Hump Day: The day contains the same number of hours for everybody

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

The Occupy Wall Street movement that has been spreading like wildfire, including to Moncton, certainly has some valid points. There is corporate greed. There is corruption. Big corporate bailouts are given while citizens are left to go under.

The problem is, there always has been and there always will be this stuff going on. For example, banks make huge profits and then zing us with higher user fees. I’m not sure what these protests will change. A part of me thinks it’s all futile and if we just stop supporting corporations we don’t agree with, they’ll simply have to change or die.

I don’t begrudge people the right to protest peacefully. It’s part of democracy. All I’m saying is that if I’m that upset with a business, I just cross the street to go elsewhere. When enough people do that, things will change. I’m not convinced that standing in a park yelling about generic corporate greed will change much of anything.

The one thing that concerns me with some of these protesters, however, is that they seem to be blaming others for their own misfortune or lack of opportunity. While it’s true that many are employed and I hope happy with what they do, many seem to be very angry because they blame “corporate America” for their unhappiness, poverty, unemployed status, bankruptcy, high student loans, inability to buy a home or a car or whatever.

That is what worries me. My perception is that many of them have given over control over their own lives and destinies to the blame game. Figuratively speaking, they’re now lying back in their recliners with their feet in the air and exhaling a big sigh of relief. ‘Phew! I thought I had some control over this. It’s nice to know that corporate America is to blame for my inability to (fill in the blank).’

When world-renowned author and speaker Jack Canfield was in Moncton a few months ago, one of the most profound things I heard him say was that it is impossible to be successful (whatever your personal definition of that is) unless you take 100 per cent responsibility for your life. Stop the blaming of others for your unhappiness or frustration.

Here’s an excerpt from a blog post he wrote on the subject dated April 13, 2010. You’ll find similar words in his books, i.e. The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.

“Everything about you is a result of your doing or not doing… Your income. Debt. Relationships. Health. Fitness level. Attitudes and behaviours. I’ve often said that you are either creating or allowing everything that is happening in your life.

“I think everyone knows this in their hearts, but often times people convince themselves into thinking that external factors are the source of their failure, disappointment, and unhappiness. External factors do not determine how you live. YOU are in complete control of the quality of your life, by either creating or allowing the circumstances you experience.”

Imagine how liberating it would be if we all sat back and took full responsibility for our lives. It’s not mom’s fault. It’s not dad’s fault. It’s not my jerk boss’s fault. It’s not my kids’ fault, or my neighbour’s, co-workers’ or my spouse’s or my company president’s. Or the fault of politicians. Or the fault of the richest guy in town.

We all have 24 hours per day. Barack Obama has 24 hours per day. Stephen Harper has 24 hours per day. Bill Gates has 24 hours per day. Oprah Winfrey has 24 hours per day. I have 24 hours per day. You have 24 hours per day.

What we decide to do with those 24 hours is what makes the difference. Am I perfect at carving out my time? Heck no. I sometimes find myself sitting in front the television staring mindlessly and not even knowing what (or why) I’m watching. We all do. The secret here is to minimize that wasteful stuff and maximize the productive. We can’t all be ‘on’ 24 hours per day, but some people make a habit of being ‘off’ for 24.

Those who sit back and blame others for their lot in life are doing themselves a disservice. The minute you take on full responsibility for yourself, the power it gives you radiates – and others see it. They are drawn to you. And they want to help you and work with you. Who wants to work with someone who’s always playing the victim card?

In closing, I believe Jack Canfield said it best:

“When you realize that you-and only you-create your experiences, you’ll realize that you can un-create them and forge new experiences whenever you want. How empowering is that! You must take responsibility for your happiness and your unhappiness, your successes and your failures, your good times and your bad times.”

The victim mentality is so tiresome. When you stop blaming others, only then will you get out of Blame Penitentiary – the prison you’ve built for yourself. The ‘woe is me’ people, the ‘I hate Monday’ people, the ‘I’m not rich because you’re rich’ people. The minute you shed that mentality, you’ll see your life change dramatically.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.