Own Your Life
“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future” - George Bernard Shaw
I really thought that the life I was living was because of my upbringing. I thought that because I grew up in a housing commission area, because I didn’t have a Dad (or one that I knew anyway), because I didn’t have any strong positive financial influences in my life, because I had no money, I thought that that was my destiny. I thought that I would never really succeed in life, because I mean, how could I? I was poor, destined to stay poor, and mental. That’s how it felt anyway. The odds were not in my favour, they were stacked against me. I didn’t see change or success as even possible for me. People like me don’t succeed. When you come from where I came from that just doesn’t happen. Except it does. Right? Oprah Winfrey did it. There are plenty of examples out there of people who have come from backgrounds similar to mine but I thought they were rare and like those people must have possessed some magical trait that I didn’t have. Like maybe they were secretly unicorns and had access to magical fairy dust.
How could someone like me - damaged, broken, depressed, anxious and trapped at the bottom of the shit pile break free from that cycle? I literally thought that anyone who was happy or successful had to come from a wealthy or happy or successful background to begin with. I couldn’t see myself making albums because I couldn’t afford it. I couldn’t see myself having a great education because I didn’t even see that as a possibility. Not one person in my whole extended family for generations had a university education. I thought even completing high school was a stretch. I didn’t think I’d ever make much money, or find a really great guy (I mean seriously - what would an amazing, loving, caring, respectable guy want with me). So I felt trapped in every sense of the word. I felt stuck in a world that I hated, in a job that I hated, with little to no respect for myself (or anyone else for that matter) and while I had dreams, I felt incapable of achieving them so I drank to numb the pain of my miserable existence and from there I just kept blaming my circumstances and I kept making excuses.
I didn’t OWN my life. I let my circumstances own me. I let my past own me. I let my experience of the world in my past dictate my future. I let other people dictate who I was and what I could do. I didn’t own my life and I didn’t even know that I’d given that ownership away. If I had kept living like that, with those thought processes, I would not be where I am today. I would still be wasting my money, wasting my life, completely depressed with where I was and I would have absolutely zero insight into how to change it.
But the reason OWNING your own life is important is because If you don’t OWN your life, then you can’t change it. If you keep blaming everyone and everything around you for the life you have then you are giving your power away. If you change nothing, then nothing will change. The very best that you can hope for is that things will continue the way that they are, but even then, the reality is, if you are not happy with the life you’re living and you don't do anything about it, then things are probably only going to get worse. You will become more and more dissatisfied with your life. You will need more and more external distractions to take your mind off the fact that you are not being who you want to be and you are not living up to your potential. I literally waited until I was suicidal before I did anything to change my life. You don’t have to wait until things are that bad. Your life might not be right at the bottom of the shit pile. You might just want to make some changes and get onto a path that is truly satisfying. You can start making positive changes today. Right now. Even reading this book is a big step forward in the process of changing the way that you think, because learning from others always impacts your life. Your exposure to different experiences is enlightening and when you learn that you can change the way you think, that all by itself can start to change the way that you think. If you can change the way that you think, then you will literally be able to transform your life.
I know I’m repeating myself here. But I’m repeating it just so it really gets in. If you want to be successful and create a life that is healthy and vibrant, you need to own it. By own it, I really mean that you need to be responsible for it. I know we don’t often like the ‘R’ word, but the moment you start looking at your life and taking responsibility for it, is the moment you can start to make some seriously positive impact.