The other day I was driving my car when somebody had the audacity to stop quickly. I promptly drove straight into the back of their vehicle, rear-ending them. I jumped out of my car and yelled at the obviously injured driver, berating them for being so foolish as stopping on a major roadway. Of course, it didn't matter to me that the reason they stopped was because their was a pedestrian crossing, and that this pedestrian ran out into the street, and the driver that I just hit did everything in their power to not hit that person crossing the street. How dare that driver put me at jeopardy by slamming on their brakes, when they should have just swerved around the person so I wouldn't have had to drive into the back of their vehicle.

In case you haven't figured it out. This didn't happen, scratch that, this did happen, except not as it appears. 

You see when this happened, I was the person who slammed on my brakes to avoid a pedestrian who bolted into the crosswalk. Now I wasn't hurt, nor obviously injured (those details just make the opener a little more snappy), but I did encounter this stream of thought. It is absolutely amazing what we are able to convince ourselves of, but we've already talked about that... 

Most of us live our lives much like I did in the story above. We wander through life, and the circumstances thereof, and we find a way to navigate it through this life completely unscathed. It is a modern day miracle. Get fired from your job. It was the economy's fault. New clothes in same size from familiar store don't fit. It's the European styling, always making things the wrong size, I definitely didn't gain weight. Marriage breaks down. Spouse was a complete idiot who needed to grow up. You never got the promotion you were hoping for. System is out to get me, Johnny, Timmy and Bobby are conspiring against me. 

You get the idea. 

If you are somebody who is skating through life and the only answer you can ever come up with to a negative situation is that you are the victim of circumstance, stupidity, or conspiracy, then you are doing it wrong. It is time for us to grow up and start taking responsibility. It is time to say, "Yup... that was my fault" and subsequently, "I've got to work on this... I need to get better." The only way that you are going to even scratch the surface of the potential which is inside of you is if you take responsibility, own your issues, and start working on them. 

The world is not perfect, and neither are you. But if we understand that we can make a bigger impact on this world by bettering ourselves than we will be come unstoppable. I've said it once and I will said it again, the world needs the best version of you. There is to much inside of you, there has been to much invested in you for you to side that everything ever is somebody else's fault. 

Jeans to tight. Get on an eating plan, and start exercising. Start small, and think long term. Got fired or maybe passed over for a promotion, dig into WHY... is it work ethic, personality, or some other reason. It's possible that you might discover that it's a team thing and that you are a duplication of a certain skill set. If you own this, you can either diversify your skills, invest in some learning, or you might take your talents to South Beach, and find a better fit for you. Either way, by owning the outcome you are becoming apart of the solution instead of being a victim of the circumstance. 

Now let me be clear about something. If you are the victim of abuse, you need to understand that this is not your fault, and you do not need to own what happened to you for any reason. If you have not reported, please come forward. If you are in need of assistance, please reach out. This is not your fault and this post in no way applies to you. You are strong, you are courageous, and you will overcome this. 

Here's what I'm trying to get at it. Things happen to us all the time that we can actually do something about. So instead of complaining about it, own it. Make a change, learn something, grow... it's time that we made forward progress instead of just treading water wallowing in the waters of your own self-pity. Let's be the kind of people who own it, and move forward. 

 

Brett Esslinger is a Husband, Dad, Son, Brother, Pastor, Speaker, Leader, Writer whose life goal is to help people unlock their potential and fulfill their life's purpose. 

Follow Brett on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook: @brettesslinger and of course over on Snapchat at: brett.esslinger

 

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