With elections recently in France, and the election this week in South Korea and of course the UK’s General Election in June, a lot of people seem optimistic these new governments will change conditions so they can be more personally successful. The sad truth for these people is no government is going to make you successful. The only person who can help you to become more successful is you.
Political, social or economic conditions do not make people successful. Indeed, a lot of the most successful companies today were born at a time of economic downturns or social unrest. Whether you are successful or not is entirely in your own hands. And that is the way it should be.
For most people, the reason they are not more successful is because they are searching around for something or someone to blame for not being successful. Blaming others, your parents, your government or your company is no excuse. If you truly want to be successful you need to make it your own personal responsibility. You need to take deliberate action and you need to make sure that in everything you do, you are focussed on your own success, your own goals and your own plans.
As human beings we all have the ability to be hugely successful. We all have talents, we all have the capacity to think for ourselves and we all have extraordinary opportunities to build a successful, fulfilled life. The only way to do that is to take responsibility for our achievements and our failures and not blame anyone or anything if we fall short. If we do fall short we need to pick ourselves up, analyse why we failed and try a different approach. I often think life is really a journey involving a lot of failures and a few successes and it is continuous. Too often, people blame outside influences and these are the people who achieve very little in their lives. Don’t be one of those people. Accept responsibility for your successes and failures. If someone lets you down, don’t blame them. You chose to rely on that person. That was your choice and therefore that is your responsibility. Find someone else more reliable.
In my work, I meet a lot of people stuck in middle management, who are in their mid-fifties and they are stressed out. They live in a state of fear of losing their jobs and are doing absolutely nothing to change their circumstances. They blame society, their government, they blame their university, they blame their company but they never blame themselves. Let me spell it out clearly: the reason you are not successful is not society, your government, your company or even your parents. Millions of people living in situations with backgrounds far worse than yours have become successful. The reason you are not successful is because of you, your choices and your inability to take full responsibility for your own life.
No matter who you are, how old you are, what your background is or where you live, you always have the ability to learn new skills, to start new projects and to thrive in this world. You only have to make the decision. To decide what to learn or do and start. That is it. You may not be successful at first, you will fail, you will be disappointed, but eventually you will succeed at learning something new. You will be able to learn from your mistakes and those failures and by taking full responsibility for those mistakes and failures you will come out of it a better, stronger person, who has taken themselves a little bit closer towards success. The key is to decide to take action, to persist, adjust and learn.
So make a mindset change today. Stop blaming others and start accepting full responsibility for your own success. Don’t place you faith in your new government, company or people. Put your faith in yourself, decide what you want to accomplish, make a plan and start achieving today. Take it one step at a time, believe in yourself and if you fail, figure out what it was you did not get quite right, adjust and start again. Your government will not be the reason you failed, just like your government will not be the reason you succeeded. The reason you succeed or fail is simply down to your choices and your work ethic.
Now go out there, take full responsibility for your actions and see the positive changes in your life.
Carl Pullein is a personal productivity specialist, presenter and author of Working With Todoist: The Book as well as Your Digital Life, a book about using your technology to achieve greater productivity. Carl works with clients all over the world to help them focus on the things that are important to them and to become more productive and creative.