Virtually everything that happens to you or for you is by your own choice. People often approach life from the perspective that “stuff” happens to them. In reality each person is simply choosing not to take action, not to choose the destiny he or she desires in order to pass blame.

Let me explain: Imagine it’s raining outside and you don’t want to get wet. You have several options for staying dry. You can stay indoors, go outside and use an umbrella, or go outside wearing a raincoat. If you ignore these options—if you fail to take action to stay dry—and go outside and get wet anyway and then complain that you got wet “because it’s raining outside,” in my mind you made the choice to get wet.

Complaining that you got wet because it’s raining outside shows that you are unable to accept responsibility for what happens to you or for you.

Such things happen in the workplace all the time for both business leaders and employees: tasks that arise, decisions that must be made, etc. In each case, it is all about choosing to take action and accepting the results, good or bad, right or wrong. If they’re good or right, that’s wonderful. If they’re bad or wrong, then make another choice to take action so you can achieve different results.

Ultimately, you have complete control over the outcomes in your life and how you get there. People often forget they have choices to achieve desired outcomes and instead leave issues to chance and then claim “stuff” happens to them. If you walk around thinking, “I cannot control what others do,” you are correct—you cannot. However, what you can do is choose to take action on those things you do control. If you want to be supported by like-minded individuals then choose to be around people who are about taking action to make things happen. If you don’t like some of the people you hang with because they are about blame and not taking action, then choose to not be with them. For some relationships this can be a hard decision. In this case make it about you, you can control your choices. Move on.

The choice is yours!

Stuart Friedman is president of Progressive Management Associates. He is a business visionary who guides organizations through cultural shifts. He promotes environments that inspire collaboration, transparency in the pursuit of strategic outcomes and heart-felt desires. Reach Stuart via email: