Friday, January 1, 2010

Triple P's - Priorities, Principles, Perspective (Part 4)

It certainly has been a long time since I’ve updated my blog. I meant to write as soon as I finished SPM (Note, I finished on the 15th of December, not on the 8th like the majority of the other SPM-ers) but church events rolled one after another and the next thing I knew, it’s 2010!

Which then made me think, what do I write as the first post of the year? I was having a serious case of writer’s block (try writing Christmas cards, it drains the lust for writing out of anyone) and so decided to look through my old posts to see if I left anything unfinished. And guess what? I did! So this is my last one to finish up the Triple P’s – Priorities, Principles and Perspective series.

But then again, I didn’t really have anything to write about perspective. Until just now when I was sitting in my dad’s car on my way to my grandma’s.

There are two kinds of people in a moving car – drivers and passengers. Up till now, I am STILL a passenger because of the sad lack of driving license. I love being a passenger though. I get to daydream, blast my ipod and block all other noises out and laugh at funny shaped cars on the road. I get to sleep when I’m bored; sms because I have both hands free, play the PSP if my brother allows me too.... Basically, I’m just there to have fun – I’m there to go for a ride.

As much as I look forward to being able to drive, being a driver is very different from being a passenger. It’s not that the ride won’t be fun (FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT!!!) – it’s just that ‘fun’ isn’t the goal anymore. I’m going to have to think about where I’m going and about the safety of the passengers in the car with me. It may mean I can’t do whatever I want at any moment. Especially since my brother just looked over my shoulder and said, “Yeah jie, sms-ing while driving makes you six times as likely to crash”. Yes ah boi, I know. I’m responsible for getting to the destination. After all, I’m a driver now.

In life, we can choose to have the perspective of a Passenger or of a Driver. Being a driver is all about responsibility, of ownership. Unfortunately, many of us prefer to remain as passengers. When things go wrong, we go tend to point on fingers on everyone but ourselves. Example….

I wasn’t supposed to fail! It’s that darn teacher who failed me on purpose!

If only my parents…

If only my friends did this instead of that…


Ok, I’m joking about the last one. =)

The fact is, how will you see 2010? As a passenger, out to just ‘enjoy yet another year’ and refusing to take responsibility for anything and everything? Or as a driver, to realize that this year is entrusted to us to make the best out of it?

When we start taking responsibility for our life, that’s when we truly start living. When we start realizing that if it has to be, it has to be me, that’s when our life will start to count for something. Let’s not play the Cookie Jar game. You know, where we say, ‘Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? Who me? Yes you! Couldn’t be! Then who?!’ Exactly, then who?

Take responsibility for our actions.

*Few things disturb other people more than someone who fails to take responsibility for their actions. This explains the feeling most Americans had during the Monica Lewinski scandal 1998. President Clinton had told everyone that he had not had sex with the White House intern. In August of 1998, he was forced to admit that he had engaged in sexual activity with her. This was enough to trouble some. However, the alarming point came when he gave his five-minute speech, confessing the whole thing. The majority of people were disappointed in the speech. A reporter examined the speech and uncovered why they felt the way they did:

Total number of words he used in the speech: 549 words

Number of words devoted to self-justification: 134 words

Number of words devoted to regret for actions: 4 words

Number of words devoted to attack the prosecutor: 180 words

Number of words devoted to saying it’s time to move on: 137 words

Number of words devoted to apology: NONE

It’s not about the mistakes we make this year, it’s about the integrity we exhibit when we take responsibility for them.

And that’s one of my challenge for the year. Will you make it yours too?

*Taken from Habitudes by Tim Elmore