“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
― Martha Washington
This quote, simply put, encourages people to do better. To think bigger and try harder. To not sit and wallow in whatever we might be going through, but to change our mindset in order to change our outcome. It encourages us to look beyond the present and work towards a better future. It tells me that it doesn’t matter where you came from, what your circumstance may have been or what cards in life you were dealt. It simply says, you are personally responsible for overcoming all of that.
In life, far too often people make excuses for every unfortunate event they may encounter and find themselves playing victim. If we aren’t as successful as we may have hoped to be, we blame society. If we aren’t the best parents, we blame our own parents and how we were raised. And if we aren’t academically inclined, we blame the school system for failing us. Many of us continue this vicious negative cycle of creating scapegoats in fear of holding ourselves accountable for our own actions and the roles we play in our own lives.
Yes, we are all born into very different circumstances and some may have a great advantage in comparison to others, but that is not a reason to stay stagnant in your situation. If you are unhappy with your life, growth and change is very possible. The situation you currently sit in does not have to be a permanent one, if you don’t allow it to be.
Where I think people go wrong is, they accept the circumstances they were given as an inevitable outcome of how their lives will turn out. For example, if their grandparents were born into poverty, which later trickled down to their parents and then ultimately them, they automatically view this as their own destiny.
But many people who were born into unfortunate situations and negative cycles somehow found a way to get out of them.
Take everybody’s favorite auntie, Oprah Winfrey, for example. Born into poverty, to a housemaid teenage mother, Winfrey’s family didn’t have much of anything. Throughout her younger years, she dealt with abuse, neglect and even the loss of a child, and despite all of this, still managed to change the direction and outlook of her life. Some people probably would’ve heard her story and instantly not thought much of her future, but fast forward over five decades later and she has become one of the most successful and powerful people on the planet.
Instead of creating excuses for ourselves, we should be working twice as hard to create a better future than what is expected of us and what our circumstances might seem to allow. Life does not have to be a vicious repetitious cycle of disappointment and struggle if you don’t allow it to be. We should be constantly encouraging ourselves to do better and work harder if we have any chance at breaking the cycle and bettering ourselves.
We have more power than we think. No matter how our stories began, we have the ability to rewrite the ending.