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Taking Responsibility

On Monday, I wrote about our freedom and how we use it to make choices that end up limiting our freedom. This is a human thing. We have all done it before and will likely do those or similar things again in the future. Today, I'd like to focus on taking responsibility for those choices.

Taking responsibility is a hard thing to do. It requires us to look in the mirror, admit and accept that we made a mistake. Our choice(s) screwed something up. We must face the fact that we aren't perfect, don't know everything, and still need to learn things the hard way.

It would be much easier to look around at people and circumstances surrounding our choice or situation and point our fingers to say "it was their fault!" That, in our heads, seems to absolve us of the responsibility to look at ourselves honestly. It feels good sometimes to think that we weren't actually the ones at fault. Perhaps we were only an innocent bystander caught up in someone else's mistake.

However that doesn't solve the issue long term. It just delays the inevitable. At some point we will see another mistake and we won't be able to shift blame to someone else. With regard to spending, it may require a shift in budget priorities to meet the obligation your mistake has put upon you. Again, there is no shame in taking these corrective measures. In fact, taking these steps is more healthy than sticking your head in the sand!

Remember that your budget is meant to be a set of guidelines that keep you on the path toward your goals. The limits you set in budget items should not be moved without some effort. For instance, it is not easy to remove or move the guard rails along mountainous roads. There is effort and cost associated with changing those safety measures. The road must be closed so the workers can dismantle the metal then have the heavy machinery come in and pull up the posts. Once that is done, then the work to put the guard rails back can begin.

With your budget, if you've messed up, I encourage you to face the mistakes and make the painful changes to your budget to correct them. If you overspent celebrating your freedom, I challenge you to make that right and plan to pay it back in full sooner rather than later. This may require you to sacrifice some other budget items you would rather keep around. So be it. This pain will be temporary and afterward you will feel much better for having done things right instead of procrastinating them again.

After all, the saying still goes, "no pain, no gain!"

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