Who should you blame?

From the time we are very young, we engage in a game of blame. How many times do parents ask their kids why they did something and get the answer, “Everybody does it” or, “Because so-and-so did it”? How often do we hear adults blame themselves, their environment, the market, their significant other, their heredity, etc.? I suggest that this is an enormous waste of energy and in most cases it doesn’t matter who is to blame. I love this statement: “It’s not your fault, but it is your problem!” I heard that from Doug at Long Realty Company who thinks it might have come from Theresa at Long Realty. I am not sure who to blame (or credit). While it remains a mystery who said it, I like it. This month I would counsel you to avoid wasting energy on who or what is to blame and get on with dealing with the problem. Do not waste energy seeking to pin it on someone or something. The most challenging thing we have to learn is that ultimately we must deal with what is in front of us. So it is true that it really doesn’t matter who is at fault most of the time. It really matters only how you and I will deal with the problem.

Here are some steps to avoid placing blame and instead focus on solving problems:

1. Accept the problem in all its fullness. Don’t make mountains out of molehills or molehills out of mountains. Commit to rigorous reality.
2. Identify those parts of the problem you have control or influence over.
3. In those areas where you have control, make immediate changes.
4. In those areas where you have influence, meet with the person who does have control and state your case clearly. Ask specifically for what is needed to deal effectively with the problem.
5. Keep moving forward. Do not allow yourself to get trapped in the problem; move toward a solution, or move on.


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