I am going to discuss something now that may offend a lot of people, but equally may also flick a switch in many others. I'm proposing the idea that your position in life, everything that you have done and will do in the future is purely down to you. Your decisions create the life that you lead and you cannot place the blame at anyone else if things are not panning out the way you want.
Now before I continue, I am NOT suggesting that you chose your place of birth or that you chose to be struck down with an illness etc. Obviously there are factors that are genuinely out of your control and I am not talking about these. I understand that there are certain situations that have a major damaging effect on our life choices and actions but for the majority of us, our supposed limitations are merely psychological.
Everything from your choice of career, the friends you choose to hang out with, the people you have relationships with, the way you look and the way you interact with the world is all down to you.
Don't like the way you look? Shut up and join a gym or buy some decent clothes.
Are you always low on money? Get a second job or even better, a higher paid job.
Moaning about a lack of qualifications? Go and enrol on a course or get yourself off to college/university.
Is the lack of a social life getting you down? Make the effort to go out and see more people.
Suffer with depression? Take that first step and arrange to see a doctor or a psychotherapist.
Am I simplifying the solutions to many common problems? Maybe, but the answers to the above questions are correct. A lot of people just need a slap in the face to wake up and realise that they hold the key to their future.
Does life owe you a favour?
"Oh why does life have to be so hard? It seems all the bad things happen to me, it's not fair. Why can't I just catch a break?"
Listen, life can be as hard or as easy as you want it to be and no amount of blame shifting will help you out here. There is no such thing as bad luck, just bad decision making. If you are waiting around for good things to happen then you will be waiting a long time, life just doesn't work that way. Luck is just another word for opportunity and by putting yourself out there you are increasing the chances of success.
Do you choose your unhappiness?
"Why do all of my relationships end so badly? I always seem to date the wrong people, why can't I find someone decent for a change?"
You are dating the wrong people and getting yourself involved in unhealthy relationships because you allow this to happen. Maybe you don't realise it but you are seeking out these people to fill an emotional void. Think of it like this. If you are a passive person you will naturally gravitate towards people who are more dominant and if you find yourself in a destructive relationship then the chances are that you simply allow these people to get away with their behaviour. It's almost like the relatively few highs are masking the constant lows and you stick with it for the next drug like 'hit'.
Do you hate the way you look?
"If only I was taller/thinner/better looking life would be so much easier and I could achieve so much more"
The reason why you are overweight is because you take in more calories than you expend, it's as simple as that. You have become lazy and allowed yourself to look this way. This is nobody's fault but your own and the only person who can alter your eating habits is you. Don't look for excuses, get down the gym and eat less.
Okay maybe you aren't blessed with the best genetics but almost everyone can increase their attractiveness by doing these three things.
1. Learning how to dress well
2. Getting a good haircut that suits your features.
3. Improving your posture and body language
Mix these three with the above example of hitting the gym and improving your diet, and you have absolutely no excuses for not looking your best.
Is your identity linked to your life situation?
We all know someone who likes to moan. Every day is a new opportunity to rant and rave about how nothing is going right and how tough life seems to be. If we cast a glance towards our Facebook news feed we will see at least one status where a friend of ours chooses to enlighten everyone else about something that has gone wrong for them. The best of these are the passive aggressive types who will write about a particular person, almost in the style of an open letter, but they won't actually name the person in question.
Why do they do this? What drives someone to pour their emotions out in public for everyone to read?
Some people actually enjoy playing the victim and base their whole identity around this.
"Oh there goes Bob again, he loves a good moan"
We have all described someone in this way and there is an element of truth to that statement. These people actually moan because it is their way of absolving themselves from any blame and by placing it on something else, they can feel like they have done nothing wrong. The second reason is that by displaying their emotions so publically, they are inviting sympathy and they want to feel like everyone else is in agreement with them.
The strange paradox of this is if they somehow find happiness, there is a chance these people will try to sabotage themselves as success challenges their perception of how they are viewed in the world.
What can you learn from successful people?
The only difference between people who achieve what they believe in and those who constantly moan about their life situation can be summed up in one word;
Anyone who has ever achieved success and happiness has learnt along the way that there is no such thing as a free lunch and by taking responsibility for their own actions, they have total control over where their life will head.
Happy people don't sit around moaning about all of the bad decisions they have made and placing the blame on everything else. Instead they focus on the positive aspects of their life and accept their mistakes for what they are.
Next time you feel the need to publically pour out your emotions, whether it's to a friend or God forbid, the internet. Stop and have a think about whether you could have done anything different and ask yourself if you are partly to blame for the situation. It's not a sign of weakness to admit this to yourself and by doing so it will help you recognise the trigger signs in future.
There is a difference between asking a close friend for advice and writing a boring status on Facebook. A good friend will welcome the chance to listen to you but nobody online wants to read about your woes, so don't do it.
Good or bad, you deserve everything you get. So which path do you want to go down?
Further reading - Why do we always settle for second best?