“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
Have you heard people say “My pants don’t fit me anymore”? Have you said it yourself?
It’s an all too common phrase in our modern language. It underscores a dangerous shift from a culture of personal responsibility to one of blaming others. If I say, “I don’t fit into my pants anymore” then I’m responsible. Yet somehow it’s easier for me to blame my pants, as if they did the changing.
Step One: Personal Responsibility
Accepting personal responsibility to develop your full potential as a human being is the first step to a healthier and happier you. This is completely within your control. It comes from inside you. Join me on this step by saying it out loud:
“I accept personal responsibility to develop my full potential as a human being.”
Step Two: Continuous Improvement
Developing a practice of Kaizen or continuous improvement is the next step. As introduced in 3 Questions, 3 Powers, and Your Absolute Best Life, Kaizen is the idea that there is always something you can do better tomorrow than you did today.
A practice dedicated to continuous improvement increases your commitment to trying new things. It greases your willingness to say YES. It keeps you moving forward. Everyday. What it is that you decide to improve upon at any given time can vary widely – it might be trying to sleep, or exercise, or eat, better. It may be reading more consistently or being kinder to your spouse. It can be big or small. It can be anything that you want to do better. The decision is completely yours to make. It also comes from inside you. Come along and say this out loud too:
“I’ve decided to start a daily practice of continuous improvement.”
Step Three: Carefree Diligence
Adding a practice of carefree diligence makes the journey to a healthier and happier you much more enjoyable. In his book, The Tao of Joy Every Day: 365 Days of Tao Living, Derek Lin says, Diligence means having the “discipline to progress in a purposeful direction with consistency”. He continues, “It’s taking one step after another, without stopping but also without a frantic rush. The body may be in motion, but the mind is perfectly relaxed” as you enjoy the journey to your absolute best life.
The key words here are motion and relax. It’s important that you keep moving on your journey but RELAX about it. Keep doing but stop stressing. Enjoy the process but don’t cling to outcomes. Trust in yourself that every small effort is a step on your journey, regardless of the immediately observable result.
Once again, this decision is completely within your control. Isn’t that great? You don’t need permission from anyone. You can decide today. Right now. Say it. Out loud.
“I’ve decided to begin my practice of carefree diligence.”
You’re In Charge
Mastering the practices of kaizen and carefree diligence will take time. That’s why they’re called practices. Think of it this way. It’s taken you your entire life to get where you are today. What if it takes another 10,000 hours to master these practices? What if it takes the rest of your life? As Confucius said, “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.”
So go slowly. Be kind to yourself. But keep moving forward in a purposeful direction with consistency.
You’re in charge now. You’re in charge from here on out. If your pants don’t fit, it’s your responsibility to change yourself back to the size you were when they did. Or buy some new ones. If your life doesn’t fit the way you want it to, it’s up to you to transform it. When you accept personal responsibility, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
This post is an excerpt from my book Turning Inspiration Into Action. If you like this post, you’ll love the book!
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