The Sum of All of your Actions (or inaction) – Take Responsibility

9 07 2015
Where you are is the sum of your decisions and actions

Where you are is the sum of your decisions and actions

If you’re reading this, I want you to stop. Just stop. Put down your phone, put down your drink, empty your hands, in fact, hold your own hand, now focus your eyes on the screen. Are you ready, because I need you to focus on this statement: YOU ARE WHERE YOU ARE, BECAUSE OF THE DECISIONS YOU HAVE MADE AND THE ACTIONS YOU HAVE TAKEN, OR NOT TAKEN!

Let me say that one more time, this time in bold.


Let that sink in for a second.

You are the creator of your own circumstances.

The place you live.

The job you have.

Who you are with.

The amount of money you have in the bank.

Your level of joy at the moment.

All of these and more are the sum of your decisions and actions.

If you’re still reading – the thought you just had was about an external factor. What ever you greatest pain-point is at the moment, you likely blamed it on something or someone else. But here is the thing: your actions and decisions are like dominoes. They all effect each other. Decisions are not made, and actions are not taken in a vacuum. No this isn’t a Dr. Phil moment. This is just me having reflected and come to a conclusion about my own life that translates to your own.

Let me give you a personal example. I had moved over to South Korea to teach at an international school. I had a two year contract, fulfilled the contract, and had the opportunity to sign a new contract and continue teaching. It was fun, I enjoyed it, I loved the students, and I was getting better at it. However, I made the decision to pursue another venture. Marla and I came back to the states for a four month vacation. Maddy was just a few months old, and we were going to make the tour and see everyone and show off our new baby. It was November, and we had been back in the states for about two months when we got the call: “Mason, our finances have bottomed out, and we can’t afford to bring you on like we thought we could.”

I went from being on vacation to being jobless and having no place to live. All of our stuff was in Korea, and we were stuck floating around family members houses in Virginia. Guess who was to blame. If you’re like I was, it was the someone else, but it certainly wasn’t me. Truth is, I was in that situation because of the decisions I had made. I made the decision to quit teaching. I made the decision to sign on to do something else with out making sure financially they could do it. I had made the decision to go on a four month vacation tour with a new born and my wife. The sooner I owned that and started focusing on solutions rather than the situation and the crappiness of it, the sooner I was able to move forward. I found a job, I found a place to rent, and we figured out how to get all of our stuff back from Korea.

My life isn’t perfect. I’m not where I want to be financially. I’m not doing what I love. I’m still struggling to figure out who I am, what I want to “be,” and what I want my life to look like. But here is what I know, it’s all because of the decisions I’ve made and the actions I’ve taken, or even the actions I haven’t taken.

Yes, there are external factors that have an influence what happens in our lives. No, we can’t control what other people do to us. And yes life hits us sideways sometimes. But that happens to everyone – everyday people overcome adversity – every day people succumb to pressures of life – what we have or don’t have is all on us. If we’re not happy with it, its our fault! Yes, you thought that job was “secure” – Yes, you thought they were the “one” – No, you couldn’t have imagined it would have ended up like “this” – but at the end of the day it was still your decision to [insert decision or action here].

Take ownership of it. Take the responsibility for it. Because when you take ownership and responsibility for it – you take the first step towards moving forward and getting better.