Putting in the Work

couple sitting on pathway

Down through the years, there have been many stories and anecdotes about people who searched for the secret of life. Some communed with gurus, while others carved out plenty of alone time, in order to quietly reflect. The secret of life, according to the well-known psychiatrist, Dr. David Viscott, is that there is no secret.

So, what is the great classified, confidential “for your eyes only” missive? Well, the “secret” is hard work, determination, and effective thinking backed up by persistent action, that brings you success in life. It’s not a horoscope, a magic lamp or a winning lottery ticket. Each of us needs to put in the work ourselves.

Of course, you knew that all along, didn’t you? You also know that the purpose of life is to discover and develop your own unique gifts, whatever they may be, and that the meaning of life comes from sharing your gifts with others. Or, in the words of Pablo Picasso, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Either way works; it’s up to you to choose what fits you best.

It all sounds fairly simple, doesn’t it? The key to all this, the glue that holds it together and allows you to create something truly wonderful in your life and of your life, is accountability – or responsibility, if you prefer.

While it is true that many things that have happened to you are not your fault – you didn’t cause them – in every case, you chose to react in your own way. Of course, accepting responsibility for your reactions to events means you need to stop blaming others for your problems, but that also empowers you to change what you want to change and move on.

After all, in the words of the Swahili saying, “It is not what name others call you that matters, but what name you respond to that truly determines who you are.” What name do you respond to today, and what name will you respond to tomorrow?