Life blooms when we take responsibility for our full human experience. To be personally responsible and self-reliant means we have to get our sh*t together and decide to have command over these five areas:
1. Our Aim. What is our goal, our direction, our purpose? What is it that we are moving toward and organizing our lives to achieve and contribute? These are questions of the motivated and purposeful human.
2. Our Attention. Are the things we continually focus on bringing us joy, success, connection, growth? Or are we being distracted by a bunch of garbage and gossip in life?
3. Our Attitude. The power plant doesn’t have energy, it generates energy. Similarly, we don’t have an attitude, we generate one. When we choose to generate a negative energy and attitude, life is horrible. But when we choose to generate and broadcast a joyous, loving, and positive energy, life opens up to us, people feel something new from us, and our entire life blooms and grows.
4. Our Affections. Are we connecting with those we love and sensing the beauty of this life? The emotional quality and connections we feel in life are also a choice, and we should choose to feel again, to love again, to become passionate and emotionally open, giving, strong and vibrant.
5. Our Actions. Our destiny is dictated by our disciplined actions – what we do each day, the habits we develop, our purposeful efforts. Take no action, have no life, no adventure, no progress. But overcome apathy and fear and get going and soon there is magic and momentum and what we love to call, the chargedlife.
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Let’s talk about personal responsibility and self-reliance.
Have you ever met somebody who just drives you nuts, because you’re like, “Why are they not more responsible?”
It drives you insane or you know somebody who just, I mean, they just, for whatever reason cannot stand on their own in life.
You’re like, “Could you please make a decision!” You know, you go to dinner with somebody and be like, “I don’t know honey can you tell me what to order,” and you’re like AHH!
Now, we all know someone like that and some of us have been guilty at some parts of our lives and being that type of person, so let’s dial this in.
What does personal responsibility really mean? What happens in our lives when we have it?
I personally feel that when we are more personally responsible for our own lives, life blooms. A magic enters our life, not just the magic of confidence and certainty in who we are, but a sense of total truth with what life is supposed to be for ourselves.
We are not meant to be victims or apathetic people laying around, hoping something comes along and changes our lives, because only two things change our lives.
1. Either, something new does come into our life and it changes our direction, changes our insight, changes who we are. Maybe we win the lottery or the lucky white knight comes in and saves your life. Or…
2. Or, something new comes from within you.
I think what that thing is that comes from within us that’s so powerful that retakes our life, what is that magic? It’s personal responsibility.
I know that’s so simple, it’s almost like (boring sound). It doesn’t sound sexy to say be responsible for your life, but I think we have five main responsibilities in our lives and if we take control of each of these areas of our lives, like a new power comes into our life, a new joy and zest.
I would argue more over time, success, connection, joy, love, and abundance … come along with it.
And that first thing that we are personally responsible for is our aim, our ambition, our desire, our goal, our dream.
Successful people look out there and say, “What is it that I desire of my life?” They go for it. They’ve set an intention. They’ve set a direction for who they are and where they’re going and what is meaningful to them, who they want to have along with them. Their aim is extraordinarily tight. They really do see where they’re going and what they want. They don’t always know the full picture, they just know, I want to be like this… I want to do things like this. They start along that path.
Because they’re following their own path, even if they don’t know where exactly it goes, they’re living the adventurous life. They’re entering a new phase of their life where they truly feel that this journey is their own versus just being carried along by their parents, their professors or their peers or their co-workers. It’s their own – they have their own aim in life.
I think we have to take control of that. I think, tonight would be a good time for you to sit down and say,
“Okay, what is it I want in the major areas of my life? What is it I truly have aim and ambition for in my work life, in my relationships, in my sense of spiritual and emotional self? In my physical health and vitality? In my overall direction in life?”
What do you want next week to be about? If you don’t know than you are “aimless”, and when you’re aimless it’s pretty easy to feel pretty lost. It’s like you kind of wander around in the world, that’s a big full wilderness. That’s why in Montana we always say, “The time to have the map is before you enter the woods.”
The world is a big thicket of crazy throngs of people who have all their wants and wills, and if you don’t have your own direction, if you have not set your own life agenda, they will set one for you. So you have to direct your own aim.
The second thing you have to direct is your attention.
Where is your attention going each moment of the day?
The ability to be fully present is really just guiding one’s attention to this moment, giving ourselves an alertness, an intention and awareness to the very Now that we are experiencing. That’s power.
When you are more attentive to your life, to the moments that you experience, it’s amazing.
But attention also applies to, what are we paying attention to overall in our life?
Most of us are being guided again, by the aims of others so we are taken from our own attention of what we should be focusing on and stripped away into the distractions of the world.
Most people’s attentions are not… they’re not paying attention to what they should be paying attention to based on their goals, their desires, their dreams or demands and responsibilities of life; they’re paying attention to the distraction that showed up. “Oh look, a new Michael Jackson song!” (That happened right before this video!).
I’m just saying… if we’re going to accomplish a lot and go where we want to in our lives and really sense the fullness of this moment, we have to guard our attention from all the garbage that can come in and sweep it away.
I think the third thing that we are absolutely responsible for in our lives and when we take responsibility of this thing, life absolutely explodes in joy, and that’s our attitude.
How are you meeting life? Are you meeting life energized and alive and buoyant, and excited, and enthusiastic and positive; you can’t wait for the next moment to unfold?
