Definition of the word Responsibility highlighted in green with felt tip pen

Monday Morning Motivation:
Cell Phones, Careers And
Short-Circuiting The Blame Game


Hola! Here’s hoping Monday is off to a rip-roarin’ start for you. I’ll tell you someone who’s probably having a less than stellar one..

My darling daughter.

Why, you ask?

Because she’s headed off to school without her electronic tether, aka cell phone, which, truth be told, is probably more of a pain for me than it is for her. But there’s a reason for that and it rests solely on her shoulders. It is also the basis for today’s Monday Morning Motivation.


Relay for Life

This weekend, Casey and I had a great opportunity to take part in the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life (you can check out our pics on Instagram here). Casey has a close friend and classmate who was diagnosed with cancer about five years ago and though she was successfully treated and is well now, it was touch and go for a while. That, plus the cancer among our own friends and family, gave us darn good reason to be out there.

At the beginning of the weekend, I told Casey her room, which was beginning to resemble the Great Pacific garbage patch, had to be cleaned. Of course, she blew me off on Friday. That’s okay, she reasoned; we had the rest of the weekend.

Did she do it Saturday? No because we still had Sunday.

Saturday night we went to the Relay for Life and when we got home Sunday morning, we slept.

And then wept.

A lot.

When I went to wake her up at 1pm, she asked for another hour, which I gave her. When I went to crack the whip at 2pm, she asked if she could eat first.

When I went to check on her at 4pm, barely a dent had been made in the mound of clothes and shoes in the middle of the room.

I told Casey that if the room wasn’t cleaned, she would not have her phone until it was. I think you can see where this is headed, similar to a speed boat careening toward the coastline at 115 miles per hour.

At 9:30, the room was better but hardly what any rational person would call clean.  Cue the tears, hateful stares and gnashing of teeth.

I will spare you the back and forth, minus this one; Casey is going on a field trip this week and needs her phone, both to combat road boredom and in the event of an emergency. She assumed by pointing that out (the latter more than the former), I would crack like a cheap safe and turn the phone over to her.

She must not know me well.

“Casey, you do realize whether you have your phone this week is firmly and completely within your control, right?” I asked her while simultaneously dodging a second helping of hater-ade.

“YES.” *heavy sigh* *eye roll*

Excuses. I hate ’em. They are like nails on a chalkboard to me and if we’re not careful, become part of a pattern of learned helplessness. And it’s not just teens throwin’ ’em down.

I hear from adults who complain that their jobs or careers aren’t where they are because, well, fill in the blanks:

“I don’t have enough money.”

“I don’t have enough support.”

“I can’t go back to school.”

“I can’t do that because of the kids.”

And so on.

So on this Monday morning, I challenge you to remember what I told Casey; you are in control of where you are, where you are going and where you want to be. While you can’t control everything that happens to you, you can control how you react to it.

Your career, life trajectory can change if you change it; you are responsible, no one else.

Back to my kid and our story, here’s what I’m willing to bet: that room will be clean enough to eat off of the floor by the end of the evening.

Why? Because when you want something bad enough, like a cell phone (or a career), you’ll move heaven, earth and a pile of clothes to get it.

How bad do you want it?

More from GEM:

Monday Morning Motivation: Want To Turn Your Dreams Into Reality? 3 Things You MUST Do!

Monday Morning Motivation: The Butterfly’s Struggle

Monday Morning Motivation: Confusion Or Delusion