Victim by choice?

One of the main ideas throughout The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is that people tend to blame their environment as the cause of their problems. Excuses run the gambit; from blaming your family, your genes, your job, the economic times, etc. Stephen Covey’s response is that “Quality begins with me.”

You’re not a victim of conditions, you’re a victim of your own decisions, your own choices.

-Stephen Covey

With this mindset, in most circumstances, accomplishing goals in life depends on personal initiative and determination. However, the scales can be tipped in either direction, from “My life isn’t what I want it to be because of other people”, to “I can do everything myself.” I feel it is important to not be arrogant by not accepting help from anyone, or to be foolish enough to believe that everything can be accomplished just by myself. Mr. Covey does talk about this in the book, and one of the pillars of “being effective” is synergism. In essence, he stresses the importance of being able to work collaboratively in teams and the immense benefits that can come if it, but that is another topic in and of itself.

The main theme I wanted to write about today was about taking control of the events in one’s life that are within one’s grasp. To be able to distinguish which events can be affected by you, and which events are simply out of your control is a skill that can be very powerful in life. Challenging may it be, I am going to try and get a handle on situations in my life, while recognizing those that are out of my control. With a mentality such as this, “luck” happens more often. I am becoming a fan of Ralph Emerson, and his many quotes that are so applicable to life: “Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”

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7 Responses to Victim by choice?

  1. Rabenstrange says:

    I saw a great example of this on the bus yesterday. A woman was saying all kinds of really mean, nasty stuff to everyone around her and blaming her cruelty on emotions caused by diabetes. She was also loudly expressing her wonder that everybody was mean to her.

    My favorite saying about luck: “Luck favors the prepared.”

  2. teaaker says:

    Yeah that is a great example, and I love the quote. So many people these days love to have one sided interactions. I can act how I want, but I want everyone to treat me to my specifications. Ludacris.

  3. @Stephen says:

    I like the gist of your current posts. Drop me an e-mail about collaborating on something…

  4. Michael says:

    I was thinking about this recently. I know a few people who think that they are so innocent, like nothing is ever their fault and that they’re always the victim. It is really annoying when people have an attitude that says, “What is wrong with the world?” and the rest of the world wants to scream back, “YOU are the problem.”

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