“Choice of attention—to attend to this and ignore that—is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences.”
-W.H. Auden, The Complete Workers W. H. Auden volume VI
With every choice we make there is always a consequence to follow. Sometimes good and sometimes bad. What we choose to give our attention to specifically is followed by certain actions on our part. As American poet W.H. Auden further explains in today’s quote when we choose what to focus on, we are undoubtingly ignoring something else. The bottom line is this: no matter what, we are responsible for the choices we make and what happens as a result of it.
When this occurs we need to remember we have no one to blame but ourselves if the decision we make happens to be the wrong one. We need to man up or woman up and accept it. We also cannot complain that things did not turn out the way we had hoped and harp on that fact. It won’t miraculously change the outcome and if we do not cease in the complaining department, those around us will not want to be anymore. We need to change our perspective by changing our emotional response to the situation and our connection to it. When we do this we can move forward with things and our lives.
We cannot avoid making mistakes because they are unavoidable not matter how hard we try. We must own them when they happen. And they will happen. The fear of making mistakes should not prevent us from making future decisions either. When we accept responsibility for our decisions we also personally grow more and become better for it.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards developing your responsible decision making skills?