I’m slightly going off topic here because, well, I feel a need to urge people to do just what it is they need to do for themselves and their lives. Too many of us seem to be stressed and unhappy; let’s see what we can do about that.
Hartwig HKD via Compfight
I had a friend call because she needed to vent. She’s had a tough go of it lately; actually, she’s been having a tough go of it since I met her years ago. I’ve never told her this directly, but almost every single piece of it is her fault. I sympathize with her only because she’s my friend, and for no other reason.
During her rant, she said she’s done everything possible to get things to go in her favor over the years. She asked why good things don’t happen for good people, but they always seem to happen for bad people. She said she’s always trying to think of the positive side of things, but how hard it is because of all the bad stuff that’s gone on in her life.
On and on and on it went. I was just listening, but I was chomping at the bit. I really wanted to say something, but there are days when you don’t want to beat up on someone, even if the way I beat up on people is usually fairly kind. I’ll tell people the way it is, but I’m not brutal.
I’m going to tell a personal story if I may. Back in 1991, I lost a very good job. Years later, I learned the truth about losing the job, and in reality it had nothing to do with me, which I always figured but didn’t have proof of.
When something like that happens, you start to lose a little bit of confidence in yourself. You battle your emotions and your sensibilities, but sometimes it just doesn’t come through for you.
I was lucky. At the time, the economy was pretty bad. That meant unemployment was extended from the norm of 26 weeks in New York state to an extra 28 weeks. I also sued my past employer, and based on the law they had to pay me during a portion of it.
I had money coming in, but it made it difficult to find work because at any time I had to be available to leave for court, which was out of town, and it would have been hard to get any new employer to go for something like that. I also had problems getting work because the job I’d lost was at a high level. Those employers that did contact me and interview me wouldn’t hire me because they didn’t think I’d stay at the jobs all that long; you know, that “over-qualified” thing.
I was out of work for almost 18 months. It wasn’t pretty, to be sure. What ended up happening is that the judge took the case and said he’d be making his decision. At that point, my past employer didn’t have to pay me anymore. Unemployment was over with also.
I had no money coming in, and I was living alone. I had no prospects for real work, and I was depressed. I was in a bad way, and a bad spot. I was within 30 days of having to make a very critical decision; at age 34, it looked like I was going to have to totally swallow my pride, give up my apartment, and move to another city to live with my parents.
I decided that wasn’t in the cards. I was going to get work, no matter what it was, and I was going to stay in my own apartment and work my way back out of my problems.
The first thing I did was call some of my past contacts; I didn’t have many of them, but I hopped on the phone and called them all, saying I needed work.
The second thing I did was go to the closest gas station and apply to work there. Luckily it was just down the street; I could have walked if I needed to. My thinking was if I could get at least a part time job I’d have a little bit of money coming in, and it would allow me to continue looking for other things since I was putting in for second shift. If I needed to work temporary jobs in the meantime during the day then I’d do that also.
My main goal was to stay in my apartment; I figured food would come, and my utilities were already totally covered. It was a plan worth going for; I wanted my independence.
I got the part time job within an hour of applying. Two hours later, I got called for a daytime contract job in the city, full time, though no benefits.
I didn’t care; it wasn’t great pay, but it was pay. It was going to be enough to pay my bills, and if I budgeted well enough I’d at least be able to eat. Matter of fact, since I was working at the gas station, I got a discount on their hot foods, so eating wasn’t a problem.
I didn’t have anyone to talk to about my problems, but I did have this resolve that said I would do whatever it took to be independent, and whatever it took to take care of myself. I have that same resolve today as a consultant, and it’s a good thing since I’ve yet to become independently wealthy. 🙂 It’s a tough road at times being independent, yet I’ve shown every time that when the chips are down I’ll do whatever it takes to get some money coming in the door, and usually I’m lucky that it’s not chump change, as I like living fairly well.
Howard Lake via Compfight
Let’s get back to my friend. Her problem is she spends all of her time saying what she “can’t” do and “doesn’t feel comfortable” doing, and that she’s “only qualified to do one thing”. She hadn’t hit that wall of clarity that says you do whatever you need to do to sustain yourself so you can hopefully get to do what you really want to do.
I believe in a concept called the law of attraction, which basically says positive actions and positive thoughts bring positive things your way. It also says the same thing in reverse; exchange negative for positive.
If you keep telling yourself you can’t do something, then that’s what you won’t be able to do. If you spend your time thinking about getting back at someone you feel wronged you (which I spent 5 years doing), then that’s all you’re going to think about and you won’t be able to progress. If all you can think about are the bad decisions you’ve made in your life, or why life keeps picking on you, or that you’re entitled to something else just because, well, whatever your reasoning is, then that’s where you’re always going to be stuck mentally.
