I Blame My Parents

…or the republicans, or my boss, or the economy, or the neighbors, or Obama, or….

When things go wrong it’s SO tempting to place blame.  It makes you feel better.  And more importantly it takes you off the hook.  After all, if you can blame someone else…anyone else… then you remove yourself from being part of the problem. 

Because you’re never part of the problem…are you?

Never being part of the problem is a pretty scary road when you think about it.  You’re basically saying “I’m not in control of my own circumstances”.  Not at work, not at home, not at all.

It’s taken many years, many hard knocks, and a good dose of hindsight to realize that in most situations where a problem exists, the person complaining about it, is almost always a part of the problem.  Myself included.  A tough pill to swallow, I know. 

The fastest most effective way to a solution in nearly any given situation is to ask a very important question: How am I culpable.  What was my contribution to the problem?  And most importantly, are my current actions and words making it better or worse?

I won’t lie, it’s painful to turn the microscope on yourself.  Many people avoid it, choosing instead to blame others for every possible ailment in their lives.  But in the end, it’s not nearly as painful as living life being a victim of circumstance.

My job sucks because I have a terrible boss. My business is failing because the economy is so bad.  My employees don’t perform well because “that generation” has a poor work ethic.  My company won’t give me a raise because they’re so cheap.  Waaa, waaa, waaa!!

Some, or all, of these things may very well be true…or maybe not.  Look closer.  Is there the slightest chance that part or even most of the problem, is YOU?  Is your go-to response complaining and criticizing?  Is your attitude negative?  Do you frequently find fault with others?

If so, it might be time to hit the “reset” button and adapt a better attitude.

Current events have shed quite a light on how we, as a country, handle adversity and not getting our way.  Instead of being thoughtful and strategic by becoming part of a collaborative solution we rush to judgement, form protests and incite violence. 

The adult equivalent of throwing ourselves on the floor and having a tantrum like a 3-year old.  There is surely a better way.

Steve Jobs said: “Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it… Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again.”

Seriously, we are smart and we are capable of amazing things.  And no matter what’s going on around us, fixing or changing something is much different, and a lot harder, that simply criticizing or protesting it.  So step up, take accountability, own the problem AND the solution.  Start small--in your own backyard and then branch out.  Remember a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step…in the right direction.