I was late for work this morning and I had nobody to blame but myself. But then that’s always the case isn’t it? In the main, we can’t blame anyone else for our tardiness, mistakes, decisions or choices, only ourselves but I’ll come onto that…
Everything had been running smoothly this morning and I was feeling fairly pleased with myself, which is always a bad sign… As I walked out to my car, one of my neighbours, Sarah, came out of her front door and both said ‘Hi’. I get on well with Sarah and we help each other out by taking in deliveries, putting the bins out and that kind of neighbourly thing. Sarah’s Mum is quite poorly at the moment so I asked how her treatment was going. I learned that things aren’t good so I knew straight away, this wasn’t going to be a quick exchange of pleasantries – this was going to be a conversation…
At this juncture, I had two choices: I could either make my polite excuses and explain that I needed to leave for work, or I could stay and listen to her concerns and worries. I felt I couldn’t leave her standing there with tears in her eyes as I rushed off to work, so I stayed and listened for the next ten minutes, offering a sympathetic ear.
Or could I have left her standing there? Yes I could. Would everyone do the same as I did? No, they wouldn’t have done. Some may not have asked how Sarah’s Mum was in the first place, knowing this risked a lengthy exchange; others may have asked of her mother’s welfare but when they detected a longer conversation was necessitated, may have said ”I’m so sorry, I can’t stop. I’d really like to get to work a bit earlier today as there’s so much to do. Perhaps we can have a coffee and chat later.” I chose neither of those options because rightly or wrongly, it was my values that led me to stay – my values meant that I placed a higher value on Sarah’s feelings than getting to my work on time.
Certainly, I am not insinuating that by me staying to listen to my neighbour’s distressing news makes me a better person, far from it – I was after all late for work – a job where punctuality is looked upon favourably and tardiness is not. This is an illustration of how different people behave according to their own individually held values and beliefs. Many people will blame others for their actions and choices in life when what more of us should do is realise that every day we make decisions and choices based on our own values and therefore what is the most emotionally comfortable or rewarding for us. If you ever wonder whether you have made a decision based on your values, ask yourself if everybody would choose to do what you have done and the answer will always be no, because we each do what we do according to our own individually held values. Understanding that we’re all responsible for the choices and decisions in our lives can be liberating, resulting in us leading a life free of blame and resentment.
Far too many people fail to take personal responsibility for their own actions and if we did, we would live in a far more robust, dynamic and trustworthy society. Here endeth the lesson!
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” Jim Rohn
By Kirsty Perrin
About the Author: Having been immersed in the Winning Edge principles from an early age, Kirsty’s philosophy is to be the best you can be and to enjoy what you do in life.
Kirsty knows that personal development is a continuous journey and therefore has a genuine desire and enthusiasm to help people realise their full potential, to be a success in their life-whatever that may mean to them.
Kirsty’s thought-provoking blogs, prompt readers to think consciously about how their thinking has a huge impact on their life, it informs their emotions and therefore their behaviour. Living life consciously is the cornerstone to the themes of Kirsty’s blogs. You can contact Kirsty directly here