memo from Marlon: a revolution in self-examination | Local News
“I start with the man in the mirror – I ask him to change his ways. And no message could have been clearer.
“If you want to make the world a better place, look at yourself and make that change.”
No truer phrase has ever been spoken. These famous and heartfelt words spoken in 1988 by the King of Pop, Mr. Michael Jackson, contained such deep meaning combined with a true spirit of promise and hope for world revolution.
A revolution of self-examination, introspection and personal responsibility. It was a call for everyone back then to take a moment out of life to really look at themselves and what part they played in the pros or cons of society’s problems.
This same call resonates today, more than 30 years later.
In a world of constant distractions, titled attitudes, emotional disappointments, economic upheaval and mental instabilities, I wanted to refer to this iconic song and ask myself and my readers, “What role do we play? “
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Are we contributing to the creation of a better world or are we consciously or even unconsciously participating in its decline? Positive changes flow from the inside out. That being said, to produce manifestations of any kind, the action must begin within us.
Today we’re going to talk about exactly that as well as why it’s important to perform frequent, if not daily, self-assessments. We will look at topics such as blame, responsibility, esteem, and growth.
In our lives from childhood, our experiences mold and shape who we become. These experiences can serve as catalysts for good healthy living practices or unfortunately also for our own inevitable destructive end.
The beginning of every healthy relationship we will maintain involves being in harmony with ourselves. Searching for the person we are at the heart of our life or the real us – is something we start from our youth. It never ends. From the moment we begin to become aware of our being, growth, we hope, will be a lifelong process.
Many of us have had negative experiences. Some have witnessed horrific trauma, others have been victims of unspeakable atrocities. There are those who have battled physical and mental ailments since birth and even more who experience mental, emotional and unfortunately physical domestic abuse in silence.
These many different lives we lead and how we respond to them shape and shape the results we receive. They also shape how we perceive ourselves.
The opposite extreme of these experiences would be the millions of people who may have never seen the violence or who have been blessed in life not to see or experience the cold, ugly side of our planet.
With so much going on in the world around us, it’s easy to lose sight of who we really are. It’s easy to get drawn into depression and negative self-talk. It’s also easy to become so wrapped up in today’s misery that we begin to criticize everyone and everything except the real source of our discord – ourselves.
“The reason people usually blame others is because it’s a quick escape from guilt,” Ana Gonzalez wrote.
She went on to say, “Blaming others is an easy fix and an easy way for us to continue our behaviors, which can be the source of the problem we hope to put on someone else. This denial of responsibility also deprives us of control of a given situation.
I have found that this psychological process of blaming others usually has the end goal of the blamer feeling superior, seeing those around them as less valuable. By doing this, it gives the blamer an illusion of perfection.
Rather than admitting our mistakes or even more deeply admitting that we may have flaws in our behaviors and thought patterns that may be the causes of many of the things we are unhappy about in our lives, we give quickly to others the reason why we may not be making it, the reasons why we are struggling or in the position we were in or even still, the reason why our life is not what we think it is should be.
Blaming yourself can be difficult.
We never want to think of who we are as a “bad person”. We never tend to want to see the ugliest or darkest truths about our being because automatically work is involved to change and we will, maybe we’re just not ready for it. I could understand how difficult it could be.
Yet another extreme of blame is self-judgment, which means that unlike those who blame everyone in society for their misfortunes, many others take on too much responsibility and find themselves blaming failures, misfortunes, apprehensions and bad behavior of others about their own being. Almost as if they carry the negative outputs of everything around them.
It is also a very reckless practice and related to our message today of looking in the mirror and gaining a healthy understanding of who we see and the value we place on it.
As human beings, we each maintain a role in existence. Fulfilling these roles must, I repeat, must contain a balance between responsibility and irresponsibility. A balance between what we should accept and what we shouldn’t have to own or keep.
So how can we start taking action to take ownership of what we do and say in a positive way?
I went online and started digging.
An article published by the Niagara Institute had this on the subject:
“Taking responsibility for your actions requires realizing that you play a part in every situation or experience and therefore have some degree of responsibility for the results or consequences. You may have heard of accountability. This means that your first reaction when a mistake is made or something does not go as planned is not to blame others, make excuses, twist the facts, or outright lie. Instead, you quickly recognize there is a problem, identify your role, and implement an action plan to minimize (or completely eliminate) the chances of it happening again. “
Recently, a Forbes magazine author published that a person who takes responsibility for their actions is a responsible person and this is what that might look like in action:
You recognize and assume your part of what is happening
If your message is hurtful to someone, you are ready to examine how your communication may have been harmful.
You don’t blame others when you are at fault
You don’t make excuses for why things happen
You don’t lay all the blame (or all the failure) on your team or your subordinate
If you continually miss critical project deadlines or parameters, you’re not claiming that it’s all out of your control.
If you (your family, friends, employees, colleagues or team) fail, you don’t put your head in the sand and stay in denial – you proactively do something about it.
If your relationships are failing, you are open to seeing how you contribute to (and even exacerbate) challenges and conflicts.
All these thoughts were very interesting and informative, but I still had to be able to answer: what could be the benefits of all these things that we have discussed?
And how can positive mindsets, healthy esteem, personal responsibility and behavioral ownership improve this circus that we often dare to call life?
Well, I would like to explain. Healthy mindsets first give us confidence.
A confidence that shines through in the way we behave, in the decisions and choices we make, and in our relationships with others. It lifts our frequencies to a higher level, thus radiating immediately from that core we talked about earlier.
Another important improvement that comes from analyzing and transforming ourselves for good is that the relationships we then build on all levels begin to grow. Why is it? Because one of the byproducts of inner honesty is having open, honest, and safe relationships with those we love, work with, or meet.
It also keeps us away from people, situations, or circumstances that are ultimately not in our best interests.
A third benefit of practicing new ways of loving yourself is growth. We start to get more realistic expectations not only of ourselves but also of the people we engage with. We start to become less judgmental and more understanding because after all we learned first hand from this reflection that life is far from perfect and the patience it took us to get it, then we have to extend to others so they can too.
Distractions, worries, traumas, tragedies, aches, pains, bills, interactions, jobs, losses, stress – a whole world stands before us like an impossible obstacle course to complete. I know it can certainly feel that way most days. But if nothing else, my goal today is not just to point out things that are wrong or that we may need to fix, but to explain how to do it and why it will really enrich your life guys .
We all need each other in these times, but before we can even try to support each other, we need to make it vital to check in and have daily conversations with this man (or this woman) in the mirror.
Be real, be real, learn, accept, grow! These are the keys to living that “better life” we all talk about and seeing success in our endeavors and relationships.
I don’t know about you, but ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to make a change for once in my life. It’s going to feel good, it’s going to make a difference – it’s going to make things better.
Taylor is a musician, entrepreneur, and philanthropist from the Council Bluffs-Omaha metropolitan area.