The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That's the day we truly grow up.John Maxwell
In a sense, we each live in our own private Universe — a world uniquely experienced by us.
This unique perception of the world around us is a direct projection of our current state of consciousness.
If you find that life is constantly happening "to you" (and often in spite of you), this is a signal that you aren't taking responsibility for your experience of life. It can be more subtle than this, however. Do you complain a lot? Do you find yourself criticizing people and systems on a regular basis? These are also signals.
All of these signals essentially point to the same thing: victim mentality.
In any situation, no matter what the circumstances, there is one thing you always choose: your attitude. The key to owning your experience of life is owning your attitude towards it. Once you take responsibility for your own attitude, the world begins to look very different. You become aware of yourself as the Creator of your experience, rather than the victim of it.
Being the Creator of your experience doesn't mean unpleasant things won't ever happen to you — they are a fact of life, guaranteed. It simply means you choose your reaction — and ultimately, your perception — of them.
Will you let difficult experiences discourage you or will you see the growth potential in them? Will you continue to allow your own personal status quo to reinforce your dissatisfaction with life, or will you do the work needed to improve your life? This is what owning your experience of life is all about.
Like any worthwhile journey, this is easier said than done, and it won't happen overnight. We all struggle, to some degree, with taking responsibility for our lives. I've found the following guideposts to be helpful along my own journey. Integrate them into your awareness.
Guidepost #1: Your attitude is a habit.
A habit is either reinforced or weakened by your actions in the Now, which you have full control of. Take responsibility for this fact and own your attitude in all situations. Your attitude isn't an outward display — it is an internal choice that radiates outward. Remember this.
What do you want out of life? Let your attitude reflect this. Difficult situations are your greatest ally in developing your attitude, because they challenge you to honestly bring forth what you've developed. Allow them to propel you into a higher awareness of yourself and what you want out of life.
It won't be easy. Sometimes it will be extremely difficult, and sometimes you will stumble. Accept this as a given, and remember that this is a journey, not a destination. Cultivate the habit of your attitude with love and compassion toward yourself.
Guidepost #2: All people and situations in your life point back to You.
This is the ultimate in taking responsibility for your experience of life. The world around you is a projection of You. So own that projection, and open your eyes and your heart to the root issues in You that this projection is pointing to.
Think about the patterns that keep showing up in your life — they are your teachers. Don't resist them, or they'll just continue popping up in your life. Embrace the learning experiences contained within them. All people and events in your life are teachers.
Guidepost #3: The Universe is neutral.
This means your experience of it — for better or for worse — is your own projection, your own creation. So take responsibility for what you are creating. See the seeds of your own personal development in every person and situation in your life. Choose, in this moment, to let your attitude and actions be driven by what you want to create in your life.
Ask yourself what you truly want out of life — what you want your life to feel like. Then get down to the work of creating that. This is your joy and your responsibility, and it is always your choice.
I choose a life of expansive beauty, habitual joy and adventure. How about you?