Fault Vs. Responsibility
If something is your fault, you must take responsibility for it, right? You made a mess, it is your responsibility to clean it up. You hurt a friend's feelings, it is your responsibility to apologize. It is your fault you haven't gotten your dream job yet, it is your responsibility to choose the right next steps to get there. As you can see, the more you get into real life examples, the harder it is to say that these two things are always the same.
In fact, there are many things that aren't your fault, but are still your responsibility. Watch Will Smith sum it up in such an amazing way below:
In essence, you cannot control other people. You may not be able to control the environment around you. You may be moving toward where you want to be but not be there yet. Some bad things in your life may not be your fault. But your reactions, your thoughts and your attitudes are your responsibility and they will be the difference between a happy life and an unhappy one.
Mark Manson discusses the same concept in his book "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck". In this excerpt he compares life to a game of poker:
"We all get dealt cards. Some of us get better cards than others. And while it's easy to get hung up on our cards, and feel we got screwed over, the real game lies in the choices we make with those cards, the risks we decide to take, and the consequences we choose to live with. People who consistently make the best choices in the situations they're given are the ones who eventually come out ahead in poker, just as in life. And it's not necessarily the people with the best cards."
So, What Should You Do?
As Will Smith summarizes, taking responsibility for your happiness is not allowing those at fault to escape blame, but it is harnessing your own strength to put yourself and your life first. Because of this, most of the things you can do involve no one but yourself.
- Choose an optimistic mindset. The world will seem like a better place if you believe that it is.
- Surround yourself with positivity.
- When a negative thought pops into your head, dismiss it! Only you can police what is in your head. Make sure you aren't letting your thoughts hold you back.
- Make sure your actions are in line with your values. Actions speak louder that words.
We work to maintain an optimistic and positive culture here at 12five and this concept was inspirational to us. Hopefully it will be to you as well.