Human beings are always pushing forward. Everybody, no matter who and where on the planet, is moving against some direction. No matter if consciously or not. Even almost doing nothing in life is effectively following a way that will lead to a concrete position in the future.
People divide into two groups: one that knows which direction they are heading and one that has no idea. In fact, as life is not black and white, some people partially know or have a vague idea where they would like to be the future. What else divides these two groups? The first one is usually pushed forward by inside factors. They have an inner fire, not allowing them to do nothing. The second one is driven by outside factors. By random events and opportunities or lack of them. Someone may ask: where does this inner fire come from? Sometimes it might be genetics and background. However, usually it is hard work. Hard work on ourselves and on any undertaking.
What does it mean, being driven by outside factors? In a very general way, it is simply explaining everything that happens to us in life with with outside sources. Many people complain about their jobs and salaries. They usually have one short and shallow reason for that: their current employee and other employees who rejected them during the hiring process. It is quite obvious for them that if karma were to put them in other circumstances, another time and/or place they would have a better life. Another example, trivial but meaningful, is anger on the road. How often are people justifying their behaviour and reactions on other drivers. They are angry and overreacting because others made them do it.
On the other hand, people driven by inside factors are usually assuming that they are in charge of their life. If they are unhappy about their job, they do not blame their employee. Even if it is true that they would be able to easily increase their salary or change their position, they are committed to either finding a way to convince the employee or change the job. If they were rejected by a few hiring processes they are not blaming unrealistic requirements – they are going to find reasons and eliminate them (usually by self development). If they give up to anger on the road, they are not justifying themselves. Anger is considered a weakness, which happens to all people, but can still be eliminated by hard work on yourself. I would like to emphasise that people driven by inside factors are still human beings and often fall into the trap of blaming reality. What differentiates them is that when their emotions have subsided and they have a moment of self reflection they are able to admit that they are responsible for their life and for each of their reactions.
Are you able to see a pattern emerging from the two above mindsets? What do you think, which group of people is achieving their goals and is considered successful?
Taking responsibility for yourself opens a new perspective and brings tremendous amount of possibilities. Each event or circumstance considered unfortunate can be seen in a totally new way – it is an occasion. Lets get through a few examples:
- not getting along with your boss or employee – instead of complaining you can focus on improving it and learning quite a lot in the process,
- have really long journeys to work – figure out what you can do during them, use that time on reading a book or start listening to interesting podcasts. Consider a job or living arrangement change,
- your job make you nervous and introduces a lot of negative emotions – if you accept responsibility then you will understand that you decide on your reactions. You can use your current situation to train in patience and self-control,
- your job that is unwanted and it seems to have no prospects – change it immediately. If it is not possible – change your qualifications and industry. If you keep in mind that it is your and only your decision to stay at that job and your job possibilities depend only on you, you will start to have the inner fire pushing you forward. Then there would nothing that you can say is bringing you down.
There is no need for more examples, you caught the whole idea. Accepting responsibility for your whole life, from the smallest reactions to the major, life changing, decisions switches your mindset. Allowing a person to look at everything from a totally different perspective empowers self development. If you can blame only yourself for your mistakes, negative emotions and etc. you gain a strong motivation to improve. Every human being needs justification. Isn’t it much better, instead of burdening others, to justify yourself by saying:
I am not perfect and I make mistakes. But I know it, and I will improve it.
This is what motivates and pushes people with an inner fire forward.