I was home alone one weekday afternoon in high school when, at around 4 PM, I heard rustling outside the house.
I looked out the living room window and saw a technician outside. He wasn’t knocking to be let in. I quickly found out that, given the nature of his visit, he probably wouldn’t even want to draw attention.
Within two minutes of me spotting this worker outside the house, all the electricity went out.
For those who don’t know how it works: in the state of Pennsylvania, when you don’t pay your electric bill for long enough and after multiple warnings and courtesy letters from PECO (state electricity provider), an electrician is sent to your home.
There’s a special metal ring they place around your electric reading meter (which is always located outside your home) that effectively shuts off your power.
We hadn’t paid the bill.
Well, I lived there, but I wasn’t responsible for the bill; I didn’t even know the account was in arrears. I called my dad, who called my mom (I think); within an hour the power was back on.
My mom got mad at me later that day over the electricity issue. When I voiced that it wasn’t me who’d caused the power to be shut off, she crafted the argument that I could have called her when I saw the PECO electrician outside in the first place.
Mom’s frustration was, of course, misdirected. Logically, she knew it wasn’t me who’d failed to pay the bill and it wasn’t me who’d sent the order to shut the electricity off.
Shit, between myself, my parents, and PECO, I was the least culpable of everyone.
What happened to my mom in this situation happens all the time: something isn’t going right, and that something is, pretty much, our own fault.
In the midst of our frustration over the situation, though, we’re not quite ready to see things logically — so we pass that energy off onto the easiest target who can least afford to defend themselves.
A boss with subordinates.
A parent to a child.
A person blaming “politics” or “the system.”
You don’t exactly lose anything for doing this, save for the time you’ll still need to invest in assessing the real issue that you’re currently ignoring…
… and the damage to your relationship with the scapegoat who’s absorbed the brunt of your negative energy…
… and the truth that, until you address whatever underlying issue really caused the problem, it’s probably gonna happen again.
Blame takes responsibility off of your shoulders — it also takes the power to change things out of your hands.
Speaking of responsibility, get my book Work On Your Game so you can take full ownership of your life and situation — which means you can finally make things how you really want them to be.
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Be sure to check the following MasterClasses on this topic —
#638: How To NEVER Blame Anything or Anyone
#637: The Great Ones ALWAYS Know & Address Their Weaknesses
#603: You Must Be Responsible For YOU
#1071: The Privilege Of Responsibility
#1070: Everyone Is Confident When Everything Is Working
#188: Condition Yourself For Happiness
#187: Focus On What Truly Matters
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