriage, is passionate about discovering ways to strengthen the family. He loves to write and explore different parts of the world. You can follow him on twitter @_DustinWiggins or check out his blog Lessons of Wisdom to stay updated with helpful and inspiring ideas.

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