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Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame. – Erica Jong

The moment you come to the realization that no one is coming to the rescue, whatever would go wrong would go wrong, quit blaming anyone for your challenges & tribulations; and you take full responsibility for your life that is when your life finally changes.

Here are top quotes on taking full personal responsibility for your life:

  • There are two primary choices in life: To accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them. – Dr. Denis Waitley
  • Until you accept responsibility for your life, someone else runs your life – Orin Woodward
  • You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.- Jim Rohn

One of the skill set I am looking to get better at is writing and this blog is an experiment in getting better. James Patterson is one of the most prolific writers in the world with over 300 million books sold worldwide and he was the first person to sell 1 million e-books. To be the best you need to learn from the best, hence have been watching a lot of Masterclass Sessions, especially the writers and business executives.

James Patterson was born in 1947 and raised in Newburgh, New York. He studied English at Vanderbilt University, and found work as a junior copywriter at the advertising agency, J Walter Thompson Co, where he devised the iconic slogan, “I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us Kid.” While he became CEO and chairman of the company’s North American division in ’88 and ’90, James also pursued a career in novel writing.

He found critical success with his ’76 book, The Thomas Berryman Number, but it wasn’t until ’93 when he released Along Came a Spider that James met explosive commercial success. Today, he is the world’s best selling author and holds the distinction of writing more #1 New York Times Best Sellers than any other writer in history. James has sold more than 300 million books worldwide and is characterized by unadorned prose, thrilling fast-paced plots, and bite-sized chapters. 

Do NOT sit there like ‘Oh I don’t feel like it today. I don’t feel like it tomorrow’. Feel like it! Do it! Force yourself.—James Patterson

Here are my favourite Takeaways from watching James Patterson’s Masterclass Session on Writing:

The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it. – LOU HOLTZ

Taking full responsibility for your life, your actions, your failures, your successes, is one of the major keys to success. It involves quitting the blame game, quit blaming the government, your spouse, your parents, your frenemies, your enemies, internet trolls et al. Whatever would go wrong usually would go wrong (Murphy’s Law) but when things go wrong like they often do, do not go wrong with it or blame anyone.  It is easy to stay positive when things are going right, the challenge is how you would react when things don’t go the way you want it to happen.

The Blame Game supersede you and I as it was said to have started in the Garden of Eden, Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the snake but the snake did not have a leg to stand on.

Until you accept responsibility for your life, someone else runs your life – orin Woodward

Taking full responsibility is not an easy task especially when you have not been brought up/groomed like that. We are in a world where we are constantly comparing ourselves to each other, in a social media age where it is always green at the other side, The day that changes your life is when you take 100% (Full) responsibility for your life. To help you navigate the 100% responsibility journey, here are some great insights from top minds:

In the Seasons of Life, Jim Rohn share the following insight:

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This blog is an experiment on writing well, hence I am always on the lookout for ways to improve my writing skills. My quest to develop my writing skills lead to reading this insightful book: On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser.

The Book contains lots of insights and time tested advice for aspiring writers and students of the game.

Here are my favourite take aways and action steps from reading On Writing well:

The professional writer must establish a daily schedule and stick to it… writing is a craft, not an art, and… the man who runs away from his craft because he lacks inspiration is fooling himself. He is also going broke… if your job is to write every day, you learn to do it like any other job. – William Zinsser, On Writing Well

Writers Write

I would be experimenting with going 21 days without complaining, the challenge is inspired by Will Bowen, a Kansas City minister who wrote the book: A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted. I have ordered the complaint-free bracelet and I know it is not going to be easy, as I have become more conscious of my complaining tendency after reading the book.

It is going to be a roller coaster ride and am taking some measures to make the challenge easier such as making a list of the people I complain to the most, start noting things I complain most about, triggers for complaining, limit time on social media, avoid chronic complainers, find a complaint-free buddy et al.

