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  • Writer's pictureBrian Reaves

Change Your Direction!

I read recently that a major problem in the world today is a lack of responsibility.

People seem more willing than ever to shift the blame for their problems to others.

That's not to say others don't have some responsibility for how we turn out. Words carelessly spoken to us can forever change the direction of our life if we aren't careful.

I was never very athletic in school. I was always more interested in books than sports, which meant I did well academically but was an easy target. When I was in junior high, I dealt with some very cruel bullies who tormented me both physically and mentally. It could have had a horribly detrimental effect on my development if I had chosen to let it.

Instead, I pushed on and chose to outgrow the need of their approval. I started taking Tae Kwon Do classes to help deter the "easy target" mindset (and it worked, as I was never picked on again in school). I learned how to make jokes, laugh at myself, and develop friendships. And I also never forgot the feeling of being the punchline of cruel remarks, so I found myself always drawn to defend the underdog.

I have a friend who is the exact opposite. He and I are almost the same age, and he also endured torments in school, but he never outgrew that mindset. Even today, decades after those bullies have long-since forgotten he even existed, his life is ruled by fear. His insecurities cripple his leadership ability and hinder his success in life. Oftentimes, he is afraid he will be embarrassed at some point so he either will not make a decision without someone else's input or he second-guesses himself and contradicts earlier choices. He knows he is ruled by fear and acknowledges the same, but he will not move past the embarrassment and torments of his youth. He has the potential to be a huge success, if he could only make a few slight changes in his self-image.

If you are unhappy with the direction your life is headed, then change directions! All it requires is for you to accept responsibility for who you are. Yes, people may have had negative effects on your life in the past, but you are the one who decides when their influences on your present come to an end.

You can live the rest of your life in the shadows of someone else's actions, or you can take away their power to hurt you and move on. But regardless of what choice you make, whether you like to admit it or not, you are ultimately responsible for who you become.

Winston Churchill lost every public election he ran for until he was 62, when he became Prime Minister of England. He refused to give up.

Charles Schultz had every cartoon he submitted rejected by his high school yearbook. He was also rejected by Walt Disney for a lack of creativity. He went on to create the most popular comic strip of all time: Peanuts. He would not let other people's lack of confidence in his abilities hinder his dreams.

Today, right now, choose to break the chains of words others have spoken over your life. Refuse to allow them to tie you down and limit you! You are capable of so much more than you think!

Prove the naysayers wrong! Succeed just to spite them. Believe in yourself even when it seems like no one else will.

Change your direction!

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