I have a theory that I believe strongly influences whether or not we succeed at what we want.
I understand that’s a big promise and it’s going to take a bit of explanation, so bear with me.
My hypothesis: When we are happy with our actions, we take credit for them. When not, we blame them, not us. In effect, good results are internalized; bad results are externalized. This is critical because where we place that control determines our future results.
For example, you surprise your husband with a thoughtful gift for no reason other that being a loving life-partner. He walks in the door unaware and discovers the trinket — with a loving note — centered on the coffee table, asking, “What prompted this?” Per my premise, because you’re pleased with yourself for being so considerate, your reply will be internalized. “I just wanted to do something nice for you; no special reason.” Notice you spoke in first person; you owned the action.
As another illustration, the results of your diet are finally showing; and the scale, the measuring tape, and your friends’ comments are all reflecting it.
“You look great!” says your friend. “What are you doing?”
Your reply: “I’m eating better and exercising more.”
See? When happy, we lay claim to our actions.
Yet, should the situation be frustrating or what we deem as unsuccessful, we abandon it quicker than one can shrug his shoulders and say, “Who me?” [Read more…]