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Taking responsibility for your own success

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Susan Tusa/AP/Detroit Free Press/File

(Read caption) Nicole McClendon, 30, of Detroit, from St. John's Health Systems, helps Myasia Thomas, 19, of Eastpointe, Mich., with her resume during a jobs fair put on by the Congressional Black Caucus at Wayne County Community College in Detroit. Improving your resume is a direct action you can take to get the success you want.

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You would have much greater personal wealth if only they would get things in order in Washington.

You would have received raises and promotions if only they would see your value at work.

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You would have a job if only they would actually read your incredible resume.

You would be able to save money if only they didn’t manipulate you into buying stuff.

No matter what is going on in your life, you can probably find a reason why someone else’s actions is keeping you from what you want. There are many elements of life that are outside of our direct control, and when the people who are in control of those elements make choices that don’t benefit us, it can be incredibly frustrating.

However, it is in that moment of frustration that you decide whether or not you’re going to succeed.

Do you simply say that the powers that be are holding you down and accept that fate? Do you blame them for the problems in your life? Do you choose the path of least resistance and let the forces around you tell you where to go? Do you give in to the desire to wallow in self-pity and blame?

Or do you choose to try a different path?

If you don’t have the wealth you want, what actions can you take right now to start building it? Don’t worry about what other people are doing. Focus on what you can control. Can you spend a little less? Can you invest and diversify a little more?

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If you don’t have the career path you want, what actions can you take right now to start building it? Don’t worry about what other people are doing. Focus on what you can control. Can you take control of a key project at work and make it shine? Can you take additional classes to bolster your skill set?

If you don’t have the job you want, what actions can you take right now to start acquiring it? Don’t worry about what other people are doing. Focus on what you can control. Can you jazz up that resume? Can you find ways to communicate with and network with people in your field?

If you don’t have the savings you want, what actions can you take right now to start building it? Don’t worry about what other people are doing. Focus on what you can control. Can you take control of your spending and, more importantly, seriously evaluate the spending that you consider “untouchable”? Can you find new ways to be frugal in your day-to-day actions?

It is incredibly easy to fall into the trap of blaming “them” for our problems. Yes, some of the time, others do make choices that limit our own options.

It’s when that happens that the successful separate themselves from the pack. Do they waste energy blaming others or do they figure out what they can do from their current situation?


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