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Posts Tagged ‘responsibility’

7 Reasons to Accept Your Limitations

In Designer Lifestyle on November 28, 2012 at 10:16 pm

What happens when limitations overpower us

It’s difficult not to feel hard done-by when you consider some of the problems some of us suffer from. We dream of having the freedom to do whatever we want and to shed whatever shackles are holding us back. But limitations aren’t manacles or a jail sentence. If they are managed in the proper way, they can be the inspiration for great feats of creativity and daring. Enough pressure creates diamonds.

There are the more obvious limitations like physical disabilities, health or mental issues, limited finances and poor education. But we are also good at creating limitations that are entirely made up. When you come to accept your limitations, you will escape denial and figure out ways to cope, to improve, or to rise above them.

1. Life isn’t fun without a challenge.

If you could have everything that you wanted handed to you on a plate, it would be amazing. For a short time. But we give value to things by striving towards them and appreciating the effort we’ve put into them. If you could have something without effort, you might end up wanting more. There are reasons that we hear about lottery winners losing all their money so frequently. Some people simply can’t respect their new wealth if they don’t feel that they’ve earned it, so they lose it. What the people we don’t hear about do is realise that using the money wisely is an even greater challenge. In rising to it, they have to deal with begging relatives, shady investors and their own greed.

2. So many others have it so much worse.

Without sounding holier than thou, you need reminding that you’re reading this on the internet – a luxury many people can’t afford. Some people don’t have the money, others don’t have the time. Time they need to spend walking twenty miles to school, or caring for sick loved ones. Having perspective makes dealing with your own issues so much easier.
Even people with severe disabilities are showing us at the moment that it’s no barrier to excellence – the Paralympic games are a classic example of the fact that others can have it worse but still create their own opportunities.

3. People will respect you more for it.

How much more impressive is it to hear about somebody who’s become successful despite adversity? That’s why I prefer the origin story of KFC and Colonel Sanders’ plight over that of Burger King, or the Paralympic games over the Olympics. And with respect, of course, comes inspiration. Marathon runner Paula Radcliffe suffers from asthma but still consistently wins races. Knowing that, I can’t use my own asthma as an excuse to not run anymore.

It isn’t entirely healthy to do things just because others will respect you, but if you can inspire and help others it’s a valid reason.

4. You will respect yourself much more for it.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You respect things more when you work harder for them. And having the willpower and determination to overcome your obstacles builds momentum. If it’s a smaller problem, you have the confidence to tackle a larger problem. If it’s a large problem that you’ve overcome, others look smaller in comparison.

5. Worrying about something makes it bigger in your mind.

It’s often said that our minds can’t tell the difference between a real event and an imagined one. So if we obsess over a problem we experience all the things that could possibly go wrong and fail to see all the ways it could go well. Worrying is simply a way of suffering because of an event that hasn’t happened yet (or never will).
The only way that worrying can be of help is if you use it to plan ways to overcome the problems your mind has created. If you adopt a problem-solving mindset then worrying loses its emotional hold over you and becomes a tool for success.

6. You have to take responsibility for your own life.

It may not be your fault, but until you accept your issues are your burdens to bear and in your control, you’ll be somebody’s victim. If you approach life with the mindset that you should solve your own problems, you’ll keep progressing with or without others. And any help you receive will be a pleasant surprise.

7. Having limitations never means that there’s no opportunity to improve.

There’s nothing to fear by accepting them and embracing them will open you up to opportunity and creativity instead of denial. Even if you are unable to escape your limitation, you can reduce the effect that it has on your wellbeing. There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

How to Manage an Impossible Situation

In Organisation on July 29, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Are you a castaway?

So here we are. You’ve been thrown in at the deep end. You’re trussed up in a cooking pot as the cannibals start lighting the fire underneath. You’re in an impossible situation and you’ll never get the exact result that you want.

So accept that and drive for the best possible situation you can salvage from the ruins. Maybe you’re mediating between two parties that won’t move an inch. Maybe you’re part of the cast for Lost’s sequel. Closing your eyes and hoping that the problem will go away isn’t what’s going to make the situation more bearable. Standing on your own two feet and making something happen is the way that you’ll find a solution.

