For those of you fortunate enough to not be media hounds, let me catch you up. Miss Lohan is in the news again. DUI and cocaine possession. Haven’t heard much on the DUI, but she says the cocaine wasn’t her’s, it was a friend’s and she was just “holding it” for him. Sure it ain’t, sure it is, and sure she was.
Obviously I don’t buy it, but hey, it could be true. Let’s give her the benefit of the doubt. Her approach still doesn’t work – in either scenario.
I have had the pleasure recently of making a phenom new friend (Hi Lani!). We were discussing a past event in my ancient history. She asked a great question – “What gift did you gain from that terrible experience?”
First, let me explain why she’s a great friend and that’s a great question.
- She didn’t focus on the negative.
- She didn’t ask me to focus on the negative.
- The question is a gentle way to insist that I redeem something valuable from everything.
Yep – she’s cool.
The answer is “lots.” But, the single, most important one is personal responsibility.
For all you die hard voyeurs that love a good drama – go ahead a stop reading. I am not getting into the details. You can read all about my views on internet posting here. The important part is it was bad, it was relational, it’s over and it’s ancient.
While going through it, it is hard to learn anything from it. It’s kinda like becoming a great football team – you have to go back the next day and watch the tape.
After the dust had settled, I was mad – really mad. I blamed the entire world for my mess – a mess I had gotten myself into. And there it was…I made choices that inserted myself into a situation. Regardless of how offensive the other parties involved were – I picked them to be in my circle. I chose to allow them into my life, even when I knew better.
And there’s the lesson – personal responsibility. You can justify just about anything, redirect almost any blame, and renounce all consequences. But, at the end of the day, the only thing you have full control over is your personal actions, feelings, and plans for tomorrow.
This gift has translated into every aspect of my life – family, friends, business – all of it. It has created a mantra of sorts into how I decide which course of action to take in any given situation. “Do whatever it is you want to do – as long as you are ready to accept whatever consequences come from said action.”
- So it wasn’t her cocaine – did she not know that even being around it was a bad idea?
- So your client has gone to another provider – shouldn’t you have returned their phone call?
- So your bank account is steadily rising – good on you for going the extra mile to provide that great customer service.
- So your kids are doing better in school – setting aside time to be engaged in their life has worked out.
- So your not as in shape as you would like to be – go ahead and skip the gym again.
All of these situations can have outside influences – people, schedules, difficulties, dislikes – guess what – oh well. The point is to understand that regardless of the outlying conditions, the choice is still yours. The ownership is on you.
Is there a time you have taken personal responsibility? I am not asking you to air your dirty laundry, but I would love to hear of other life lessons learned and personal building experiences. They are the things that make us great people and wonderful friends.