Everything Is My Fault, How I took Total ownership for my life.
The story starts off a few years ago. I was working as an electrician and I had a lady that reported to me and wasn’t a fully qualified electrician or otherwise known as a journeyman. Regardless, she does what she can and she was a great asset to the crew. However, there was one thing I noticed about her. She has a habit of not thinking for herself. Even though we were at the job about the same amount of time; in the world of a journeyman, often what we do has little to do with electricity. No matter what the job was, she always either followed my lead or whoever was with her. This was true even when we weren’t in the same crew. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her alone.
It was one day when I was a little late coming back from lunch and I saw she was at work with a few others. As any person who has been working on their craft for some time will tell you, sometimes your sixth sense lets you know that something seems off. Long story short, she was instructed to cut into a high voltage cable. The issue was the guy that told her to do it didn’t know that it was still energized. I wasn’t going to just run up and stop work just because I had a feeling but after I verified it was live, I managed to stop her just before she penetrated protective insulation.
For the people that know about electricity it was a 450 volt, 400 amp cable. For the people that don’t know about electricity that’s enough to light up a rather large building with most of the appliances as well. As most of you know electricity is silent, so if it hit her, she wouldn’t have known until the damage was done.
She had three kids at home.
What I ended up doing is calmly talking to her and then the guy who told her to do it. I told her specifically “You always want to check for yourself. No matter what anyone tells you. If you don’t feel comfortable check again. If you have the slightest doubt check a 3rd or even 10th time. It’s your life and let’s be honest you have 3 kids at home.” Then I walked her and him through how to properly check for power. I didn’t see any reason to scold them or report the incident. The guy who instructed her to do the job was clearly shaken. The girl was just grateful to be unharmed. The message was well received because I went on working there for another year and there were no issues as bad as the one I just told.
For a multitude of reasons that incident kept replaying in my mind. The thing that I realized is that it’s the same thing in regards to money, fitness, mental health, spirituality, etc. The truth is no one is going to do the work for you. If you are lucky, someone may pop into your life and present you with a book or idea that may put you on the path to learn a couple of the things you need to know. Yet, at the end of the day preparing yourself to deal with the challenges of this world is solely your responsibility.
You can blame your parents if you like. You can blame the education system and government as well. You can go on to blame your childhood environment, your race, the president, your lack of resources and really I could go on. The truth is most people can use many of those points to justify why they can’t do something. The scary thing is, they actually are valid reasons. Unfortunately, that changes nothing. It’s still up to you. Just like in the case of the girl I was working with, her excuse of being uneducated wouldn’t shield her from being shocked. In Dr. Nicole Leprea’s book How to Do the Work she states that “recognizing why you have certain disruptive habits, patterns or behaviors isn’t the end. Next it’s up to you to correct them.” It’s the same thing with your mental health.
This also got me thinking how many other people are “killing” certain aspects of their life just by listening to people who don’t know what they are talking about. In regards to the guy who instructed her to cut into the high voltage cable; he wasn’t much further along than her in his knowledge of our job. Granted I was happy that he was trying to step up, but there is a time and place for everything; and on a routine but dangerous job like that perhaps he should have waited. People love to teach and I do so as well. It feels good to be able to express yourself and to give assistance to another. It’s quite fulfilling. Nonetheless, we have to be on constant look out because many people who are out there giving advice are pretty lost themselves.
I firmly believe that if you meet someone that is telling you how to have a sound relationship, they should be happily involved. If someone is giving you business advice, they should have been where you were and surpassed it. If a pick up artist takes you out to meet women they should blow you away with their skills of being able to seduce all types of women. It’s simple really, I mean you would want a cooking teacher to be able to cook wouldn’t you?
What many people don’t realize is if you meet someone who offers to coach you on how to make money, then less than 20% of their income should come from coaching. If most of their income comes from teaching people how to earn money it’s a good chance they don’t actually know too much. They earned most of their income from selling how to make money and that is their skill. One of my old acquaintance’s calls himself a “Christian Relationship Coach.” He says openly about how he is proudly a virgin, never been married, hasn’t been in a serious relationship in years and he is holding himself to find a wife. I’m not knocking what he is doing, but I can’t help but wonder how much real world application does his advice hold? Just because something may sound really good, it doesn’t mean it’s practical. My Christian relationship acquaintance has a coaching certification but how much value does that have in the real world?
I also find that other people won’t do anything at all but still complain to high heaven about how screwed up their lives are. These same people just go about as if they are driftwood.
I have a favorite shirt which I rarely wear. The saying and shirt came from the great Tom Bilyeu. On the face of it, it states “Everything is my fault.” I rarely wear it because most people crack jokes instead of understanding its meaning. It’s my declaration to the world that I am the product of all my decisions and I create my reality. I take ownership of all the conditions of my life and I am in control. If I get robbed it’s my fault for being vulnerable. If I lose money in a business deal it’s my fault for not understanding all the sides of it. If that girl I was working with ended up getting shocked, it would have been my fault for getting back to lunch late and not stopping them in time. I also could have trained them better.
In closing I don’t believe in telling people how to live their lives but two things I do believe everyone needs to do are as follows:
1. Have a definite reason for all things that you do. If your answer to that question is “it’s what everyone else is doing” then I am here to tell you that answer is NOT acceptable.
2. Think for yourself and make your own decisions.
One of my favorite quotes comes from Earl Nightingale. He says the vast majority of the population is playing one of the world’s most un-rewarding game. The title of this game is “Follow the follower”