Have you ever been in a good mood until you were around someone who wasn’t? Have you ever allowed the circumstances surrounding you rob you of enjoying life?
The temptation is to blame the external for our internal state. This behavior actually worsens our situation by abandoning responsibility for the choices we make.
Just because we may not be conscious of our choice does not alleviate us of the associated result of the choice. Additionally, our choices may not be easy or we plain don’t like the options. This however does not say we don’t have choices!
That is the reason Right 39 (page 105) in Embrace Your Rights is in the section The Right to Enjoy Life. “I have the right to be happy and serene, even if others around me aren’t or choose not to be.”
I do not pretend the application of this concept to be easy. Success is not about easy or hard. Outcomes determined are based on what do you REALLY want? And, are you willing to take responsibility for what you claim to want in your life? Or, do you blame life – people, situations for your attitude or outcomes?
Remember the adage “actions speak louder than words?” Saying we’re responsible doesn’t make us responsible, acting does. Whenever you find yourself not enjoying life ask yourself, “what’s my part?” Notice I didn’t say fault or blame. Fault or blame is about making someone wrong and someone else right. This in my experience rarely, if ever, leads to enjoyment of life. “My part” on the other hand is about ownership to adjust my quality of life.
For example in a recent conversation I was emphatic a person stop trying to control everyone else’s life. The person then got irritated. Reflecting on the situation allowed me to realize I was demonstrating the very behavior I was critiquing. Owning my part allowed me to make the necessary adjustment during our next conversation. The result, I maintained my serenity (Right 39) and the person did not get irritated at me. As much as I’d love for everyone to be happy and serene that is not my decision – it’s theirs! I cannot even help if they choose (remember, conscious or unconscious) to be focused on the external (person or situation) to determine their inner state of mind and emotion.
Where is your focus? How important is your quality of life to you? Are you acting accordingly?