The latest section of the Happiness Advantage talks about taking responsibility for things that happen in your life (other posts on topic). By taking responsibility, you give yourself the option of being able to control the outcome of events. If you think that everything in life is outwith your control, then it matters little what you do or say, as the path is already written. However, if you believe you have control, then you can affect the path your life takes.
I think I’m quite sensitive to noticing this in other people, and it’s probably a bit of a chicken/egg situation on why I run my own business. However, it wasn’t really clear to me the value in this approach until reading it earlier today.
For example, I remember someone telling me about a car accident they had. They recited the situation to me: they had an accident because someone did something they shouldn’t have done, which made them have the accident.
I remember at the time feeling a lack of confidence in their driving ability after hearing this because I look at it quite differently. If the accident is solely the fault of someone else, then it suggest you are powerless to stopping it from happening. I believe that you always have the ability to learn from things, and change your behaviour should you find yourself in a similar set of circumstances in the future.
I had 2 car accidents not long after passing my driving test. Both of them could have been avoided if I’d acted differently. One of them could’ve been avoided if the other person involved had been acting more reasonably – but that doesn’t stop me taking responsibility for the accident.
If you have responsibility, you have control of the outcome. If you shirk, you end up getting no where because you’re always a victim.
If you want your life to be better, if you want to be more successful, if you want to be happier – look at everything around you and work out what you can take responsibility of.