We’ve all done it. Every last one of us. Been in a tight spot and the first thing we think is who can we blame? Who put us in this position? Why are we here and not there? It’s almost a natural reaction in this day and age. Patients suing doctors, customers suing corporations, everyone trying to push the blame off and say, “Hey, it wasn’t me.”

The question I ask is, why? Why does no one take responsibility for their failures? We sure as hell take the kudos for our successes but run and hide when the shit hits the fan.

This epidemic became so clear to me when I was driving on the way to the gym last week. I heard a commercial on the radio asking if listeners were in credit card debt. The announcer went on to say that it wasn’t your fault, that the credit card companies try everything they can to force you into debt. I thought about that for a second and surprisingly almost believed the radio announcer.

Were they really out for blood? Do they really want me to be buried in debt? The answer: NO! “They” give the consumers the OPPORTUNITY to bury themselves, but the only person who does the burying is you! No one (under the law) forces your hand to swipe that little piece of plastic. The world is so worried that everyone is out to get them that they forget to take action to better themselves. When they inevitably fall from grace, it’s automatically the next greatest evil’s fault.

How do we right this wrong? We don’t—correction “we” can’t. What YOU can do is begin taking responsibility for your actions. If you’re too skinny, stop blaming your parents for the bad genetics and start eating and moving some iron. If you’re fat, quit crying to the media about the evil fast food industry and get on a treadmill. In plain English, DO WORK! The minute you take responsibility for yourself, that’s when you begin the process of self-improvement.

Unfortunately, I was an example of what this detrimental attitude can do to the human spirit. In middle and high school, I was involved in JV and varsity sports. After graduation, I fell into a slump of little to no physical activity and a lackluster diet. On my twentieth-first birthday, I weighed in at a monstrous 315 lbs at over 40 percent body fat. At first, shock set in. How did I get to this point? Who was to blame for this near fatal condition that I was in?

Quickly, the answer was realized, and I began to correct my mistakes. Three years later, I was down to 230 lbs at 18 percent body fat and enlisted in the United States Army. So think about it. Are you happy where you are in life? Is this where you thought you’d be when you were younger? If not, do something. Take steps to improve your quality of life. I’m not saying quit your job and travel the country in an RV. Just take responsibility for your own happiness and things will start to fall in place.