IT’S 2013: GET RID OF BLAME (part 4 of 4)

Greetings and welcome to my post. The purpose of this post is to engage in conversation about building trusting relationships. I believe that we are all created for relationships and what gives our lives meaning and purpose is to know that we are loved and accepted. When we have happy, purposeful, and meaningful relationships, then our lives become meaningful because we are loved and accepted by someone. Meaningful relationships really do bring hope to our lives.

In my first post, I asked you to consider becoming a loving person at the start of 2013. In my second post, I want you to consider practicing being humble as you journey through 2013. Each month I will ask you to consider practicing various themes so that by the end of the year, you will have seen that 2013 was not just a year in which you passively allowed time to happen to you, but that you actively became a different person by practicing healthy character and success in all relationships.

Practice Persistence and Persevere

In this last part of this theme, get rid of blame, I am attempting to map out a strategy and vision of how 2013 can be a great year for you. Having a great year with you feeling great about 2013 results in you finding areas of your life where you are getting rid of blame. Blame is like a cancer. Uncontrolled, it can ruin your life and take over your heart and attitude. The sooner we can rid ourselves of this blame, the sooner we can start looking within ourselves to grow and become happier.

In this post, I want to reinforce the importance of practicing persistence and staying the course through 2013 by being a person who perseveres. If you have goals and dreams for your life, finding ways to get rid of blame, view failure as normal, and then finding the strength to hang in there and be persistent will help you accomplish your dreams. No one who has accomplishments or reaches their goals does it quickly or easily. It comes through continued effort.

The reality of life is this: nothing happens to us in life without fighting for what we want. To reach the values and goals that you want you will have to persist to attain them. For example, consider these areas: having a good marriage; raising well-adjusted kids, reaching a business or financial goal; getting and staying in shape; buying a home and paying off a mortgage loan; overcoming an illness; overcoming a bad habit or an addiction. These areas mentioned are just a few things for a successful life. If your goal is to eat cereal for breakfast each day, that will be easy. But getting out of debt or building a community of friends is more difficult and takes lots of time.

You see, it has to do with the conflict we are currently experiencing in our society: instant versus delayed gratification. Today, we all want instant gratification via text, E Mail, phone calls, facebook, tweet, or credit card. Information and knowing can happen so quickly today that we expect that is how life should be. But the true test of being and feeling great comes through delayed gratification. And to be honest with you, I do believe we lack patience, and we all hate to wait. It’s as if we have all regressed at times to being a three-year-old where we want what we want, not have to eat our vegetables first before we can eat the cookie for dessert, and then start to whine and cry when we can have it our way. We all can confess to buying into quick weight-loss programs, or money-making plans like buying lottery tickets.

Instead, persistence means that it will take steadfast effort to reach our goals. Perseverance adds the element of delayed gratification. Persistence tells us it is hard work to begin with, and then perseverance tells us it gets ever harder because we encounter difficulties that put the gratification even further out, and therefore we have to be steadfast in pushing through to the end. In other words, to achieve your goal you must persist: get at it and keep at it. And then you must persevere; keep at it even when the going gets tough.

The sooner we all realize that ‘quick and easy’ will not get you the results you are seeking, and you still have that strong desire and longing, then you have the two elements needed for success: motivation and a path. For example, consider career success. Every day, people so hard work, increase their education and training, practice diligence, do jobs they do not like which is not their ultimate goal, take risks and stretch themselves, and recover after they fail, to build satisfying careers. They eventually earn where they end up doing the hard work to get where they want to be, as opposed to expecting it to be handed to them because they are ‘special.’

The other important reminder in all of this is to make sure we are choosing goals that match who we are. We all can fall into the temptation of finding ways to earn money quickly or endeavor to get involved with something just for the sake of the easy way out or making money from it. For example, let’s say you want to make money in the real estate industry. You go and find some books, take some courses, and find a way to do it. But what if doing real estate is not really matching your goals and dreams based upon who you are? Always remember to function out of who you are, not just based on the hopes of making money or because it is easy. Sure, I could go back to school and become an electronic engineer, but being an engineer and learning about physics, math, and science is not who I am and not subjects that I am interested in. Believe me, you would not want me to become an electrician or a car mechanic or a handyman working on your electrical problem.

So, as you persist, examine your thinking. Please do not keep on doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Learn from your failure, value the process of growth, and get connected with people who can help you. Take ownership of the results and see them as your problem. Say no to the things that are in the way. Take new steps and risks. All of these steps work together, and as they do, something good will come out of the journey. Remember that the result is not the only prize. The real prize is the character growth that you have realized on your journey. It is the person you have become, and the people you have touched along the way. It is the maturity you have achieved and the lessons you have learned.

So find a way to get rid of blame and find a way to not let defeat discourage you or using defeat to justify your excuses. The real winners in life find this to be true: the journey is more valuable than the prize. It is the trip getting there that we call life and we are all meant to grow up and become who we are supposed to be. Persist, persevere and grow. Not only will you get the prize, but you will also learn to enjoy the growth process itself and view it as a wonderful journey. Remember the lesson from the important story of the tortoise and the hare. Eventually at the end, the tortoise wins. Act like a tortoise and stay focused, I promise you, victory is right around the corner.

Thanks for reading and I welcome your feedback, comments and reaction.

Phil Kiehl, LMFT, M.Div.
Licensed Therapist
P.S. Special thanks to Henry Cloud and John Townsend in the writing of this blog from their book, “It’s Not my Fault!”