Person of the Year

I woke up in paradise. It was a beautiful star-filled sky (it was still 4:51 a.m. after all), there was a warm sea breeze, the sound of waves were crashing into the beach all around, and I could smell the saltwater of the Pacific. Yet still, I was irritated and stressed. As I meandered about before my morning writing ritual, my mind weakly wanted to lay the blame on others for my foul mood.

“Grrr, Matt shouldn’t have convinced me to stay up so late drinking Coronas beside the beach,” was my first thought.

“If only the seminar wouldn’t have gone on so long I could have finished my email newsletters earlier last night,” I grumbled.

On and on the excuses went as I tried to immerse myself in my writing. But each of my excuses were brittle, easily broken and discarded by reality.

My foul mindset, my late rising, and my inability to focus on my work, all of these were my fault. The situation was my responsibility. I had gotten myself into this trouble and I was also the only person who could get me out of it.

This situation was no different from any of the other mistakes I have made in life. It was my fault in elementary school when my friends and I were caught throwing snowballs and spent the afternoon in the principal’s office. It was my fault each time I was late for my after school job in high school. It my fault, and my fault alone, for losing muscle and gaining ten pounds of fat during my first – sedentary – semester at college. All of these were my responsibility and consequences of my actions.

As this ‘right thinking’ began to slowly permeate my brain, my mood began to improve. After all, Rule #8 on my list of the 12 Rules I Live By states:

“Everything that happens to me – good and bad – is my personal responsibility. I blame no one but myself. These are the choices I’ve made – this is the life I’m living. I will accept the consequences of my actions.”

Accepting that the fault was no one’s but my own was the start towards changing my mood and becoming more productive. I also knew that the quickest way out of this predicament was to get some exercise. That always works to boost my mood and help with my creativity. And so I walked from my oceanfront condo up to the gym and jumped into a workout that fixed my mood and brought me this message to share with you today.

The bottom line is that solving my problem was my responsibility. And if I may give you some tough love, the truth is that solving all of your problems is entirely your responsibility as well.

As Donald Trump once said, “You can’t rely on anyone for anything.”

We can only rely on ourselves to improve our situation in life. You must take personal responsibility for your situation and use self-reliance to improve the situation.

The dictionary definition of self-reliance is the “Reliance on one’s own capabilities, judgment, or resources; independence.” That is far more powerful than being dependent, which is defined as, “Relying on or requiring the aid of another for support,” “Subordination to someone or something,” “The state of being controlled by something else,” or “A compulsive or chronic need.”

Each of these definitions demonstrates that without personal responsibility and self-reliance that you will remain a prisoner, trapped by the inability to take control of your life. Dependence leads to a miserable, helpless existence.

Like it or not, if you are in debt, struggling with your business, your health, or your personal relationships, no one else is going to come along and fix that for you. It is entirely up to you, and you only, to make the changes in your life to improve the situation.

You must, “Identify and replace all external authorities with internal strength and competence. Take full control of, and responsibility for, your conscious mind and every aspect of your life,” says Kekich Credo #30.

While Early to Rise teaches and preaches the need for and benefits of finding positive social support, networking with like-minded people, and attending educational seminars, at the end of the day it’s your decision to follow through on all of this. It is up to YOU and you alone to change your life.

No one else can do it for you. No one else can show up at your house and eat less and move more for you if you want to lose weight. No one else can stop you from watching television and to spend that time on creating a second income instead. No one else can say the words, “I love you” or “I forgive you” to mend the important relationships in your life.

Wherever you are in life, there is only one person who got you into this and only one person can get you out – and that’s you. You are the only person who can set you free by taking personal responsibility and choosing the path of self-reliance.

No matter how tough a position you feel you might be in, there’s no one you can count on to change your life for you.

As Dan Kennedy once said when explaining what separates the best from the rest, “To move forward you must give up your “story” – whether it is excuses about your childhood, lack of education, your bad “luck”, your unsupportive family, your low metabolism, where you live, etc.”

Ouch. That’s tough. And there’s no doubt today’s message is tough love, but make no mistake, it IS written with love. It’s just happens to be tough love because sometimes we all need a kick in the pants to change our ways.

I promise you, when you commit to taking personal responsibility for your status in life, and turn to self-reliance to change your situation and to no longer depend on others to rescue you from your mistakes, only then will you have true freedom and control over your future.

“That which is most satisfying is that which is earned. Anything received free of charge is seldom valued. You can’t get something for (from) nothing. The price is too high.” – Kekich Credo #38 Your success depends on the most important person in the world – You. That’s why YOU will be the Person of the Year in 2014.

Read all 12 rules of my life here

[Ed Note: Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise (Join him on Facebook here) and the author of Financial Independence Monthly, a complete blueprint to helping you take control of your financial future with research of proven methods in your career, in your business and in your personal life. He has created a unique system to show gratitude and appreciation to stay on track for these goals each and every day. Click here to follow the exact 5-minute system you can use to improve your life.]
  • Thank you so much for this article, I really needed to hear this again. I’m goint to print it out and commit to reading it several times a day.

  • ttcert

    Thank you Randy, stay strong!

  • Lucas

    Great article and I believe one the primary success factor in life – self reliance. Over recent times I have committed to, not always successfully, taking complete responsibility for my actions; my life. At times it can be hard to do but the reward is very satisfying and devoid of the easy thing to do in life, making excuses. Craig, your story brings this to life and thanks for the tough love. Sometime once told me that “no one will look after you better than you”. I believe this to be a good motto that fits with your point of self-reliance. Don’t expect anyone to pick you up, give you that promotion, make sales for you. If you wait for others to do these things you could be waiting a long time…

    • ttcert

      Well said, Lucas! Thank you.