We’ve all experienced it: the really bad day when absolutely everything is going wrong and every decision we make seems to lead to another horrible outcome. You think to yourself, “This day is an epic failure. I just want to go to bed, fall asleep and start the eff over.”
I know I have had days like that. In fact, sometimes I find myself waiting for the next catastrophe to occur so I can just get it over with. These days often end with a glass of wine and a recounting to my boyfriend of why everything sucks.
There is a branch of philosophy called metaphysics. It explains the fundamental nature of “being” and the “world.” Different philosophers endorse different beliefs within this field of study. For me, Existentialism makes the most sense.
Soren Kierkegaard, often called “the father of Existentialism,” believed a person is responsible for giving his or her own life meaning and living well even when bad things happen and life gets challenging. Kirkegaard believed we create our paths based on our values, and those values dictate how we live our lives.
Essentially, if I wish for something, or if I want something, I can be it and I can have it.
For me, Existentialism represents personal accountability. I take responsibility for everything that goes wrong in my life and everything that goes right. Rarely am I hit with some undeserving disaster for which I can find no rational explanation.
The other night, my window was smashed in my car. Mike had been telling me for weeks to remove the papers and sweater from my back seat because someone would break my window to get at it. I ignored him, and they did. Yes. They took my sweater.
My life is not a series of unfortunate events. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I work hard, train hard, and live a really fulfilling life. I feel very deserving of every victory I experience in the gym, at home and in my job. I know that the combination of wanting the best things in life and working for them is a recipe for success. The setbacks are merely that: setbacks. And I will get past them and move onward on the path toward my goals.
How do you live your life? Do you feel worthy of the good things that happen to you? Do you take responsibility for some of the bad days? Or do you feel like a victim of circumstance?
We all have times when we feel like a victim, and victims usually make bad choices. It’s easy to blame the world, blame society, blame the weather, blame a bad day, blame the government and then mope, avoid the gym, eat something crummy and pound a beer to four.
It’s harder to take responsibility, suck it up, screw up your courage and change things for the better. It’s way harder. It takes guts and work and grit and perseverance and sweat and tears.
But in the end, it’s way more rewarding and empowering to take responsibility for your life and then make it exactly what you want it to be.
So do that: hold yourself accountable for what happens to you and challenge yourself to live your life in a way that will make your dreams reality. Make a commitment and hold yourself to it.
Then see what you can accomplish.