If that’s the case then you might as well file for welfare and Medicaid now and give up on life because you’re never going anywhere positive. I believe in how the movie The Secret conceptualized it; what you concentrate on, positively or negatively, you will bring into your life.
These days I take care of my mother almost full time. My income is a small slice of what it was when I was traveling. Yet, I always keep those previous years in the front of my mind. If my livelihood depended on it I believe I’d find a way to sustain myself. That’s the first thing all of us have to learn if we want to be responsible for our lives. Of course I’ve spent 12 years trying to figure out how to make money online; I still have years to figure it out. 😉
I haven’t given up on any of my long or short term dreams. Tony Robbins once said “if you stop dreaming, you die“; I ain’t ready to die.
Folks, it’s out there for all of us if we can only maintain the proper mindset. Think positively, and your actions will be positive, and eventually positive things will happen to you. Try to define your goals, and see where you stand as far as goals you want to achieve in life.
It’s not bad people that succeed; it’s driven people that succeed. Sometimes those driven people are jerks; deal with it, because a lot of successful people are pretty nice. Be responsible for your own life; if you are, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve. If you achieve because you were inspired by this post, I like yellow cake with chocolate fudge frosting! 😀
15 thoughts on “Be Responsible For Your Own Life”
Wow, Mitch. This hit home, I have a few friends that sound just like your friend and I don’t quite know what to tell them. They just don’t seem to get out of the bad cycles.
I like you once thought I would live in a box to stay independent. I went through divorce and always feared being laid off and kids. Before kids I always worked 3 jobs and went to school part time. I almost always had a side hustle along the with full time job.
I think you are on to something about the mindset. Our minds are really a powerful tool. Thanks for sharing your story Mitch.
Now, how shall we respond to them?
It all depends on you’re figuring out whether they actually want help or not. If not, all you can do is comisserate or say something along the lines of “I’m sure you’ll figure it out”. That allows you to be noncommittal while sounding like you’re in agreement. If they want the help, then offer options instead of one thing they should think about doing that will help them. When possible I always come up with 3 things I believe a person could and should or should not do, along the potential benefits and consequences. When people want help, they’re willing to give up a lot more information, which helps us give better advice. At least it’s always worked for me. 😉
Great story and I salute you for your resolve and for being the full time caregiver for your mother.
Thanks Rummuser; I always try to do what’s right and give it the best I can. I keep believing that all my dreams and goals will eventually come true, but I better get a move on them. 🙂
Mitch – thanks for sharing this story above. As an entrepreneur for many years, my wife reminds me of the many points you laid out above. She’s made me watch the secret and the like. I believe that you need to be focused on what you want and you are better suited to get that thing. If you focus on the things that are going to get in the way, then you have already lost. Again, thanks for the article. Was a refreshing morning read.
Thanks Hunter. I try to bring positivity most of the time, though occasionally I rant. lol When all is said and done, I hope all of us are on the track to our version of great success and freedom. It can be whatever we want it to be, and definitely better than everything when we’re not in a negative mindset.
Thank you Mitch, For reminding about the subject Law Of attraction. I believe in Law of attrition.Since I started studying more about it and applied in my life I am getting all the good things in life.and I am Happy and wealthy.I keep saying it and feel positive all the time.
I feel positive most of the time; that’s not a bad place to be. These days I’m probably closer to 90% positive, but I need to keep pushing forward and realizing that sometimes positivity means maintaining what you’ve already got.
Mr. Mitch Mitchell, your story is great, i think, our main strength is our positive thinking. We will grow in our life if our health and mindset will be good.
Yes we will. I hate that we get tested so often but maybe it’s to show all of us what we’re capable of if we stay positive. 🙂
It helps you achieve goals and attain success. Positive attitude increases your faith in your abilities, and brings hope for a brighter future. You become able to inspire and motivate yourself and others. You encounter fewer obstacles and difficulties in your daily life
At least most of the time you’ll encounter fewer obstacles. However, positive feelings and actions helps all of us get through the worst of it sooner, and hopefully permanently.
When you focus on your life you become more positive and with such energy, there’s no limits to the things you can achieve as a person.
I’m inspired by this topic
Thank you for sharing your perspective, Mitch. It is true that we should always be feeling responsible on what happens in our life. Only by then we have the feeling that we can change them ourselves if the bad things happen in it.
One thing about success which I believe is that you only need to have persistence to achieve it. If you have enough persistence, then you will be willing to do whatever it takes to get it and will overcome any road blocks the road may bring.
But the starting step is of course to believe that success is a personal responsibility.
Persistence is a great thing but perspective is just as crucial. Some people persist in doing the exact same thing without evaluating whether they should make modifications or give up entirely. Sometimes a small change can help a person excel, which is great. But if their goal is way out of range (such as only being 5-foot tall and wanting to be the center on a professional basketball team), it’s time to find a new goal that’s actually reachable.