It is not complaining to speak directly and only to the person who can resolve an issue

The Complaint Free Challenge

Putting a purple silicone bracelet on your wrist and then switching it from wrist to wrist every time you complained, until you completed twenty-one consecutive days without complaining, criticizing, or gossiping. In so doing, you would have formed a new habit. By becoming conscious of and changing their words, they have changed your thoughts and begun to create your live by design.

Complaining keeps our focus on the problem at hand rather than the resolution sought

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I particularly like books likeA complaint free world” by Will Bowen as you can tie the book to a core theme or goal. I felt the same paradigm shit after reading “A complaint free world” as I did have with the following books:

After reading the book, I committed to starting a 21 Days complaint free challenge and also ordered the bracelet to help with achieving the goal from the Complaint Free Website.

If we had no faults of our own, we would not take so much pleasure in noticing those of others.—FRANÇOIS DE LA ROCHEFOUCAULD

Here are my favourite takeaways from reading: A complaint free world by Will Bowen:

Complaint Free Philosophy

Becoming Complaint Free means beginning to practice healthy communication skills. It is not complaining to speak directly and only to the person “who can resolve an issue.”

Complaining is like bad breath. We notice it when it comes out of someone else’s mouth, but not when it comes out of our own.

We all have the tendency to gripe, complain, make excuses and blame everyone except ourselves. It is human nature to complain about everything under the sun, we rant, complain, rage, get angry, and do anything to get it off our chest. All this is learned behavior which can be unlearned but it comes with the awareness that these habits need to be worked on to get us to the next level.

Here are some top quotes on complaining, excusing and blaming:

If an optimist views the glass as half full and a pessimist views it as half empty, a complainer will tell you that the water in the glass is probably poisoned.

Complaining

Presenter: Sara Blakely, Founder of Spanx.
Title: Sarah Blakely teaches Self-Made Entrepreneurship
Favourite Insights:

  • Self Taught, Still Owns 100% of Company,
  • Started her business with $5,000
  • Cross-trained as a Stand-Up Comedy act to gain confidence,
  • She hustles and advocates staying scrappy.
  • Grew organically as the Spanx brand did not advertise for the first 16 years.
  • In 2012, according to Forbes Magazine, she became the youngest self-made female billionaire at age 41

Sara Blakely had no fashion, retail, or business leadership experience when she invented Spanx in the late 1990s. All she had was $5,000 and an idea. Back then, while hawking fax machines door-to-door in the Florida heat, 27-yearold

Sara had to wear pantyhose (a dress code enforced by the company she worked for, Danka). While Sara liked the control-top element of the hose, she didn’t like the seam that showed through her open-toed shoes. She decided there must be a way to have one without the other.

In 1969, Management trainer Martin M. Broadwell, describes the Four stages of competence in a Gospel Guardian article titled: the four levels of teaching, he writes:

A few are gifted with the ability to teach well without working at it. Others must learn the skill. For most of us, learning how to teach means studying and practicing and seeing what we did right and wrong. According to Broadwell there are four levels of teaching:

Unconscious Incompetent.

This poor creature who is a very poor teacher, but doesn’t know it. He goes on in the same old way, perhaps lecturing in a dull, monotone manner, unaware that he is wasting his time and the students’. We can do nothing towards improving this fellow, because he can’t be changed until he reaches the next level, which is the “Conscious Incompetent.”

Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter by Curtis Jackson (50 Cent) is a very great read as the rapper shares his success secrets on how he has managed to stay relevant in the past twenty years. He has transitioned from peddling drugs on the streets to Rapping then Executive Producing hit TV Shows such as Power and For Life, he has also written two great books – 50th Law with Robert Greene and now Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter.

50 Cent is one of my favorite entertainers, although he can be controversial there is a method to his madness. He is relentless and always gets things done and that is what matters in the end: RESULTS.

People like to say I’m a bully, but I have zero problem poking fun at myself if it helps build buzz. An actual bully doesn’t possess that sort of self-awareness. Their skins are way too thin to post those sorts of pictures of themselves. But I’m not moving off emotion. My skin is tough enough to do whatever it takes to keep my brand poppin!

Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them. ―John Wooden

We all fall into the trap at one point or the other blaming, complaining, and making excuses. Most times we are not even aware we are doing it, we say we are venting, sharing our frustrations, “a problem shared is a problem halved“. Most of the times, the people we are complaining to can not really do anything about our problems but we still share it with them, guess at times it feels good but most times after sharing the problem with them, it either gets worst with their ill given advice or you still don’t have the solution.

Most of the time, we do complain about the things we can change such as a toxic work environment, a bad relationship, money problems, to people who can not really do anything about it. We hardly complain about for example gravity because we have accepted it: whatever goes up must come down. Life happens to all of us but the only way to change any situation is to DO something about it: Fix It, Solve it. Where Energy goes attention goes, what you focus on expands.

Never tell your problems to anyone…20don’t care and the other 80% are glad you have them. – Lou Holtz Jr.

Author Will Bowen. in his book, A Complaint Free World, shares the following story:

There is an old story of two construction workers sitting down to eat lunch together. The first worker opens his lunch box and complains, “Yech! A meatloaf sandwich.… I hate meatloaf sandwiches.” His friend says nothing. The following day, the two meet up again for lunch. Again the first man opens his lunch box, looks inside, and, this time more agitated, says, “Another meatloaf sandwich?

I have got lots of respect for 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) especially as regards the way he is able to focus and execute. You might see him as an internet bully/troll but if you look very closely, you would decipher that there is a method to his madness. He understands the media: All publicity is good if it is intelligent

 The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

In his very insightful autobiography. Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter, he shares some very great insights on seeing the big picture and betting on yourself. He shares the story of how he agreed on $17,000 per episode to act and executive produce the Power TV Show and how he finally landed the $150 million Starz Network deal by betting on himself:

One of the best deals I ever negotiated was with Starz for my TV show Power. It was also, at least initially, one of my least lucrative deals. But that didn’t faze me at all. My strategy when I started talking with Starz was not to get the biggest check possible—it was to create the biggest opportunity possible.

Having faith that things would always work out for your good is very hard, especially in trying times. Murphy’s Law (Whatever would go wrong would always go wrong) would most times prevail but you have to be strong and have faith in yourself and the universe.

Here are top inspiring quotes on Faith:

  1. Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  2. Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.- Saint Augustine
  3. Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation. – D. Elton Trueblood
  4. To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. – Thomas Aquinas

I am a fan of 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) and most of his projects especially for his ABC Legal Drama For Life. The TV series is one of the few Shows I follow religiously week in week out. I really love the show, the show is executive produced by 50 cent. I find the show to be very inspiring and entertaining.

 The For Life TV Series is loosely based on the true story of Isaac Wright Jr., who was imprisoned for a crime that he did not commit. While incarcerated, he became a paralegal and helped to overturn the wrongful convictions of twenty of his fellow inmates, before finally proving his own innocence.

In his newly released book, Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter, Rapper and Actor 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) shares the story of Isaac Wright Jr.:

One of my favorite examples of someone who was able to combine hard work and focus is a gentleman named Isaac Wright Jr. In the early 1990s, Isaac was wrongly imprisoned on a life sentence in New Jersey for being an alleged drug kingpin. In fact, he was one of the first people convicted under that statute in New Jersey. The one problem with that was he was actually innocent.

Isaac refused to accept his sentence and began looking for ways to get it overturned. Even though he didn’t have any legal training, he set about learning the law in the prison’s library. He became so skilled that he began working as a paralegal on other prisoners’ cases, helping several of them get their sentences overturned.

Title: The Laughing Heart
Author: Charles Bukowski
Source: Betting on the Muse by Charles Bukowski

Betting on the Muse is a combination of hilarious poetry and stories. Charles Bukowski writes about the real life of a working man and all that comes with it.

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.