It’s your own damn fault! I don’t care who, what, or why you think something is the way it is, it is your fault. You did it to yourself. The sooner you can come to this realization the better. Many years, if not someone’s entire life, can be spent harboring emotions and thoughts that serve no purpose to your own. Nothing comes from blame. Nothing comes from circumstance. They are the antithesis to accountability and progress. So often we tell ourselves that if things were different, we would have succeeded, we would have won, we would have done x instead of y. But I’ll ask you, why? Why would any outside factor beyond yourself have any impact on you? The answer, is that it’s easy. It’s the simplest of explanations to a question we really don’t want to ask ourselves, “Why am I not where I want to be?”
Although these are the simple answers, they offer little room for improvement. How do you progress from, “I wasn’t born rich”, “I’m not that smart”, or a number of other limiting statements? You don’t. Placing blame elsewhere doesn’t work either. Looking at your parents, your schooling, your neighborhood, or anything else out of your control as a means to justify an outcome is pointless. You are not your circumstances, not unless you allow them to be. No matter what your situation currently is, you are the reason you are there. No matter where it is you want to go, you are the one who is going to take you there. Period.
I’ve often talked about the Marine Corps and accountability. It’s easy to spout off “adapt and overcome” in unpleasant situations, but this is more than that. This is taking full responsibility for everything. I mean everything! Often times, in combat things don’t go as planned. Go figure right. It would be very easy to offer up some simple explanation to why things went awry. Weather conditions, bad intelligence, or mechanical failure are just a few examples of the arbitrary finger pointing that could take place. So, why doesn’t it? Because, what would you learn from it? How do you improve on bad weather? Oh, “We will only be conducting combat operations when it’s 72º with clear skies to partly cloudy. Thank you ISIS in advance for respecting our climate decisions”. Yeah, that sounds as stupid as when I wrote it. You learn from it by understanding how weather and other things will affect you during operations. There are times when it’s cold, so cold you can’t feel your fingers, let alone your toes. Times when the rain or dust is so bad you can’t see 10 meters in front of you. Times when you have no communication with support and assets you need. Head on collisions. Flat Tires. Jammed weapons systems. No food and low water. Not a single one of those reasons ever caused me to fail. Not one. I’m not saying I didn’t have operations that failed. I’m saying the only reason why an operation ever went south, was me.
That’s how we grow, how we progress, and ultimately how we reach our goals. I could have said many times to my men, “Oh well, if this wouldn’t have happened we would have been fine.” What’s that say about me as a leader, or even a man? Not much. Instead we determined what really caused certain things and asked ourselves, “How do we mitigate it; how do we operate through it; how do we make sure it never happens again?” This is how you have to operate day to day in your personal life as well. From daily operations to long term goals, everything is your fault. If you grew up poor, great you identified a factor you must overcome, not a factor that determines your outcome. If you feel that you aren’t intelligent or are uneducated, READ. Go, it’s free. Read everything you can that will better you, educate you on areas you want to succeed in, and for your personal growth. Whatever it may be, you have the ability to overcome it. You have the choice to dwell on it, or do something about it. My point for today, is that everything in your life is your fault.
Now I don’t mean that certain circumstances or situations you may have encountered (especially as a child) are of your own doing. What I do want you to understand is that those moments don’t define you, don’t determine your outcome, or limit you from achieving anything you may want. Look in the mirror, if you’re not happy with something you see – CHANGE IT! Fix it! Do something about it. Decide right now, that anything that happens to you, or doesn’t happen to you from this day forward is your own damn fault!
If this is something you’ve struggled with in the past or still find yourself doing today, you need to reframe your state of mind. To read more about this and more, order my new book Relentless State of Mind.