The Buck Starts Here…

November 30, 2009 § 12 Comments

The more I continue to learn and observe and grow and share, the more apparent it is to me that there is at least one fundamental, undeniable truth about life. That anything in my life is happening because of me.  I really am at the centre of my own universe.  That isn’t meant in an egotistical way… but everything that I am, everything that I believe, every choice that I make impacts my path into the future in some way.  And just as I have the control to create certain scenarios in my life, I also have the control to stop them.

Part of being in control of my own life and my own destiny is being aware of myself, my triggers, my actions, my desires, my needs, my wants, my current situation and where I want to go, the disconnects, the bridges built, celebrating successes, appreciating the present and still moving towards the future.  Everything is so interconnected, and it all flows out from one place.  Me.

Granted, there are elements outside of my control that contribute to where I am in a particular moment.  But I truly believe that what is crossing my path today is a result of something I put out into the world yesterday.  With this thought in mind, the choices I am making today reflect where I want to be tomorrow.

I ran into an old employer once who asked me how I was doing and my reply was something along the lines of “still changing the world.”  He laughed and responded “young people always think they’re going to change the world.  Let me know how it’s going in another 10 years.”

Well, it’s not 10 years later, but it’s 2 years later.  And I think I’m changing the world more now than I was then.  Because each of us has an impact on where the world goes. I’ve been surprised recently with the changes others are inspired to make in their own lives as a result of the changes I’ve made in mine and my willingness and openness to share my experiences as I’m doing them.

And so, I’m moving forward, at the centre of my own universe, making positive changes in myself that then ripple out and change the world around me.  And those changes create new situations and present me with new paths to explore and new choices I can make. All because I figured out that the buck doesn’t just stop here… it starts here too.

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§ 12 Responses to The Buck Starts Here…

  • davidolinger says:

    Very true, Wendy. All we have to do is watch the movie It’s a Wonderful Life and see the lesson learned when James Stewart’s character is shown what would unfold if he was removed from his surroundings. He saw that life life was, indeed, better with him in it. We can all have a significant impact on the lives of others. We also have a lot of choices in our own lives. In my own career, for example, I have seen how steps I have taken have led to other opportunities for growth and development. You are right, Wendy, the buck stops with each of us and starts with all of us individually. We have choices and each of those choices creates ripple effects for ourselves and many others by extension.

    • Wendy Peters says:

      You know… I’ve never seen It’s a Wonderful Life… perhaps I should be putting that on my radar over the holidays… although my life certainly has become it’s own wonderful life… 🙂

  • Great blog Wendy – couldn’t agree more. Love the response you had to a former employer… “still changing the world”. Imagine how different the world would be if each one of us consciously asked the question every morning… “What can I do to affect change in the world today?”
    P.S. I have watched “It’s A Wonderful Life” many times – great movie! Think you will enjoy it!

    • Wendy Peters says:

      Thanks Donna! That’s a great question to ask.. and sometimes the answer can be so simple. “Today I can create change by smiling at every person I meet”… “tomorrow I can create change by taking my old clothes to one of the diabetes bins”… “the day after that I can create change by taking a different route to work…” Everything we do changes the course of where we’re going. And if our routine is changed, well then it will directly impact somebody else in some way, even if it’s just to pass somebody new on the street…

      I had put the movie on my list to watch over Christmas… but I’ve gotten a couple of responses about it already… I may have to push it up a bit.

  • John Tyler says:

    I think people forget how much influence and impact they can have with even the smallest decisions or changes. It’s not hard to see why when through all the media hype it’s the famous actors, famous musicians, famous artists, famous athletes, etc. that are visibly influencing people and making changes. How many causes and charities have better success because they sign one of those ‘famous’ people as a major sponsor? This can be misleading. Making people believe that they have to be in some ‘public spotlight’ before they can change the world.

    At the same time, it does provide inspiration to others to create their own music, art, written material, and anything else to share their feelings and experiences. I believe that deep down inside everyone wants to be able to provide insight and inspiration to others, to be in control, to make changes no matter how small. As Wendy has figured out, it’s a matter of stepping back and becoming self-aware, where you are now, where you want to go, and when you start making decisions and taking control of your life, you start influencing others and changing the world.

    Brilliant post Wendy 🙂

    • Wendy Peters says:

      “I believe that deep down inside everyone wants to be able to provide insight and inspiration to others, to be in control, to make changes no matter how small”… for me, this is where there is a solid line in the sand… the emphasis that it is myself and my actions that I control.. and I have no control over what others do, think or feel.

      The only way someone can have control over me is if I give them that ability. Realizing that I can take that away and regain control over myself has been an important lesson for me. And shown me that, where before I may have felt manipulated or used by someone, I was half of that equation. Being aware of the situations I may give others that kind of power, well, it’s empowering.

