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In school, whenever a student does well, it is easy to hear him or her say “I got an ‘A.’” However, if it turned out that he or she performed terribly, you are likely to hear “The teacher failed or gave me….’” Why is it that when the grade is good, you hear “I got” and when the grade is not good, the mantra changed to “The teacher gave me?”

Quite often, I read stories about accused persons who plead for mercies on grounds that the devil fooled them. And then there are people who blame government for every misfortune in their lives? When they run out of cash, it’s the fault of the government. When they are late for work, they blame the police for not managing the flow of traffic well enough. Could the person with money challenges take a second look at their spending behaviour a little? Could the late employee try to leave home a bit earlier in order to avoid being late? Don’t get me wrong, I know we will not always be in control of all the factors we require for success but we should also realize that we always have a part to play. So before you take a dig at the system or the devil next time, consider whether you have done your homework. “Have you done what you are supposed to do?”

In my book FLOURISH, I wrote a whole chapter on THE POWER OF YOUR ATTITUDE. I placed that chapter in context with a treasure of wisdom from Confucius. This Chinese philosophy taught that “To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.”

We all want the world to be a better place. We want the economy of our country to improve. We wish the fortunes of our families would experience a turnaround. However, we sometimes fail to see that we, as individuals are primary constituents of our families, nations and the world as a whole. The state of the world, nation and family is a reflection of the state of individuals who constitute the whole.

Even though it is important to hold our leaders accountable, we must also try to play our role. You must take responsibility for your personal life. Your employer may be paying you peanuts but how you deploy your peanuts is your own business. Even though other people and some justifying situations could have an effect on you, you are ultimately responsible for the final outcome of your life. If you decide to take charge of your life, you can definitely produce the affects you desire. Whatever will be in your life is up to you.

Be definite about what you want in life. Sometimes, what you want might be in sharp contrast to your prevailing realities;  but be determine to drive yourself towards what you want. It’s time to own your life. Don’t be a passenger or a pedestrian ANYMORE. Be a driver. Get yourself where you want to be.

The difference between those who give up or mess up and those who consistently progress is neither in the lusciousness of opportunities one has nor in the intricacies of challenges that confront a person. To me, the real difference is in the way you respond to situations.

Thrive to live your essence with an unshakable attitude.


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