Address problems yourself, don't blame others

We all go through periods of time when things just don't seem to be going our way. We get in fights with our friends, our grades are less than impressive, or perhaps we don't like the way an organization is being run.

Most of the time, it's just easier to wait for something better to come along than to actively work to change the status quo. It's hard, both physically and emotionally, to try and make a change in our lives, even if it's a small one. It takes effort that we may not have either the time or energy for.

It's pretty normal to attribute what is happening in our lives and the circumstances we find ourselves in to some other cause or uncontrollable force. It's almost always someone else's fault or doing that has brought us to the current situation.

It's too hard, and too much of an attack on our pride to consider that perhaps we are mostly responsible for our own experiences, especially if we characterize them as being unfortunate. There are exceptions and there are a handful of situations when we have absolutely no power or say in the matter, but most of the time I believe that we do.

What does it take to understand that if we don't like the way things are going in our lives, we can change it? Baby steps are necessary, and recognizing that we aren't robotic and our lives are not completely predetermined is a start. It's challenging to admit that we are wrong, or that we haven't been doing enough to be in control of our lives.

It's even harder to think about our lives in terms of not just ourselves, but of others and how their own opinions, experiences and reactions to us shape the way we define ourselves and our circumstances.

Talking to people is the second step. Disagreements or conflicts can stem from basic misunderstanding. Opening up and talking to either an organizational leader, professor, family member or friend may be enough to change your current unhappy status. We are all human; we all make mistakes and we are all misunderstood from one time to another.

Communicating your discomfort or confusion will allow the perceived opposing forces to understand why you are feeling the way you are. Hopefully, they will be willing to give and take, or at least explain their opinion in the matter.

If conversation is not enough for the change you want to see occur, keep in mind that at least you are trying to initiate change. It takes courage to take that first step and, unfortunately, it seems as though there are fewer and fewer individuals willing to take the risk.

Sitting around and complaining about your current, less-than-appealing situation isn't going to change anything. Try and remember that everyone is unsatisfied with their lives from time to time, but that you do have some control over the situation.

If you want to resolve things badly enough, take action. You might just surprise yourself when things start to look up in return.