      So, I’m happy you’ve found value in self-awareness, John. You have control over you, and you get to decide who has influence in your life and who does not… yet another way to Choose Your Own Adventure 🙂

  • John Tyler says:

    Thank you for showing me the way 🙂 It’s pretty amazing- this self-awareness! I have learned those lessons as well, and now it’s easier to understand and to make sure I don’t make those same mistakes again. It is certainly quite the Adventure 😉

  • davidolinger says:

    Great response, Donna. The answer lies in a quote by Mahatma Ghandi …”Be the change you want to see in the world.” If everyone who talks the talk about wanting to make a difference actually walked the talk, we would all be better off. That is not a criticism or preaching. I have seen the difference I can make in the world. I just need to do more of it.

  • Mike says:

    When I read this post, it really got me thinking…about control and destiny. We definitely need to have control of our lives to make them what they are, to accomplish our goals and plan for our achievements. There are so many decisions we make like whether or not to stay in school, which jobs to apply for, what courses to take based on our interests. There are decisions we have to make daily in order for us to accomplish part or all of our goals, and to not have control…well you won’t accomplish much. The important thing is the question what can I do today that needs to be done to reach where I want to go? Of course there are many things that occur that are not in our control. You could be the safest driver, and still get t-boned by a drunk driver, or go to school planning to work for one company/in one field, and end up working in another. The question that was invoked when I read the post and the comments was…do we really have control? Or is it an illusion that we have control? Yes when we come to a fork in the road, we make a choice, and that road we chose will have different challenges, and a different outcome…but the road is already paved, we only choose which one to go down. Does that mean we have control over what’s going to happen? I believe there is a small degree of control…but it’s only in a small bubble surrounding ourselves and only for the moment in time when it is executed. When in a relationship you never should give up your control, but control becomes shared as both lives become more intertwined as decisions start being made together. The important thing is that you always make the most of today, because no matter what you plan for tomorrow, or a year from now, you still never know what that time will bring. What we really control is how we handle the decisions we are presented with. Spoken from experience.

    • Wendy Peters says:

      Mike… I hear ya. You’re comment sounds like it came straight from my own thoughts.

      I believe we really do have control… but only of our own choices. The mechanics… the “how will it happen”… that’s what we don’t control. But that’s what we can each attract to bring about the things that we want.

  • David Olinger says:

    This verse about Making A Difference illustrates perfectly how even a small act can change the future. I have seen varying versions of it, but the intent is the same.

    A man was walking down the beach at sunset. As, he walked along, he saw another man in the distance. He noticed this man kept leaning down, picking up something and throwing it out into the water, again and again. As, he approached even closer, he noticed that the man was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach. He was throwing them back into the water, one by one.

    Puzzled, he approached the man and said,
    “Good Evening. I was wondering what you are doing.”

    “I’m throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it’s low tide and all these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If, I don’t throw them back into the ocean, they’ll die up here from lack of oxygen.”

    “But, there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. You can’t possible get to all of them. And, don’t you realize this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can’t you see that you can’t possibly make a difference?”

    The man bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and threw it back into the ocean. With a smile he replied, “Made a difference to that one !!!”

  • Erin Stashko says:

    I love the story that David spoke of, in the most recent comment! Ties in beautifully with your blog, Wendy.

    Your blog reminds me of the adage, “You are what you eat.” In this case, as you are learning/observing/growing/sharing, you have noted that anything in your life is happening because of you. You also recognize that every single choice you make – impacts your future.

    Because it is a choice you’re making, you mentioned that you have the control to create scenarios or stop them. Many people don’t pick up on this type of control that they possess. They fall back on the elements out of control, that you spoke of when you stated, “There are elements outside of my control that contribute to where I am in a particular moment.”

    To remain in control of your own life and destiny, you highlighted elements of your life that are interconnected within you, that make this type of control in your life a reality:

    • Triggers
    • Actions
    • Desires
    • Needs
    • Wants
    • Current situation
    • Where you wish to go
    • Disconnects
    • Bridges built
    • Successes celebrated
    • Appreciating the present
    • Moving towards the future

    Even though you knew there are some elements out of your control, you know that what is crossing your path today is a result of something you put out into the world yesterday.

    The fact that you think of the combination of elements and attributes that will allow you to remain in control is enviable to me, in the sense it is hard for me to keep in mind that so much of what I put out there, comes back to me in a reflective manner. You know this to be so though, when you stated:

    “The choices I am making today reflect where I want to be tomorrow.”

    I think it is admirable that you are focusing on the ripple effect, understanding that when you make changes in yourself, that new situations, paths and choices can be made. You compared this to the motto, ‘The buck doesn’t stop just here, it also starts here.’

    Looks to me like in this process of self-discovery and positivity that you have also figured out a way to pay it forward, not only to yourself, but to society.

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