Don’t Blame Me

One of my biggest pet peaves are people who complain about things that they have some control over.  I shouldn’t be able to complain if there was a big project that I was responsible for that didn’t get done.  But I also shouldn’t complain if a personal interaction goes wrong (saying it was entirely the other persons fault).  Take responsibility.  You affect more in your life than you think.

Don’t Blame Me

The girl’s mother said, “Don’t blame me.
Her father left when she was three.
I know she don’t know her ABCs, her 1,2,3s,
But I am poor and work hard you see.”
You know the story, it’s don’t blame me.

The teacher shook her head and said,
“Don’t blame me, I know it’s sad.
He’s ten, but if the truth be told,
He reads like he was six years old.
And math, don’t ask.
It’s sad you see.
Wish I could do more, but it’s after three.
Blame the mom, blame society, blame the system.
Just don’t blame me.”

The judge was angry, his expression cold.
He scowled and said, “Son you’ve been told.
Break the law again and you’ll do time.
You’ve robbed with a gun.
Have you lost your mind?”
The young man opened his mouth to beg.
“Save your breath,” he heard instead.
“Your daddy left when you were two.
Your momma didn’t take care of you.
Your school prepared you for this fall.
Can’t read, can’t write, can’t spell at all.
But you did the crime for all to see.
You’re going to jail, son.
Don’t blame me.”

If there is a God or a person supreme,
A final reckoning, for the kind and the mean,
And judgment is rendered on who passed the buck,
Who blamed the victim or proudly stood up,
You’ll say to the world, “While I couldn’t save all,
I did not let these children fall.
By the thousands I helped all I could see.
No excuses, I took full responsibility.
No matter if they were black or white,
Were cursed, ignored, were wrong or right,
Were shunned, pre-judged, were short or tall,
I did my best to save them all.”
And I will bear witness for eternity
That you can state proudly,
“Don’t blame me.”

– By Geoffrey Canada – February 2007

I was lucky enough to be present to hear Canada speak the other day.  One of the major players in the film “Waiting for Superman” was a fascinating speaker.  He mostly spoke about the present situation in public schools and how our education system is broken in parts.  This isn’t the point of this post though.  The point of THIS post is for people to take more responsibility for what goes on in their worlds.  I’ve touched on this before but I thought this poem was too good.  I had to share.

Here’s to Achieving in 2011

2011 is going to be a great year.  I plan on accomplishing a lot this year, but as of right now I don’t know what those things are going to be.  But a I do know that I am going to do three things:

LA La Land

I WILL make it out to LA to visit my best friend.  Mark it down folks.  Although I don’t have a ticket yet, I’m making it happen.

I’m finally going to pay off my student loans in early 2011 (if all goes to plan), and I will finally have some extra cash to spend and make some more trips.  I don’t have any excuse either, as I have a ton of time saved up at work to take off.  My buddy just needs to find a good weekend as he is a little busy.

This will feel great.  It is always fun getting together with him.  I feel obligated to go.  So once I get there, I’ll be able to not feel bad every time the topic comes up.

My Personal CareerBuilder

Professionally, I will come a little closer to what I want to do next.  Whether that involves heading down the path that I am already on, taking the fork in the road, or walking along the median and kind of do both.  It’s been 30 years, and I am going to make some sort of decision in this area, meaning, I’m ready to kick it into high gear.

Building Foundations

I definitely plan on continuing to build relationships.  Interacting with other people is what makes my world go round.  There is going to be a lot of change in this area in the coming year (at least within my day to day dealings with people) as I foresee and have already seen a few people move on to other greener pastures.  I am going to have to get to know a whole new batch of people.

Not that I feel that different from being 29, but 30 definitely is a milestone event.  It has gotten me thinking about where I’ve been and where I want to go.  I need to be more serious about my romantic relationships.  I have very much enjoyed my time with the people who I have spent it with, but I definitely need to pump the gas a little in these relationships.  I’ve been idling a lot recently, and I don’t really like that feeling.  It also doesn’t give the other person in the relationship a happy feeling either.  There needs to be some more forward progress.

