I have, for a very long time, subscribed to the philosophy of “whatever happens, no matter how bad, it’s all your fault.”
This is a little shocking to some people who believe that things happen that are 100% beyond your control, but when you dig into the mindset behind it, you understand why it is a very useful philosophy.
If it’s not always all your fault, that means you don’t have control over your outcomes in life, that it’s all up to random chance. People who choose to live in a floodplain, for example, are always shocked when they get flooded out, believing it was simply out of their control. But it’s not—they chose to live in a known floodplain, and would not have been flooded had they chosen to live elsewhere.
I had two, personal, aggravating experiences this week that let me know I was not taking my “it’s all your fault” philosophy quite as seriously as I should have.
The first one happened on Wednesday. It got cold here in Austin, and when I started my car, it took a little while for the battery to turn over. I figured it’d warm up, and it would be no big deal (having both a degree in electrical engineering AND having worked in the oilfields of Alaska, I feel like a moron in hindsight). I was in a hurry, and had a dental appointment at 2:30.
One thing I absolutely hate to be is late. As I was taught in the Navy, there is no excuse for not being on time, every time, and I pride myself on ALWAYS being on time. So, I got out of the gym at 2:10, with plenty of time to get to the dentist, pushed the ignition button in my car and…got a bunch of clicking. Immediately I knew I was not going to make my dental appointment.
I called them and rescheduled (pissed at myself- my dentist was a Naval officer, and hates people who are late too) for the next day. Then I got a jump, and immediately went to the auto repair shop to get a new battery.
The second thing happened yesterday. I signed up for a webinar on Facebook ads that started at noon sharp. I racked out at 11:30, went to my computer, and discovered the internet had died a miserable death. I did everything I knew how to do to restore it, but no luck. I logged onto the webinar at 12:19, mad as hell that I was late for the second time that week. Yes, the webinar was recorded, and yes I will review it, but I was late again.
Now, the question is, were these events beyond my control?
The answer is no, they were not.
Had I invested on a $100 power storage unit, I could have jumped my car myself, made it to the dentist on time, then gone to get my battery replaced. Had I racked out at 10:30 am instead of 11:30, I could have made it to a Starbucks or my apartment complex and used the Wi Fi there. In other words, I was improperly prepared both time, and both times I was late, it was my own damn fault, not something out of my control.
All successful people I know have this philosophy because it forces you to think in terms of prevention and solutions and looking at every little detail so you can have a lot more control in your life— and success comes from control. So, I will get a power storage unit, get up earlier for a scheduled webinar, and closely examine all the other things I do. The lessons of the week will serve me well…but I am still pissed I was late twice, and both time were absolutely, positively, my own…damn…fault.