Thank you to Rick Seymour for this amazing article, originally published in his “Goal Setter” newsletter … will it hit a ‘cord’ with you?
The Umbilical Cord
There is an old saying that “wisdom comes with age.” I don’t believe it. I think the only thing that comes with age – is old. That’s it. That’s all you automatically get. I think wisdom comes when you accept responsibility for your life. When you reach the point that you realize you can no longer blame your choices or their outcomes on anyone but yourself.
All of us spent the first nine months of our lives on a waterbed – it was warm, it was cozy, it was comfortable. All of our needs were met without us having to do a thing. Then we were born. The doctor cut the umbilical cord, slapped us on the rear end and unfortunately too many people then spend the next 50 years of their lives running around with this umbilical cord, looking for someone to plug it into to make them happy. But it’s not somebody else’s job.
They’re waiting around for someone to show up that will motivate them. What if that guy never shows up? They think that they are where they are in their lives because someone else ‘did it to them’. But if it was someone else’s fault, that means the only way their life can improve is if someone else improves it for them. Thus, they have no responsibility. But, it’s NOT someone else’s job to fix their lives.
Too many people today have what I call “Archie Bunker Syndrome . If you are old enough to remember Archie, you recall the stereotype. There was one quality of Archie that overrode and encompassed every other characteristic: No matter what happened in Archie’s life – it was never his fault. It was always Edith’s fault, or Meathead’s fault, or his neighbor’s fault, or his boss’s fault or the government’s fault – but it was NEVER Archie’s fault. All of us have at least a little bit of Archie in us. If you find that when things go wrong, your automatic reaction is to blame someone else – you will find it very difficult to ever improve your circumstances.
In previous newsletters, you learned that one criteria for the Reticular Activating System (RAS) to open up for us to be able to see opportunities, is that we must accept responsibility for our futures. That’s why I believe wisdom comes with the acceptance of responsibility. When we finally decide it’s no longer mommy and daddy’s fa ult – it’s not our sibling’s fault – it’s not our birth-order’s fault – it’s not our boss’s fault and it’s not our teacher’s fault. I know 18 year-olds with plenty of wisdom and I know 80 year-olds with none.
This would be a good day to realize that whether your future gets better or worse – will be all YOUR fault. Banish Archie from your life. Get rid of that old umbilical cord. Take ownership and responsibility and a world of opportunity will begin to open up for you.