[color=rgb(51, 51, 51)]Part 5: Assuming responsibility[/color][color=rgb(51, 51, 51)]
By Eric Grossman
As featured in the Web Only issue of Running Times Magazine[/color]
This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.
You won't like this message, but you need to hear it: Stop being so puny. You keep shrinking. You do what you're told. You follow the money. You run on warm, sunny days. That would be OK if you also thought for yourself, did things that had no reward, and, most importantly, you ran when it was cold and wet. I can hear you formulating your response already. Be careful. Don't make yourself punier than you already are.
You've got a lot of good reasons to make excuses. For starters, think of how much bigger the world is than you. Who are you to resist gravity, reverse the rotation of the earth or pull back on the outward expansion of the universe? Even among the world of people, you are only one of countless hordes. You don’t even stand out against the backdrop of those you can name: your extended family, those at work or those in your circle of friends (and competitors). You cave to the pressure your boss puts on you, yield to the leverage wielded by your family and haplessly participate in exchanges that depend on little beyond what your neighbor happens to be doing. Is there any wiggle room actually left for you to maneuver? You are vanishingly small.
Worse, you like it this way. You don’t have to own up. When someone tries to pin you down, you have a ready response.
“It wasn't me!” you explain.
Your boss made you do it. You were only doing what it took to keep peace in your family. You were only doing what every other person seemed to be doing. You know how lame that is. Who do you think you are? Don’t answer! Just take the punches. Let them leave a deep impression. You need it.
You've been pressed on this before, I know. It started when you were young. You made your little brother cry; you left him doubled over from the roundhouse you practiced on him. Why did you do that? What were you thinking? Here’s where you dug the hole in which you’ve been carrying aces ever since.
You’ve gone to that hole often, and recently. Yes, you’ve hurt others. But we’re talking about you right now. Why did you keep running through the pain until you wound up injured? You don't even have to think. You’ve got your ace.
“I didn't mean to!” you practically scream at me.
That excuse is so insidious. No edifice can contain it. Yes, you get to declare your intentions. But when your act is offered to you and you refuse to claim it, anything you might have been oozes out of your weak grip and through your soft stance. You are little more than thin, shapeless goo.
When the truth of that has sunk in, maybe you will be ready to build this thing from the ground up. Yes, I’m talking about you, Eric. Only when you accept that you are nothing will we be able to get somewhere.
[color=rgb(51, 51, 51)]You will have to claim yourself, one footstep at a time, by taking responsibility for the direction you find yourself headed. No excuses.[/color]