Taking Control

You are the product of your experiences and the decisions you have made thus far. Whether you like it or not, you’re exactly where you are supposed to be because you allowed yourself to be there. Understanding that you are responsible for yourself is the foundation of moving toward where you want to be and achieving your dreams. In order to take control, you have to drop the blame and the complaining.

Blame & Complain

Blaming others and complaining is not about the people you’re directing your vitriol. It’s about you. The caustic rhetoric and energy you put toward others is only harming you. Imagine swallowing poison, then expecting the other person to drop dead. Only if you’re Darth Vader would that ever really work. In fact, Vader is an excellent example of this. He was so angry about the death of his mother, that the anger consumed him and turned to the dark side. How well did that work out for him in the long run?

We all complain about one thing or another. From the daily complaints to the ones that bother us year-in and year-out. Bottom line is that it’s not helping. Jack Canfield put it best:

In order to complain, you have to believe that something better exists. You have to have a reference point of something you prefer that you are not willing to take responsibility for creating.

So there you are. Complaining about the situation you are in and yet you don’t do anything to change it. You won’t change it because you don’t want to take the risks necessary to do so. You’re doing what you’ve always done (not take responsibility for your choices) and you’ll continue to do so and you’ll continue to get what you’ve always got (and keep complaining in the process!) There’s a common phrase: You reap what you sow. What you’re reaping (and complaining about now), you sowed for yourself a long time ago. Do yourself a favor. Start sowing positively now and you’ll thank yourself later.

Here is where I propose you start sowing properly. There is a simple equation that I have been following for sometime now that has helped tremendously (courtesy of Jack Canfield).

E + R = O

E represents the events that occur in life. These are out of your control. represents your response to these events. Taking responsibility for your life is the first step to controlling your responses to the events in life. Finally, O represents the outcome experience. Blaming others and complaining results in a negative R value, so your outcome is lowered and so is the experience. In order to change your outcomes, you have to change your responses.

Here’s an experience from my playbook: My parents recently decided to remodel the family vacation home in Tahoe. There’s plenty to do and little time to do it so my dad asked me for my help on the weekends when I was not in class. No problem. The urge to complain started when I had to go up to Tahoe for 3 weekends in a row to help out. I complained to myself and to my brother – misery loves company since he had to go too. After the first day of my complaining, I had had enough and I changed my attitude. I realized that with my help my dad wasn’t doing the work himself, the house was looking extraordinary, and I got to spend some quality time with my dad.The simple change in R made my overall experience (O) that much better.

Let me know what you think! What ways have you taken responsibility for yourself and changed your outcomes? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below or follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!


Calvin and Hobbes

Are You Still Complaining?


2 thoughts on “Taking Control

  1. Marcy Barba

    And imagine the pride you’ll experience in the future, long after the complaining is gone, when you and those you love enjoy the fruits of your labor at a home that will be your family legacy! Reaping what you sowed. Love, mom

  2. Pingback: The Power of Internal Reflection | Simple Truths

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