I’m tired of hearing people blame others for things. In our current toxic political climate, for example, blame is thrown around far more than taking responsibility to make things better.
At my work a few years ago, some in leadership frequently repeated the phrase “It’s not my fault, but it is my problem.” They wanted to instill in us a mindset that we are to be focused on getting things done and solving problems instead of pointing fingers at others and absolving ourselves of any responsibility when something goes awry. The reminder that “it is my problem” may not have been what we wanted to hear, but it was true.
A different context in which this thought comes to mind is in taking responsibility for our own past decisions. Even though we may be highly influenced by others in certain decisions, we are ultimately responsible for the choices we make, whether they turn out good or bad.
It was refreshing this morning to read an email from a great dog trainer whose emails I enjoy – Eric Letendre. He started by saying this: “I’ve made some BIG mistakes in my life. Some so bad that they are still embarrassing and painful to think about. The great thing about mistakes is that you can learn from them.” Then he went on to list a few of those mistakes as they relate to dog training and the lessons learned. I respect that.
I can think of a couple of times in recent years when I have actively sought the advice of others on matters and then taken that majority advice, only to regret it later. Still, the final call was mine to make and, regardless of how many supported the decision, I was wrong to take their advice, especially when there was a still, small voice within me that resisted doing so.
Blame doesn’t change reality and is a waste of everyone’s time. It may not be your fault, but it is your problem. What are you going to do about it?
Leap year lesson #252 is You’re responsible for your own decisions.