We lead complex lives.
Every day we face small challenges. Every now and then we are called on to face larger challenges.
Numerous external influences are at work in our lives all the time.
As the Stoics maintain, we cannot control the influences themselves, but we can control our reactions to them.
We can accept total responsibility in our responses.
- We can choose chaos.
- We can choose high emotion.
- We can choose to accept it.
- We can choose to fight.
- We can choose to embrace the lesson.
- But we can choose.
How we choose to react will inform our experience of the thing. And because our lives are a collection of moments; some positive, some not so much, how we choose to react will inform our experience of our life.
We can learn from all experiences.
As many sages have said in different ways – we learn the most through our pain.
I don’t believe that anyone has it easy all the time. But some people react in a way more conducive to a life of simplicity and ease.
This weekend past I came across the following quote:
“The moment you accept total responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you claim the power to change anything in your life”Hal Elrod
It hit me – like a wrecking ball! (Thanks Miley)
I am the only one who can take total responsibility for my life. And further, if I choose to take this almost overwhelming responsibility, it will be incredibly powerful, for me. I will be able to change anything in my life that I feel needs to change.
Although I may have heard these words countless times before, in various ways, this past weekend was the moment that they landed for me.
Perhaps it was the right moment for me due to a collection of things that came together:
- a combination of some personal challenges,
- the fact that I joined the online community offering digital skills training,
- the moment I looked at my Insta feed,
- a current practice of reading every day and receiving new knowledge,
- a headspace open enough to receive what I needed to hear,
- and a willingness to learn and grow.
It is the kind of advice that I can apply to my relationships, raising my children, my work, my aspirations; my life.
Like many of you, perhaps, I am in a relationship.
It turns out marriage is challenging. Joining 2 people for life while they both change and develop and learn and work through life’s ups and downs is no simple feat.
More so if each member of the partnership is strong-willed.
Sometimes I feel my relationship consumes too much of my energy.
It is easier to blame the other, rather than look at one’s own role.
But if I can accept total responsibility for my relationship, and my role in it, that is the moment that I claim the power to change my part in it.
I can only change myself. I can only expect myself to change.
But as they say – if you change your steps in the dance, the dance necessarily changes.
Nothing hits one with a sense of responsibility more than being left alone with your baby for the first time.
I still remember it. I was sitting alone on the lounge floor in our cottage in the woods when I suddenly realised that I was entirely responsible for the life of this small baby sleeping in the basket next to me.
I had to rely on me, alone.
And as my journey as a parent has progressed, so my role of responsibility evolves.
But what holds true and steady is that the moment I accept total responsibility for my parenting, I claim the power to adapt it and fit it to the present requirements as best I can.
My children are different ages, have different temperaments, and need different things from me.
With perseverance and ongoing learning, I can move to fit them as they grow and change. And as such in my turn grow and change.
Self-doubt, self-belief, skills, past stories – there are so many roadblocks we can throw up in front of ourselves to make the journey meatier.
If I can accept total responsibility for everything in my life, I can claim the power to start changing my self-limiting beliefs. I can commit to my work with fervour and responsibility and direction.
Whatever my past experiences with work, I can start afresh and create new work.
Whatever my self-confidence worries are about my future success, I can nudge them aside and get on with my work.
Like the Stoics say – I only have a choice in my reaction to life. I can choose to create good work. I can aim for the best quality possible in all that I do. This then will filter through to the best quality possible in life.
I can take responsibility for my work and my success and know when I achieve my goals that it was through my belief and persistence and commitment.
This is in addition to whatever one’s religious and spiritual beliefs may be. For me Buddhist Mindfulness is with me every step of the present moment way!
What an empowered way to work!
I aspire to live a simple beautiful life. (I also aspire to have fun and take mild risks and learn always – but for the sake of this section, the focus is on the simple beautiful life).
I aspire to create and live:
- A life that is uncomplicated
- A life that flows more smoothly
- A life of appreciating beauty in my surrounds
- A life dealing with adversity well
- A life with pauses and a manageable pace
- A life doing good
Assuming full personal responsibility for that life is empowering. If I hold my aspirations in mind when I make decisions, I will create this life. Because I have the power to change my life.
This is a hopeful way to live a life. It is a bold and grounded approach to life. It is a committed and self-directed way to live.
So There We Have It
Every day offers new opportunities and new challenges amidst our ongoing commitments.
But we have a choice:
- we can choose to feel disempowered
- or we can choose personal power
I have learned so much since having joined the digital tribe. I continue to learn every day.
So far I have learned:
- entrepeneurial skills
- how to be brave and video myself
- how to be brave and share my views
- how to be brave and talk up on zoom calls
- about WordPress
- about digital marketing
- about Instagram
- about Facebook
- to write better blog posts
- to write better emails
- how to set up a website
- how to link and track and even a bit about coding
- all about automation
- something new every day
And through webinars and from other members I have also learned:
- to become more me
- to be comfortable with being unique
- to be comfortable with being outside my comfort zone
- to ask for help
- to support others
- to get out of my own way
- to try hard
- to persevere
- to grow
- to rest
- to remember why I am starting a business – for those I love
I am thrilled every day that I decided to sign up to learn digital skills. The journey I am on is full of practical and current skills to learn and unexpected in its level of personal growth.
If anyone is interested to learn more, do get in touch, it might just change your life.