Taking Responsibility for Your Life

Epictetus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scholars going back to the Ancient Greek Philosopher, Epictetus (AD55 – AD135) have taught that all external events are determined by fate, and are thus beyond our control; However, individuals are responsible for their own actions, and that suffering occurs from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power.

Whether you like it or not, you’re responsible for everything in your World, the good, the bad and the ugly.

What scholars have been telling us for centuries is that you can’t change the events that happen in life, but you can definitely change what that event means to you.

Take the break-up of a relationship for example; some people experience that event by thinking  “My life is now effectively over and I’ll never find another person to love me”. A different person, going through the same situation, may say to themselves “Thank goodness that relationship is over, now I can concentrate on finding someone who’ll really love me”

The situation is the same in both cases, only it’s meaning has changed, so take the responsibility for your life and when disaster strikes, spend a moment to ask yourself “What’s actually good about this situation?”

If you can’t find anything that’s good, ask yourself, “what can I learn from this situation?” 

The fact that you learned something, even if all you learned was that the other person was an ‘Ass’, means that you’ve turned the situation into something that’s got a positive outcome for you.

So remember, no matter what the situation is, YOU can control whether it empowers you, or destroys you….. make the right choice!


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