There may be times in your life when you need outside help to survive. That is why there are a variety of wonderful charities and social services to help people in times of need. But the reality is programs like Welfare, food stamps, free lunch, and government housing, are ultimately harmful to many who become perpetually dependant on them.
Why? For two reasons: First, government programs are designed to help you survive, not prosper, and second, they tend to make you dependent rather than independent. Which would you rather be: dependent on a Welfare check or independently in charge of your own life?
The longer people are dependent on government programs the more they shrink from their own potential and the more likely that self-reliant, successful people will steer clear of them. Therefore, you should avoid such programs if humanly possible, and should circumstances require you to participate in one or more of them, don’t let it become a lifestyle.
As human beings we are good at adjusting to various situations. That means we can with ease adjust to, or should I say surrender to, a life of dependency even if it means a meager existence. Government programs are like radiation: a little of it can save your life, but too much of it will permanently wound your spirit.
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Getting out of dependency is not easy. Here are five specific things you can do to move from dependency to self-reliance.
First of all, make your own decisions. Dependent people soon lose the ability to make decisions on their own. Decision making is a fundamental skill needed for self-reliance. Start small, if you must, but begin making your own decisions. Don’t ask someone else’s opinion every time you want to do something. Take the advice of Nike and “just do it.”
Second, reclaim every aspect of your life. Fix your own meal, find your own job, clean your own space, earn your own money, and take the initiative to make your surroundings your space.
Third, get coaching not assistance. If you lack a skill necessary to improve your life, don’t just get someone else to do it for you, learn how to do it yourself. I remember when, as a preschooler, I learned to tie my own shoes. It may sound trite, but it was a moment of liberation for me; I was no longer dependent on my mother to get dressed!
Fourth, be brave and risk something. I’m not talking about spending your money on the lottery. I’m talking about doing something different, something out of the ordinary routine of your day, something that challenges you in a completely new area. You will be surprised what you can do when you are liberated from your sense of dependency on others.
Fifth, and most important, take personal responsibility for everything in your life. Don’t blame anyone for anything that has ever happened to you. When you take personal responsibility for everything that has ever happened to you, you will be liberated to pursue your hopes and dreams. No matter what happens to you, you will always have the ability to respond (response-ability) in a way that makes you self reliant, liberated, and happy.
©Ronald D. Ross 2015