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Kicking the Clutter: How to become responsible for your life

Taking ownership of your decisions will make you more resilient and confident. ~ Ranka Burzan

I love this funny quote by Theodore Roosevelt: “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”

I can still hear my father’s words: “Be responsible for your life,” he would say in a voice of authority.

Being young, I didn’t understand what it meant and why it was so important to be responsible for your life. Much later on, I learned the importance of taking responsibility for my life, only by then, I had paid the price for ignoring my father’s advice.

Taking ownership of your decisions will make you more resilient and confident. It puts you in control of your life, allowing you to create the life you desire. There is no victory in being a victim.

Start with the power of intention
You have the power to choose. In reality, you are making choices all the time. Tea or coffee, hamburgers or salad, jogging or swimming, et cetera. Become intentional in making choices by having a vision in mind. A vision for your life, your business, your relationship, your health and wealth.

Stop the blame
Stop blaming your partner, parents, the economy, your upbringing or your government for your misfortune. Blaming keeps you stuck and robs you of the opportunity to change your situation. When you stop blaming and accept responsibility, you shift your attitude from being helpless to being hopeful. Now you can look at the situation and decide what to do about it. Ask yourself: “How did I contribute to this?”

Stop complaining
This is another form of blaming and playing the victim as if you have no choice. It also shows that you focus solely on the problem, not the solution. There is a gift in finding out why things didn’t work the way you planned. Ask yourself: “What is the gift here? What can I learn from this?”

How happy are you?
Taking responsibility for your happiness is liberating. First, you have to realize happiness does not come from outside of you. It is not the job of your partner, parent, friend or child to make you happy. To be happy is a decision, and the way to happiness is gratitude. I find that writing a journal helps me to find out at least one thing I’m grateful for.

Live in the present moment
Many of us, myself included, live life and dwell on past negative or positive experiences. Then we switch to thinking and worrying about the future, planning, controlling and anticipating every detail as to what should happen. In the meantime, life is passing by, and we never experience living in the moment.

Choose the way you think
When we pay attention to our thoughts, we become present and able to change our thoughts and how we feel. Consciously change them at the moment to what you want to create to shape your day and your future. Ask yourself: “Am I in the present moment and what do I want?”

I wish you the best of luck creating the life you desire.

Ranka Burzan owns a professional organizing company based in Powell River and has written several books on reducing clutter and becoming more organized. For information, go to