Character – the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life – is the source from which self-respect springs.Joan Didion, Vogue Magazine, 1961
Committing to Change
Accepting responsibility for one’s own life. Now that’s something I’ve never been a master of myself.
I like to talk like I take responsibility but for much of my life, I haven’t.
It’s not about accomplishing tasks. I’m good at that. I work and complete the goals set before me. I love deadlines. I love them so much I often work right up until they happen.
But to make a commitment to do something important, that’s not been me. Forever.
Ryan Stewman talks about becoming the most elite version of yourself.
You look into the future and envision what you would be like if you were to be the best version of yourself.
What would you be doing? How would you dress?
What would your family look like? Where would you live?
What would you have accomplished in your life? How much would you be worth?
What would you be driving?
What would your life look like if you became the best possible version of yourself?
That will look different for everyone. Your best life is not my best life. And your dreams aren’t my dreams. Nor should they be.
And no, you shouldn’t give a damn about what anyone else’s dreams are or what it looks like when they achieve them. Stop judging people for living their dreams.
The point is this: You and you alone decide the outcomes of your life. Your current existence is the product of your life choices. No one else is to blame.
Yes, the cards you got when you started this life may have been crappy. You might not have had access to things that others did.
You might be a different skin color. You might come from a broken home. You might come from an abusive background. You might have a debilitating disease.
It’s not about how you started this life. It’s about what you decide to do with your life. How you started does not determine how you finish.
I’ve been fat all my life. Yes, fat. Overweight. Obese. Chunky. Husky. Whatever you’d like to call it, I’m fat.
And miserable. Always have been.
I can blame many things that happened along the way that may have caused me to be this way.
In the end, it’s my responsibility to fix it. So, I am.
I’m not perfect and it’s a struggle. But I’m down 4 pounds in the past week and I’ve worked out at least 45 minutes 6 of the past 7 days.
I’m weightlifting. I’m biking. I’m eating healthier than ever. I’m tracking everything that I put in my mouth.
I’m committed. I don’t know how long this journey will take but I can’t leave this path. I’m saving my own life.
Wherever you are, there is something about your life you want to change.
Make the commitment. Make the change.