I recently had the opportunity to see one of my favorite authors speak. John Maxwell certainly lived up to his reputation. While speaking about accomplishing your goals and following your dreams, he brought up a point worth delving into. He said that while some of us make footprints in the sands of time, others make butt prints in the sands of time. Huh? Did I hear that correctly? Did John Maxwell, former Minister of one of the largest churches in the country just say butt prints? Yup. He said that too many people blame their circumstances, and that as a result, we stop trying and just sit on our bums.
While you have most likely heard and used the term “victim”, it is so easy to fall into the trap of blaming others for not being where you want to be. Victim is defined as “an unfortunate person who suffers from some adverse circumstance”. When push comes to shove, haven’t we all had to suffer an adverse circumstance or two in our time? While some of us certainly have our share of challenges, struggling to survive is part of the human condition. If we don’t take action to overcome the obstacles, we will end up where we’re headed.
I certainly didn’t read fairy tales as a child that said, “Once upon a time, there was a princess who married the wrong person and had a beautiful child with severe mental illness.” This is not the path that I had planned, but then again, we all get thrown from our path now and then. Just because we get off track doesn’t mean we have to completely derail.
If you have gotten into the habit of blaming others for your circumstances, now is your chance to change. Regardless of what has happened, make the decision to go forward, taking ownership of your choices. Obviously, this is a lot easier said than done. So where do you start?
First, make the decision that you are ready for a different result. Next, understand that if you are not happy with the result you are getting, you only have two choices:
1. Change the way you think and behave to get a different result
2. Settle for the results you are currently getting based on the way you are thinking
I wish it were easier, but at the end of the day, these are the only two options. Once you have chosen number one, evaluate the current thoughts that are keeping you stuck. When you are having conversations with yourself in your mind, take some time to identify what thoughts might be supporting a result that you don’t want. For me, it was (and occassionally still is) “woe is me. It isn’t fair. Why is my child sick? Why can’t I have a healthy, normal child?”
Just like anything, awareness is the first step. Next week, we’ll move onto the second step.
Make it a wonderful week, and remember, don’t be caught making butt prints in the sands of time!