Growing up at my home was at times a big pain because my dad made me always take responsibility for everything in my life. Whenever I said something like "Dad, my girlfriend makes me so mad,", without fail Dad would come back with: "Now come on, Sean, no one can make you mad unless you let them. It's your choice. You choose to be mad."
Or if I said, "My new biology teacher stinks. I am never going to learn a thing," Dad would say, "Why don't you go to your teacher and give him some suggestions? Change teachers. Get a tutor if you have to. If you don't learn biology, Sean, it's your own fault, not your teacher's."
He never let me off the hook. He was always challenging me, making sure that I never blamed someone else for the way I acted. Luckily my mom let me blame other people and things for my problems or I might have turned out psycho.
I often screamed back, "You're wrong, Dad! I didn't choose to be mad. She MADE, MADE, MADE me mad. Just get off my back and leave me alone."
You see, Dad's idea that you are responsible for your life was hard medicine for me to swallow as a teenager. But, without hindsight, I see the wisdom in what he was doing. He wanted me to learn that there are two types of people in this world - the proactive and the reactive - those who take responsibility for their lives and those who blame; those who make it happen and those who get happened to.
~ Sean Covey
The strongest principle of growth lies in the human choice.
~ George Eliot