I’ve heard it all before.
You can’t earn more because of your boss. You can’t earn more because of your career path. You can’t earn more because of the economy. You can’t earn more because you don’t have enough time. You can’t earn more because you’re ugly and only the beautiful people get ahead.
You can’t save more because of inflation. You can’t save more because the things you need are expensive. You can’t save money because the government will just take it all. You can’t save money because you never learned how and it’s too late to teach an old dog new tricks.
Poor you. You’re just the victim of a society that’s out to get you.
Here in reality, though, things are a little different.
Every single day, we wake up and get out of bed with an opportunity to do something to change the rules of our life. We can stand up for what we deserve at work. We can take on projects that make us shine. We can turn off the television and do something productive. We can start doing more things for ourselves and stop paying for convenience. We can find more work. We can ask for more pay. We can get creative with the money we do have.
It’s scary to take that leap. It’s hard. But whenever you decide it’s too scary or it’s too hard, you’re the one making the decision. All of those external factors that make it hard aren’t keeping you in place. You’re keeping you in place.
Four years ago, I was thoroughly unhappy with my life. I was going nowhere as a writer. I was sinking into debt. I had a child coming, but I had no idea how to be a parent or how to take care of that child. I worked at a job that had started to become something I didn’t want to do. I was really overweight. I had a marriage that wasn’t particularly happy, mostly because I wasn’t happy.
It was easy to blame things. “I need this thing in order to be happy.” “I can’t make a career change because this one is safe and reliable.” “I’d like to go exercise, but it’s too cold outside and I don’t like the gym.” “I can’t succeed as a writer because I’m not in New York hobnobbing with publishers.”
The truth? The only person to blame there was myself. The blame didn’t fall anywhere else. It wasn’t the weather’s fault that I wasn’t getting in shape. It wasn’t my location’s fault that I wasn’t pushing myself as a writer. It wasn’t clever advertising’s fault that I felt I needed so much stuff. It wasn’t my job’s fault that I was scared to make a leap.
It was my fault.
I let these things that didn’t really matter guide my choices, time and time again. I blamed them for my problems – it couldn’t have been me, after all.
I chose to be a victim of circumstance. And it almost buried me.
You have two choices in life. You can either be a victim, tossed about by whatever provides a convenient excuse. Or you can say, “You know what? This is my situation, but I can fight it. I can stand up and change it.”
Which way will you go?