Now that you’ve accepted the situation, accept responsibility for it. Maybe it’s not your fault, maybe it is, but if you always rely on somebody else to solve your problems for you, you’re going to be left high and dry the one time they remove their support. Focusing on whose fault the situation is, or ‘blamestorming’, may feel natural, but it’s an unhealthy use of time. If this situation is impossible, you should try to make progress, and make your situation better, as soon as possible. The twin sister of responsibility is proactivity. Accepting proactivity means taking action without the need for obvious stimulus. If you’re stranded on a desert island, the canny survivor starts building shelter not when night’s about to fall and the wind is rising, but as soon as they’ve gathered their bearings.

Establish the facts. Work out the situation you’ve found yourself in, work out the best possible outcome and start working out how to get to it. Don’t jump to conclusions unless there really is no time. Although you should be proactive, effective planning is the best action if you’re in uncertain waters. Ask lots of questions and pay attention to your conclusions. If there are others, ask them. Research. There’s no sense in reinventing the wheel; if somebody’s already documented your situation then take heed from them.

What, where, who, which, when, how and why? These questions are your friends when it comes to establishing the facts. Notice that I left how and why until the end. Asking how and why something has happened, or how and why to do something, requires use of the other ‘W’ questions. Asking how and why World War Two happened without knowing what it is, where it occurred, who was involved, which countries fought and when it started would be redundant. There are so many social, economic, political and moral reasons involved that asking how and why first makes you sound like an unhelpful toddler. Asking ‘why?’ to everything may be a philosopher’s staple, but without a grounding in facts your answer will be flimsy.

Check your pockets. If you already have skills or items that will help you then take note of them. It’s important to know what you’ve taken with you to this situation and this includes your attitude. You should be proactive and responsible, but also stable and positive. If you’re hysterical and negative then you aren’t going to be able to act constructively.

If you’re in this situation with others, then examine your hierarchy. Different people are bound to have different skills, but they need organising. If you seem to be the only person who’s proactive and responsible, then offer yourself as the leader. Rather than making an overt coup, start guiding people along a constructive path. If they see you as a leader or not, you’re still managing the situation. As I mentioned before, a person in this position should be stable and positive. If you aren’t, then don’t struggle to be the leader. Gracefully accepting that somebody else is in a better position to lead is the best move in this situation. Try to work on your emotions and attitude so that you can be a greater help to the others.

If you’re dealing with people, then your attitude is of paramount importance. Be calm and professional. Even if you’re dealing with somebody who looks like they’re about to explode with anger, don’t slip to their level and risk losing grip of your logic. But having said that, people don’t always respond to logic. The art of human persuasion is complicated. Great orators and politicians realise that people respond to emotion as well as logic. Usually they respond to it better than logic. So make yourself look as human as possible. It’s easier to ignore or treat people badly when you treat them as a thing, not a person. So add personal details. Create a story that forces them to see you as another person. Maybe they still won’t care, but hopefully they will. In your situation, I assume failure is not an option. So be persistent. A calm, polite and persistent person is much more difficult to ignore than a raging idiot.

So solve the problem. Sadly, I don’t know what it is. But if you’ve approached it properly, harnessed the power of the people around you and adopted the right attitude, the solution should come, given time and effort. Maybe the situation wasn’t impossible after all; you just needed to focus and deal with it. Maybe it was impossible and you need to reach a compromise. And maybe it was impossible and there’s no solution. But with your responsible, proactive, attitude, you’ll have the skills to live with it.

So you’ve reached some sort of solution. Don’t let your guard down and become complacent. Impossible tasks take longer to reach completion than you’d think… And having been in this situation once, you may know how to avoid it a second time.

TL;DR?

  • Take responsibility for yourself and your future. Be proactive and don’t wait for others or external circumstances to move you to action.
  • Start working out your circumstances. Ask yourself and others questions to determine your situation and how to proceed.
  • Use what you already have, be it objects, skills, knowledge or other people.
  • Organise the people around you, try to make them responsible and proactive too. If you aren’t best suited to be a leader, step down gracefully.
  • Harness the power of emotional language to help others relate to you. Stay calm, polite and professional.
  • Go for it.
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