If there are problems or issues, I need to deal with them rather than hope they go away.

Bottom Line

The 3 things that I want to achieve in 2011 are getting out to LA to see my friend, figure out what path I want to take in my career, and build stronger relationships.

Here’s the achieving them!

Note: This is my response to the #reverb10 prompt for December 28. #reverb10 is  an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Each day has a prompt. Today’s prompt is: “Achieve.  What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year?  How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it?  Free?  Happy?  Complete?  Blissful?  Write that feeling down.  Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.

Ownership or Blame?

“Responsibility starts with the willingness to deal with a situation from and with the point of view, whether at the moment realized or not, that you are the source of what you are, what you do, and what you have.”
~ Werner Erhard

You have two choices when the going gets tough.  You can blame someone or take responsibility.

Blaming someone or something, while valid occasionally, does little to improve your situation.

Taking the blame allows you to assess and improve the situation.

Mostly, it comes down to the type of attitude you have towards challenges.  Are you willing to say, “Yep, that happened because of my actions.  How can we move past this?”  Or are you one of those who says, “This happened because one of my co-workers wasn’t doing their job!”

Which do you think is a happier person?  Who do you think gets along better with coworkers?  Who do you think is going to advance in their career faster?

Taking on a New Challenge

Six months ago, I made a choice to get in as good a shape as I could get in.  I decided to try out P90X.

But let’s rewind a few months…

It’s January 1, 2009.  I had been talking with co-workers about going to the gym.  I hadn’t made an effort before this and was only sporadically running.  I was not a super fit person, but in general, I was not concerned about being able to get into shape if I needed to.  I have always watched what I eat, even if I did overindulge a little bit here and there.

So I started going to the gym (again).  I was going every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  I was essentially doing the same exercises using the machines provided.  So I would bench, do some squats, and do a lot of arm and chest exercises.  After it was all done, I would stretch some and head on home.

After a few months of this, I was not really seeing any changes.  Sure, I was a little stronger.  My bench was almost over 200 pounds (I have never been very good at bench pressing) and I was definitely crushing the leg press machine, usually pressing over 400 pounds.  In all honesty, this is what I miss the most about not going to the gym.  Sure “Legs and Back” is a great workout, but I miss the thrill of getting up that much weight.

Over the summer, I went back home for various summer events.  There I was talking to a friend of my brother and when he was offered dessert, he declined saying that he was watching what he was eating.  He then got into the new program he was trying out.  Turns out he was doing P90X.  After a few conversations about this, I was still skeptical.

How is this any different than just going to the gym and doing different workouts?

But when I finally decided to try it out after doing some research, I found that it is much different.  Now, I think that someone can be fit and get into super good shape without P90X, but where I was, I did not have the knowledge or drive to do so.  This program put me on the right path, held me responsible for pushing play every day, and allowed me to wake up every day and get started on my workout without having to worry about taking the walk to the gym.

So here I am, six months after I started round 1, and I am two weeks from finishing round 2.  I’ve learned a lot more about what goes into my body, which is probably the most important thing that I’ve learned on this journey.  I have also learned that in order to have the type of fitness that I want, I have to work at it.  I also learned the power of yoga.  That is actually the most surprising thing to me, the fact that I love yoga.  I can’t wait for Thursdays (my yoga days).  Although the hour and a half can seem long, the way that I feel after it is all done makes it all worth it.

So I’ve now decided to become a Beachbody Coach and help others with their health and fitness.  I hope that this blog will help in that goal.

When Life Gives You Lemons

You make Lemonade.   (Hulu link)Lemon_Splash

Erik Proulx was a senior copywriter, and lost his job.  Instead of counting himself out and sacrificing time with his family to take a job in San Francisco, he made Lemonade, literally.

This film is about what can be done when life gives you lemons.  16 people from various ad agencies were laid off and their stories are told here.

It’s a must watch, especially in these trying economic times.

No lemons were hurt until the making of this film.