Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Personal Responsibility Tools for Inner-City Families

I recently had the pleasure to discuss with some friends the importance of relying on yourself to solve your own problems. While it was an informative discussion, I suddenly realized that this type of philosophy, or way of thinking, is not that simple for some people.

The problem most of us face with relying on ourselves is that we don't know how to truly rely on ourselves for anything. Most of the time we use other people's ideas, rules, principles, beliefs, and so forth to shape how we think about ourselves and others. This makes it difficult to discern where we begin and other people end.

We teach children to become adults by advocating the importance of trusting their parents and teachers to guide them in the right direction. We teach people who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, food, sex, and so forth that they must follow certain rules, procedures, and guidelines established by those who treat these addictions.

When does someone reach the point where they can teach themselves? When do you reach the point in your life where you know why you became addicted to something? Where do you start when you want to stop the bleeding from the wounds of victimization? I hope the following excerpt from my new book "Seeds from the Ashes: A New Way to Think and Live" will provide you with some helpful insights to these questions:

"Whenever you feel powerless to do something that you want to do, stop and ask yourself why. Why don't you have the power to achieve the things that you desire to have? The obvious answer is that you don't believe you are strong enough to achieve them....

"How do you attain this power? You attain power the same way as you attain anything else: you work for it.... If you desire to have a well-conditioned body, you must exercise regularly and monitor what you eat. If you desire to have a well-conditioned mind, you must exercise it regularly and monitor what you allow to enter into it....

"Some people have the resources to hire personal trainers to assist them with their conditioning program, while many others without such resources, either do it themselves or postpone action.... For you to begin to acquire the power you need to change your life, your exercise program must begin now with you acting as your own personal trainer.

"As a trainer, you assume expert status as someone who is eminently qualified to guide you during your mind-conditioning training. This type of thinking requires you to assume two roles: first, as someone who knows what you need, and second, as someone who is willing to listen...."

The quest to change how we think and live is an honorable one. For those of us who seek this knowledge, it requires a constant mindfulness over our thoughts and ideas.

I would like to receive your comments on this subject.