One of the more helpful habits I've developed is taking responsibility for everything in my life. This is a strong contrast to the average victim / "things happen to me" mentality that a lot of people have.
Basically I assume that anything "bad" that happens in my life is a direct result of actions I took. If I lose money in the stock market I don't think, "Oh man... I'm so unlucky... the stocks went down."
Instead I think, "I bought those stocks and I lost money because of a decision I made."
I even take responsibility for other people's actions as they affect me. If a girl I'm dating goes nuts and does something stupid I tend to assume that it was actions I took that caused her to do that.
That doesn't mean that she couldn't have taken responsibility for my bad actions and reacted better, but it does mean that I recognize my part in everything and assume that even if I'm only 10% responsible, there was probably something I could have done to get the outcome I wanted.
If I approach a girl and it goes badly, it's because my approach wasn't good enough, not because of some problem with her.
I do this because I want to constantly critically think about decisions I've made and actions I've taken and learn from them. It also promotes taking an active role in one's life. My failures are my responsibility as are my successes. My future is in my hands alone.
I'm a strong believer that everyone gets what they deserve, at least in the first world where we have mechanisms for upwards mobility. You reap what you sow.
It doesn't work in EVERY single case because of variance, but the people that take more responsibility and action tend to get what they're going for. The people that think everything HAPPENS to them tend to never get what they want.
Not always, of course, but 90+% of the time.
At the same time, I never feel bad about decisions I've made. There's no point. The best thing that can be done is to analyze the mistake and use that info for future decision making.
Life is actually easier when you take responsibility because it helps make the right course of action clear.
"My site isn't popular enough. What can I do to make it more popular?"
is a lot more empowering than:
"WTF? My site is awesome. Why aren't people visiting?"
I don't actually think I'm doing this topic justice. It's hard to articulate.
I think a lot about what an outsider would assume about me if they were to get a deep view of me. What would they think my priorities are? Would they think that I will succeed? Would they think I'm a good friend? When the answers to these hypothetical questions is out of line with what I want, I adjust. It's a little hack to get perspective.
Today I found myself asking when that hypothetical observer would assume I was optimizing my life for. Hmmmm...
I think that almost everyone optimizes for the very short term. One day. One week. A month. Maybe a year. Who is really doing things for five years from now? Any of us? The lady across the aisle from me on this plane is drinking a Pepsi Max, eating chocolate, and playing a game on her iPad. When is she optimizing for?
We were all alive in 2011, and back then it wasn't all that easy to imagine 2016. Abstractly we could, but who among us could really feel what it would be like to be alive now?
I'm getting everyone I care about mad or frustrated. I admit I have an attitude problem and it doesn't help when I act defensive about it. I haven't spoken to my dad at all today, I've been locked in my room since we got home, we missed the annual father - daughter baseball games because of my attitude problem. Its starting to hit me now of what a bad person I am. I'm giving up on going to that show two weeks from now. Lately I don't have the will to do things I use to enjoy. Maybe it's because I have nothing to do right now and it's depressing me but what ever the reason is, I'm already starting to feel guilty about it. I just hate how I have to change for people, how I have to deal with people talking down to me, saying that the person I am isn't good enough and so on.
My whole life, I was living up to people's expectation, There were so many times I almost cracked and looked like the crazy one. I really don't know what else to do because everything I want to do is wrong. My whole life was planned out for me, even now as we speak. I can't do anything without hurting anyone I care about.
I can't keep my friends because I'm too much of a bad friend or too much of an introvert. I an't keep my relationship with my boyfriend healthy without hurting him and telling him he's just like everyone else. I can't keep a stable relationship with my parents because I can't out grow my phase of being a metalhead,
At this point, I think I should just give up completely and do what people want from me because that way I won't hurt anyone that I care about