I'm going to tell you how you can get what you want in life - most of the time.
One night in 2008, I realized how it works and tried to follow it ever since.
(notably, my life started turning the corner in 2008)
"Everything Happens For a Reason - and It's All Your Fault" (GLL original aka or I arrived at this conclusion myself) was a concept that I discussed in "30 Things I Wish I Knew In My 20's" (#22).
When you take responsibility for EVERYTHING, your fault or not, you are empowered in ways that better ensure short-term success and all but guarantee long-term success.
You tend to get what you want.
Parts of this concept may be hard to swallow, but the long-term dividends are many.
I'm definitely not smarter or even harder working than a lot of people.
I'm a good (but not great) writer, but I have a lot of real-world experience because I don't stop until I have what I want.
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(This is a true story but has been shortened and simplified for convenience purposes)
I got to know Angie pretty well.
She was actually the first really hot girl I got close to after I moved to Los Angeles in early 2008.
Although older than her competition (26), she still looked 21-22 and swore she was more determined than ever to make it in Hollywood.
She just needed her big break.
As I got to know her more, I noticed a pattern.
Angie was always in crisis.
Her life was always a mess.
Angie really had the worst luck ever though.
Whether it was her landlord not getting her rent check, freeway traffic causing her to miss a potentially career-launching audition, her car getting towed when she was legally parked, the car accident that left her without transportation for 2 weeks, her disruptive roommates stealing her food and clothing, or the one seagull that shit on her head two times - misfortune always seemed to follow her.
She didn't know why.
Then something happened that made me realize why Angie couldn't get ahead.
I started to realize why making the varsity cheerleading team in 10th grade would always be her biggest accomplishment in life.
I started to realize why she'd always be an unknown actress with "unlimited potential", living paycheck-to-paycheck as a cocktail waitress, and why she'd never even be able to lose that pesky 5 lbs. on what was already a perfect body.
Late one night, I was dropping her off and she told me that her cell phone was broken and she'd have to message me on Facebook about hanging out later that week.
I asked -
Okay, no problem.
What happened to your phone?
She said -
It fell out of my purse and it broke when it hit the ground.
Well, that's a bummer.
I asked -
She said -
It fell out of my purse and it broke when it hit the ground.
What should have been blatantly obviously the entire time - was now blatantly obvious.
It all made sense now.
I asked -
You mean you dropped your phone?
She said -
It fell out of my purse.
I said -
It fell out of your purse?
Or you dropped it?
Thinking that I was joking, she said -
Same thing Chris.
I'll talk to you on Facebook before I go to sleep.
I thought about it on my way home and for the rest of the week.
It's not the same thing.
It's not the same fucking thing at all.
In fact - it's the complete opposite and the reason her entire life wasn't working.
She wasn't taking ANY accountability for breaking her phone life.
She had nothing to do with it.
I thought back to all her other stories when she had been unfairly victimized -
This wasn't bad luck at all.
It was all her fault.
Individually, these 'incidents' were small things but were representative of her entire life and why she'd never be anything more than an above-average cocktail waitress who browsed the 'gigs' section of Craigslist every weekend to "get ahead"
The girl was irresponsible and either too proud or immature to shoulder any of the blame.
So many people have this type of victim mentality too.
I don't really know why I had such a strong reaction to her latest excuse. Her lack of responsibility didn't affect me one bit. She was just a bed buddy and things between us were pretty solid. She was actually a sweetheart too, but perhaps part of me knew that she was an airhead, headed nowhere and I resented that.
Angie was the type of person who - if she had the winning $25 million lottery ticket and had to claim her prize at a certain date and time - something would happen to her and she'd lose the money.
The lottery ticket would get lost...
The clock would be wrong...
The car wouldn't start...
The check would get lost...
That type of person.
Another blameless victim.
The epiphany from that night stuck with me for the rest of my life.
The key to getting what you want is assuming full responsibility for 100% of the outcomes in your life.
Doesn't matter if it's 100%, 50%, 10%, 1% or 0% your fault or if it's completely outside your control.
Although you might be a little blame heavy on yourself at times (you will find solutions and immediately put them in place), you will be way better off in the long-run because more things will go your way if YOU handle them.
