Blog post 7: written by Hannah Knights (@hannahknights1;@hannahknightsfit)
This month’s blog post is based upon a book that I was given by a friend last summer – ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck’ by Mark Manson. As described by Amazon; “a much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and ruthless humour; a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives”. Recently, I picked this book up again to regain some insight. It truly is a very low commitment book, where you can dip in and out as you please and turn to open any page and just start reading.
Distinguishing fault and responsibility
The more we chose to accept responsibility in our lives, the more power we will exercise over our lives. “With great responsibility comes great power” – accepting responsibility for our problems is the first step to solving them. People tend to resist taking responsibility for their problems because they believe this means you are also at fault for your problems. Although yes, they are some examples where you are not at fault nor responsible - for example, if someone hit your car, they are both at fault and responsible for making the insurance claim. However, there are some problems in life that are not your fault, but they are still your responsibility. This is just part of life. For example (an extreme one at that), if a newborn baby was dumped on your doorstep, it would not be your fault, but the baby is now your responsibility – you would have to make several choices about what to do, and any problems associated with your choice would also become your responsibility.
There is a profound difference between blaming someone else for your situation, and that person being responsible. No one else is ever responsible for your situation but you. Of course, many people may be to blame for your unhappiness, past trauma, or abusive treatment, but these same people are not responsible. This is because you always get to choose how you view, react and value things, as well as how to address your imbalance. You always choose your own metric by which to measure your experiences and future.
You are always choosing
Think of it like Poker. Whilst luck is always involved, luck does not wholly dictate the result of the game. Sure, the person who gets dealt the better hand has a higher likelihood of winning, but ultimately the winner is determined by the choices made throughout the play. Manson’s suggests life can be seen in the same terms – whist it is easy to get hung up on our cards, and feel screwed over, the real game lies in the choices we make with those cards, the risks we decide to take, and the consequences we chose to live with. No one is to blame for their problems or misfortunes, but they are still responsible – always responsible – to take ownership of their hindrances and actively attempt to make the best choices they can for their own greatest good. In every moment of every day, you make choices. An example of accepting you are not to blame yet you must take responsibility for how you have been left feeling, is by seeking therapy to better yourself and accept past trauma, rather than resent it. For an, unfortunately, more realistic example, the victim is never to blame for being abused in a relationship, however, they must accept full responsibility for how they are left feeling by seeking professional guidance and committing to self-help strategies. This can help them overcome their doubts, insecurities, and past trauma to give themselves a fair shot in the future.
So, next time life hits you with a problematic situation, however small or large it may be, remember to always take full responsibility, even if you are not to blame. Secondly, make informed choices on how to either fix or amend the situation as best you can. I must emphasise here that there is no set time frame for this journey – you are always learning.
Catch you next month – Hannah x