This is the Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make Taking responsibility for your own life is the fundamental step needed to change.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
One of the most important decisions you can ever make is to become your own CEO. I'm talking about taking complete responsibility for your life and not blaming others or your circumstances for past results or where you are right now.
It's mindboggling to me how someone can go year after year, month after month, day after day complaining about his or her laundry list of misfortunes but do absolutely nothing about it? I hear so many people say they want to be great, achieve more success and make more money. But they never do anything about it. The main thing that most of these individuals do is whine and complain about their sorry lot in life. They sit back and let others make their decisions.
Granted, I understand there are situations and issues in peoples' lives that may prevent them from achieving their dreams. There can be circumstances that are beyond their contro: certain family issues, disabilities and extreme illnesses, to name a few. I'm not judging people when I see them living in undesirable situations. It's possible that life has dealt them a bad hand and they can't navigate their way out. I get it, and I do not mean to sound preachy.
On the flip side, I see others who could do something about their lives if they just tried a little harder.
Throw away the excuses.
"I don't have any talent."
"I can't ever seem to get a good job. Someone better always gets the job."
"I can't make enough money to pay my bills."
"I don't have any luck at all."
"I feel like the world is out to get me."
"I am worried about what others will think."
Does this sound like anyone you know? Phrases like these make you want to kick them in the butt and say, "Stop feeling sorry for yourself! You can change your destiny! You can change your life!"
The list of examples can go on and on, but you get the point. Making excuses has never crowned anyone a champion. The day that you decide to throw away all excuses once and for all will be the day that changes your life forever. A simple but extremely powerful transformation begins to take place.
Related: 9 Things That Make Good People Quit
Just do it!
Nike's slogan "Just do it!" is one of the best in advertising. Getting up off your butt and going out there to make things happen is the way you become the leader of your life.
Sure, I know. I agree with you. I've been through it, so I'm speaking from experience. One of the hardest things to do is take full charge of your life and be the leader of your destiny. But when you do, you force yourself to look at your life and say, "I am not where I want to be because of myself and the choices and decisions that I have made." Your next comment may be, "I am going to do something about it and make a positive change."
When you do this, you take ownership of where you are and where you are headed. That's not an easy thing to do, trust me. One of the hardest things I ever do is force myself to look within when times are not the best. Heck, when I was 16 years old and a full-blown drug addict throwing my life away, I could barely look at myself in the mirror. I was so despicable. But, things began to change when I finally had had enough. That is when I developed the courage to truly look within myself. Slowly but surely, I became the CEO of my life -- the leader of my destiny.
Becoming my own leader redefined my philosophy of life. It will redefine yours, as well. There is absolutely nothing you can't do or overcome when you choose to be the CEO of your life. Being the leader of your destiny is rejecting the easy road and opting for what's worth it in the long run.
Think about it. It will be a shame if you get to the final stages of your life with nothing but your excuses for why you didn't follow a passion or a dream. It breaks my heart to even think about this, but it happens all the time.
Becoming the leader of your destiny opens the floodgates of opportunity, and life seems to become a bit easier, because others will join in and help when they can.
For example, let's say there are two young men named John and Chris. John is the leader of his destiny. When something goes wrong, he doesn't make excuses or place the blame on someone else. John doesn't focus on the negative. He constantly searches for ways to better himself and elevate his position in life.
Chris is a totally different story. He has a long track record of letting his failures define him. Every chance he gets, he makes excuses or blames someone else for his misfortunes and lack of success. It truly is a negative, energy-draining experience for anyone who comes in contact with him.
Between the two men, who do you think is more likely to receive more opportunities to get back on the right track and have others want to help in any way they can? The answer to that question is obvious. People gravitate toward positive people. They're attractive and make you feel good. On the other hand, it's difficult to be around negative people because they're a liability to your happiness.
Make the decision.
One of the most rewarding decisions you can ever make is to become the leader of your destiny, your own CEO, and take complete responsibility for everything that happens. Once you do, it won't be long before your opportunities begin to expand. And others will go out of their way to help you, even if your request or need is for something simple. Being the leader of your destiny is a trait that all champions possess.
This piece is adapted from Matt Mayberry's book Winning Plays, published by Hachette/Center Street.