There's 2 parts to this -
#1 Take responsibility for everything you can control.
This part is easy to grasp if you are actually serious about your life. Even unsuccessful people understand this.
An example -
Today, I have to be at Redondo Beach at 2:30pm. It takes about 45 minutes to get there from Hollywood. I know there might be some traffic, perhaps an accident that will jam up the freeway and I'm not guaranteed to find parking.
I'm going to leave at 1:00pm to guarantee that I get there by at least 2:30pm.
(result - I reached my destination and parked by 2:18pm)
#2 Take responsibility for everything you can't control.
This part is WAY HARDER for people to accept.
Especially future unsuccessful people, aspiring underachievers and undefeated blame-game warriors.
I'll give you another example -
A few months ago, I was expecting a very important big shipment of 240 kilograms of Happy Hippo Kratom to arrive.
Needless to say, that's a lot of inventory and it's worth a lot of money.
If the packages arrived but I didn't answer the door or wasn't home, DHL would probably leave a note on my door stating when they'd attempt to deliver it again - no biggie.
Still, the last thing I wanted is for this expensive shipment to somehow be left at the door, taken back to the regional DHL depot to be put in storage or worse - sent back to Indonesia.
But I'm a responsible guy, right?
Everyday, I checked the tracking information to make sure I was home the day the packages arrived in Boise and were out for delivery.
The packages were to be delivered on a Tuesday and the DHL guy always comes between 11am and 3pm.
On Tuesday, I woke up at 9:45am, well ahead of schedule and waited around for several hours.
At 4pm, I opened the door and found a 'Delivery Attempted' note on the door.
According to the note, the DHL guy showed up at 6:52am and I missed him.
Since when does the DHL guy show up at 6:52am?
6:52am, are you kidding me?
I got screwed.
But the fact of the matter is -
It was partly my "fault" that I didn't get what I wanted.
Did I do ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING I POSSIBLY COULD to ensure the result I wanted?
No - I didn't.
Although it may have seemed obsessive-compulsive at the time (genius looks like insanity to normal people), there were several things I could have done to GUARANTEE that I received the packages on that Tuesday morning and got what I wanted.
I could have -
Had I done ANY ONE of those things, it would have almost GUARANTEED that I would have received the packages and the desired outcome.
Instead, I left it to chance, wasted my day and didn't get what I wanted.
I was absolutely furious - partly at myself.
It wasn't totally my fault but I could have prevented this.
(the packages were delivered the following day at 1:00pm, the usual time the DHL comes - Hippo was a day behind however)
Everything Happens For a Reason - and It's All Your Fault.
Start to believe that.
Do EVERYTHING you possibly can for important matters and you'll get what you want far more than if you didn't.
Go overboard if you have to.
Now, obviously, what happened with DHL wasn't my "fault".
But whose fault it was or wasn't does me no good whatsoever.
I didn't get what I wanted and tens of thousands of dollars were influx.
In the game of money, in the game of pussy, in the game of winning at life - assigning blame, "fault" and evading 100% responsibility never made anyone get ahead.
Start embracing FULL ACCOUNTABILITY and ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR EVERYTHING that happens in your life - whether you had anything to do with it or not.
It goes far beyond just "being responsible".
One day, some of you guys will be commanding groups of people, large amounts of money and substantial influence.
Like it or not - the blame will fall on you.
You had better start taking unconditional responsibility for your life right now.
It's an empowering thing when you do.
Even though it's not realistic to always get what I want, in the long-term - I feel that I can nearly fully control the destination and almost everything that ultimately happens in my life. That is no exaggeration at all.
I have built 3 successful businesses (one that is likely to exceed 1.2 million dollars in sales this year), slept with more girls than I can count and I never have to do anything that I don't want.
But I've come a long way.
Although never like "Angie", like so many people, I was many times a willing victim of circumstance.
I was reluctant to accept blame for things that weren't completely my fault.
Like so many people, unless I was completely wrong, I would deflect responsibility, cling to ego and totally miss the learning experience or the chance to ensure the next best result.
I didn't want to be like "so many people" and neither do you.
It's not going to be super easy to accept responsibility and blame for everything, especially if you've done the opposite for decades.
Just try your best.
Unlike some things - this is something that is fully under your control.