“If only I could get a better break.”

“If only I had some money.”

“If only I would’ve married the right person.”

“If only I worked for the right company.”

“If only I had the right parents.”

Do you pull back from taking full personal responsibility for yourself? Many of us do. We think that a parent, a teacher, a friend, a boss, a spouse, the company we worked for, or some governmental program should shoulder our burden for turning our lives into what we want them to be. This approach can’t get the job done. Other people and organizations have too many pressing challenges and priorities of their own. What does this mean? That you’ll always be disappointed when you depend on others for the things you must do for yourself. It’s so easy to justify the temptations of freeloading, to slide into being a follower, to fail to see the hidden price tag in the handout. Unless you take complete control of your life and assume full personal responsibility for yourself, who will?

No one will.

Every dollar you earn is worth ten given to you. Earned money creates the self-image of selfreliance; given money creates the self-image of other-dependence. This is why some families stay on welfare for generations. Hangers-on and free-loaders are the most frustrated people on earth because they have created their own frustrations. You can’t be successful and happy until you earn the respect of the toughest, hardest to fool, and most important judge in the world: yourself.