20 Mar Mindful Monday | Blame or responsibility?
“To say that it is not our fault does not relieve us of responsibility.”
Beverly Daniel Tatum
Blame is useless. Responsibility is essential.
Unexpected things happen. Sometimes that brings something delightful into our lives and sometimes things beyond our control upend our plans.
Be mindful of treat these unexpected interruptions as a “get out of responsibility” card.
There are rare instances where absolutely nothing can be done to favorably resolve a situation. Most times, if you are resourceful AND not looking to blame someone or something, you can find a solution.
For example, if you’re on your way to work and there’s an accident, you don’t shrug and say, “well, I tried” and then turn around and go back home. At least not if you want to keep your job.
A mentor of mine always tells me, “inside every disappointment is the seed of an equal or greater opportunity.”
It doesn’t always feel that way in the moment, but it’s proven true over and over again.
You have to take responsibility for where you are first, though. Nothing is going to happen if you’re looking around trying to find someone to blame.
Take responsibility and practice self-care by having your feelings and then moving through any obstacles or complications to get your life or day back on track asap.
Here are 3 quick tips to get you back in the game pronto:
1) Leverage your creativity and imagination.
Something’s happened and the way you thought you were going to accomplish something has shifted. Set a timer for 15 minutes max and imagine other ways you could do something. Chances are there is seldom only ONE way to do a certain thing. Maybe there’s an opportunity here to try something new.
2) Avoid stories.
Stories are just other ways of looking for something or someone to blame—and ultimately prevents you from taking action. Stories are also primarily about feelings—which are totally valid but NOT facts. The little lies we tell ourselves everyday creep into the story and undermine our confidence and ability to get things done.
3) Stay present.
It’s so easy to check out or daydream. There is a time for creative brainstorming and allowing your mind to make those magical leaps it can only do when not backed into a corner—see #1 above. BUT most of the time when you’re focused on a task or activity, it’s essential for you to actually be present for what you’re doing. You certainly don’t want your surgeon planning her summer vacation while working in your chest cavity.
To live a life of meaning and purpose, you have to show up for everything—the stuff you love and the stuff that sucks. You may not have to show up on time and with a dozen roses, but blowing it off is not going to simplify your life—it’s going to complicate it. It’s ok to take some time to regroup, just make sure you DO regroup and take another step forward.
The universe is not conspiring to torment you. Many people think just the opposite. Whether you believe that everything happens for a reason or just that everything happens and we ascribe meaning to it, WHAT and HOW we deal with what is happening definitely determines our results. Get the results you want and deserve by showing up consistently. An uncluttered, simple and happy life is within reach.
For some additional inspiration, read this amazing piece by the late author, Amy Krouse Rosenthal.