Notes for my Children – Responsibility

It’s time to take responsibility, and that’s a Big Deal.

Most people will spend their entire lives trying to do the exact opposite, to avoid responsibility at all costs.

“It’s not my fault.”

There are truly very few times in your life where you will be in a position to utter those words truthfully. My advice, choose those moments wisely.

This gives you the power to do something about it.

In organizations, governments and lives, until there is honesty there will be no positive change.

The person who takes responsibility is the person who is the captain of their own destiny. You have three choices facing you: to be a follower, to be a leader, or to be something completely different, transcending both. Step outside the expectations of the world and be your own person. Be responsible for your actions, your health, your choices, your gratitude.

Wake up in the morning giving thanks. Exercise every day, even if it’s just a little. Eat good food and sparingly. Drink water. Smile with everyone who crosses your path, they may never come your way again. This includes strangers, those who would be your enemies, your great friends and even your family. Each moment may be your last so treat it as your first.

To be a grown, mature adult means to rediscover the wonder of this world. Become a child again, aided your current experience and wisdom, to see how lovely, generous and beautiful this planet is.

Pay your bills. Ahead of time. Tell the people in your life you love them. Show them through your actions. Be on time, every time. In fact, try to arrive early. This shows respect for other people, acknowledging that of the hours we are all given, you appreciate they are giving some to you and that time can never be bought back.

Be responsible for the words that come out of your mouth. Harsh words wound forever and will ring in the ears for an entire lifetime. Soft, gentle, uplifting words will plant seeds of love, trust and respect and will bind the listener to you far stronger than force ever could. Be a friend and companion that is honest and reliable. This is your responsibility to others.

You are responsible for your every action. No one makes you do anything, none of your actions are beyond your control. Even your feelings. If your heart is broken, will you submerge yourself, wrap yourself in your grief? Or will you allow that grief to pass through you, over you, and finally fade into its proper place?

You are responsible for your feelings. Will you scowl through the world, or will you face it with a joyful, giving – even mischievous – eye?

You are responsible for your thoughts. Will you allow darkness, fear and anger to overtake you, or will you choose clear, crystal clean places within you to shine outward, lighting the way ahead of you?

Lay no blame unless it is at your own feet. Rise above disagreements. Rise above setbacks. Recognize every trouble for what it is: a chance to grow. If we never have to do any heavy lifting, how will our strength increase?

Learn patience, learn love, learn that the universe laughs, so why not laugh along with it?

You will face many dark valleys, so bring responsibility with you. It will be your firm resolve in times of testing. It will be your strength to make choices. It will fill you will self worth and wisdom.

Wisdom, because by taking responsibility for what happens in your life you will have to embrace humility. You’re going to make a lot mistakes, you’re going to make choices that have unexpected consequences. Sometimes you’re going to be just plain wrong.

And you will have the strength to accept the blame. The only way to do this gracefully is to make humility your companion. And what a great companion it is! It will knock you down a peg or two when you need it, but it will also whisper confidently of your true strength and your true value, which is limitless. Make humility your friend and you will have confidence no ruler on earth ever dreamed of.

You are responsible for your life. Take that responsibility.

Not once, not twice, but every chance you get. Take responsibility in every interaction, every job, every moment and every choice and you will be strong.

Never weasel out.

Always stand up. Take it on the chin, if you must, but stand up.

Stand up. Be counted. Be strong. Be humble.

Be responsible.

Notes for my Children – Acceptance

This is the first and sometimes most difficult step to maturity, but I know you can do it:

Before anything else can happen you must first accept everything in your life.

Only you can choose your thoughts, and only you can choose your reactions. No one else can do it for you. Even giving up that control to someone else is a choice. If your life sucks, it’s your choice to see it that way. If your life is great, that is also a choice. Accept this. The only way we can ever change anything is to first be honest with ourselves.

Allow yourself to see your imperfections. Accept the fact that you’re not always right. Accept that you don’t always live up to your own ideals. Accept that your health could be terrible, your finances a wreck, and your relationships a pending disaster or an ongoing battle. Be honest with yourself. Don’t suck that gut in. Don’t pay credit with credit. Don’t blame your partner or child or friend for poor communication.

Look in the mirror, let it all hang out and see it for what it is.

Accept that you are human.

Once you can be totally honest about what your life is and about who you are, then we can move on to the next concept.

But before that, let me assure you, I know this isn’t easy. I know there will be an almost automatic and unconscious desire to smooth out the rough edges and whitewash reality. It is never easy the first time. It’s not easy the thousandth time! But without the ability to do this, your life will just happen to you. You will be living without purpose or vision and will never have any true control over yourself.

Everything will be someone else’s fault, or worse, when something good happens you’ll take all the credit. You’ll be living a lie all the days of your life and never understand why you feel angry, insecure, lost, or sad.

You’ll be weak, easily offended, easily discouraged. You’ll look at the world and see only obstacles. You’ll be too timid to try anything. You deserve a full, happy, strong, confident, adventurous life. You deserve to make great contributions to the world and raise the spirits of everyone you come into contact with.

You deserve every good thing.

Accept all the warts that exist. Accept everything you see in the mirror. Don’t hide.

Don’t run for false security. Nothing outside of yourself will ever be enough, so why bother seeking? It will waste your limited days and hours of life.

Don’t flinch, don’t turn away.

Look in the mirror, turn your eye inward on yourself. Be humble, be honest.

Accept.