Do you blame other people and circumstances for keeping you from achieving the level of success, happiness, and health you’d like to enjoy? Blaming others for deficiencies or any of the conditions of your life keeps you from fulfilling your own highest destiny. Everyone in life does exactly what they know how to do given the conditions of their lives. That’s the way I’ve chosen to look at the story of my life. My mother had three small children under the age of four; and an alcoholic husband who walked away without ever providing any support. She placed one of my brothers and me in a series of foster homes, while my other brother lived with my grandmother until I was ten years old. This is not a story of pity or blame; it’s precisely what had to take place in order for me to learn about self-reliance firsthand. Because I’ve lived self-reliance, and then gone on to teach it to millions of people, I don’t find fault with anyone for any of the conditions of my life. I see all of my early-childhood experiences as necessary gifts, even the ones laced with pain and sadness.
Be willing to accept total responsibility for every facet of your own life. You didn’t inherit your personality traits from anyone in the past—you’ve repeatedly chosen them, even though you may be unaware of how or why. If you’re shy, loud, fearful, assertive, loving, hateful, kind, or cruel, learn to say: This is what I’ve chosen for myself up until now.
Similarly, if you find yourself mired in debt, languishing in poverty, wasting away in an unfulfilling career, or wilting in an unsatisfying relationship—whatever the current conditions of your life, ask yourself if you’re willing to take responsibility for them. I know this appears difficult. You indeed may have suffered at the hands of uneducated, poorly informed, badly addicted people. It was not your fault.
Even as we recognize this, I urge you to accept, without guilt, that everything that has shown up in your life has value equal to your assuming responsibility for its existence. There’s something for you to learn in any difficulty. Be willing to say, “Thank you, God, for the experiences I’ve lived through” on a daily basis. Look for the blessing in all situations, and remind yourself that you’re no longer a child, but a fully functioning adult willing to accept the responsibility that will now give you control of your destiny.