Life is Better the More It’s Your Fault

“God said, take what you want and pay for it.” — Ayn Rand (or, a Spanish proverb)

The above is one of my favorite quotes. It embodies two of my favorite principles in life: freedom and responsibility.

Freedom, to take the things you want — blatantly, liberally, unabashedly.

Responsibility, to bear the consequences of those actions — competently, evenly, calculatedly.

Everything in life has a cost. We don’t always know what it is, and sometimes we experience shock after the fact, when we take something and then realize the price to pay is much higher than we expected it to be. Sometimes we’re thrown off when it’s lower. Sometimes it’s a good cost — an added benefit. Sometimes it’s a detriment that outweighs the benefits gained.

Whatever the cost, every action we take has one. There are two ways we can respond to the costs we owe — one, as a victim of it, someone beholden to an external debt that must be served. Alternately, we can view it as a part of a transaction we willingly chose, and that we’re a competent agent in navigating.

The former deems us powerless, like a leaf in an eddy or chaff in the wind. The second grants us our power, and makes the costs we bear ours.

When a cost is yours, and the choice was yours to incur it, suddenly you begin to see the choices everywhere. Choices in how you respond to the cost, choices in how you pay it, choices in your emotional reaction to the situation, choices in how you handle the repercussions.

Freedom is filled with choices. Grant yourself your own.

“Practice taking agency in everything you do — even the things that aren’t your fault. Take the blame for everything that happens to you. The more you do, the freer you’ll become.

Nothing is more toxic than a “victim” mindset. When things go wrong- people tend to point the finger at just about everyone else but themselves. Aside from great communication skills & self-awareness, personal accountability is one of the most critical traits any leader can possess.” — Brett Bartholomew

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