Or, are you like, “Well, here we go again?”
You know these people, have you seen them? I see them. Watch people when they walk down the street, they’re grumbling, it’s like their attitude stinks so bad that I can’t stand to be around them. It’s like they’re just emanating nasty, dark, bad energy in the world, and why? Because they chose to.
Some people say, “No, Brendon, no one would choose that.” Yeah. They did.They chose to have a bad attitude just enough over a period of time that it became part of their personality. That their attitude now is just fixed. It is closed. It is angry, upset, or bordering on the negative emotional qualities of life, rather than realizing the incredible magic and experience that we all have available to us, each and every single moment of the day.
There is a lot of magic around here. When your attitude is open you’re allowing yourself to learn. When your attitude is open you’re allowing yourself to connect to other people. When your attitude is open finding happiness isn’t something you do you create it. You choose the attitude of happiness. You don’t have to have happiness, you generate it. You don’t have to have good energy today, you generate it.
I always say the power plant doesn’t have energy it generates energy. You yourself are generating an attitude. It was not fixed on you.
Everything we’ve learned in psychology over the years is that you can literally change your attitude, just by controlling your thoughts and directing them in a new, positive, healthy, social way.
Why not do that?
You all deserve to have a good attitude. It’s a choice, just like happiness is a choice. It’s a choice. Choose to have a good attitude.
I think the fourth thing, if we’re talking about directing your aim, we’re talking about making sure that your attention is focused on the things it should be, and that you’re directing your attitude… the fourth thing we get to direct is our affections.
Our affections in terms of, our emotional quality in life, but also those that we care for. We should take responsibility for the amount of love we’re giving our loved ones.
We should control the amount of emotion that we have throughout the day, not to control it and stifle it, but to allow the beauty of it to come up. To allow ourselves to feel affectionate towards other human beings. To allow ourselves to feel affectionate for causes. To allow ourselves to feel affectionate for Mother Nature and our planet, and our God. To allow that emotional connection, that affection that happens when we care deeply about something again.
A lot of people, they got hurt a couple times in their life so they shut off. They closed down, they’re like, “I’m out,” and they stopped allowing that beautiful part of their lives.
It takes a lot of responsibility to allow ourselves to love, because it’s so much easier to shutdown and take no responsibility whatsoever, become a victim, become very upset, because you know what, when we’re a victim we don’t have to be responsible. It’s somebody else’s deal. They have the power. They took the power over us, whisked away all our goodness and now we can just be upset and angry. That’s such an easy route for people to take.
Demanding that we take control of our emotional reality and the affections we have for others and other things, that brings about risk. If you heighten the affection you give to somebody; they might hurt you. So? Love is never hurt, ever. Maybe your ego gets trounced a little bit.
Maybe you feel sad for a couple moments, but at the end of the day what’s life? Is it supposed to be a bland, colorless universe where we don’t get to experience the heights and the joys and the rainbows and the gifts of love?
I don’t think so.
I think affection is something that we an all choose to have, and feel and cultivate in our lives.
If we are not overcome with emotion once in a while for somebody, then we aren’t thinking about the beauty in other people.
If we aren’t overcome with emotion and connection and we don’t just want to grab someone and kiss them all over the face, than we aren’t paying attention to people anymore.
We have become too trapped in our own thing.
Other people should fascinate us. We should be excited to meet them. We should look out into the world and say, “Wow, you know what, there are so many people. They’re all so different. What an incredible zest that we get.”
Our brain is hardwired to love novelty. Guess what? We have seven billion people who can give us that dopamine drip, just by talking to them and connecting real emotion with them again. Let’s do that.
The fifth thing that people need to be personally responsible for in our lives is action, our behaviors.
What is it that we’re doing each and every single day?
Taking responsibility for our actions because they are adding to our character and our destiny.
Who we become is a result of our disciplined actions, not our random initiatives that we do once in a while that respond to something, but, “What do I want to be about,” and being disciplined about being that.
What do I want to achieve being disciplined about achieving that?
What do I want to give or serve and being disciplined about giving and serving in those ways when we do that?
Something completely changes. We get a remarkable amount of momentum and progress in our lives.
Our personal responsibility in being able to control our actions and guide them towards healthy and positive outcomes for ourselves, that gives us extraordinary confidence, an extraordinary sense of progress in life. When we’re confident in who we are and we’re confident in our progress towards where we are moving, then it’s easier to sense that magical element called happiness.
It all comes from being responsible for those five things. Aim. Attitude. Attentions. Affections. Actions we take each day.
Look at the opposite. Look at those who have no aim in life.
Look at those who have not controlled their attitude so they’re just taking on and imbued the negative emotional attitude of those around them.
Look at those who cannot control their attention during the day, how much they accomplish. Look at those people who have no affection for other people and they do not control their emotions at all in positive ways.
Look at those who are not directing their actions intentionally.
What happens? They always end up derailing their life. They end up lost somewhere. They end up frustrated and irresponsible, not only for their own lives but often for the lives of those who they are entrusted to care for.
So personal responsibility is a big thing. But now you master those five elements of your life, bring intentionality to those five elements of your life, and as I said in the beginning, “Life blooms.” An extraordinary new quality of experience comes into our lives, we feel an incredible spark and zest about it each day. We feel what we call the charged life.