Our life is made up of series of choices and consequences. The moment we decide to take full responsibility for the things that happen in our life, it will begin to change for the better. The things we say about ourselves will always supersede the things said by others. You serve as the numerator in your life equation and the people in your life serve as the denominator. When others bring spiritual, emotional, and financial value equal to yours, your life becomes one or whole. On the other hand, when they bring emotional, financial, and spiritual baggage that is greater than you and your resources, your life becomes a fraction of what it should be. To become the master of your fate, you must first take ownership of your choices.
First, take ownership of the actions you take. To do this, you will need to remove “it’s all your fault” or “you made me do it” from your vocabulary. Take responsibility for your choices by looking inward for your transformation. Self-examination is the vehicle that allows you to redirect your course in life. Self knowledge transforms you. This self-awareness gives new perspective thereby giving a new point-of view. This means you no longer have to wait for someone to come along and make your life better. When you take ownership for it, you own it so you have the power to change it.
Secondly, never measure your life by any single moment in it. Although, life constantly adds and takes away from you, it does not render you powerless to still make an impact in it. William Ernest Henley wrote the poem “Invictus” from his hospital bed. Although he had survived tuberculosis at age twelve, in the process, he had one foot amputated. He later resisted the doctor’s assurance that the only way to save his life was to amputate the other leg; as a result, Henley was discharged from the hospital in 1835 with one foot intact. Because he was able to see his life beyond his current setback, Henley went on to live an active life for more than thirty years. Tell yourself that you are more than this moment in your life. The things you think and say about yourself will always supersede the words spoken by others. This is the type of self confidence that is necessary to produces true greatness.
Finally, find your own personal happiness. Individually, we must take responsibility for our lives. No one can truly make another person happy. If a person is not content within themselves, changing everything around them still will not make them happy. Make it a point not to voluntarily do anything that will frustrate you. Set some time aside each day to do something you enjoy. Spend more time with people that add to your life. Your life will be different because you are different.
This year, as you reflect on your life and the people in it, ask yourself the question, “Are they adding value to me?” If not, it is time to make some changes. William Henley knew that he was the master of his fate and the captain of his soul. Each of us must learn this lesson for ourselves. To live your best life today, you must take responsibility for the success and failure in your life and live out the principle you are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul!
Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker who is committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities. To get copies of his books, or for questions, comments or more information, go to www.tlhouston.com.