Take Action by Donald Broughton

As chief market strategist, managing director and senior transportation analyst for Avondale Partners, Donald is a frequent guest on CNBC, Nightly Business Report, and Fox. He is regularly quoted in The Wall Street Journal. Broughton has been recognized as a top stock picker by The Wall Street Journal, “Fortune,”“Zacks” and “StarMine.”

There is a growing contingency of people who are accused of being entitled. They walk around feeling that life owes them something. When something goes wrong or comes up short, they blame everything, blame everyone around them, and fail to see that very often the person who is most to blame is looking back at them in the mirror.

Whenever there is something wrong in my life, there is usually something wrong in me.  We mirror what it is all around us, and what is all around us, mirrors us. Walk into a person’s bedroom or bathroom. Is it filthy and disorganized chaos? I’ll bet their life, their checkbook, and their direction in life is as well. It is the process most of us go through as adolescents. We learn that no one else is going to clean our room or brush our teeth for us. I can hear the entitled ones saying, “Well someday I’ll make enough money to have someone be my maid, to pick up after me.” But, that’s not how it works. Everyone I know that has a maid has a maid because they learned how to be responsible enough to keep things clean and organized enough to have it made. We must take responsibility for what is in our lives, and for what our lives are about.

In the end, no one cares what you say, you feel, or what you think. They care about what you do. If I tell you that I believe in your product or your company, but I don’t buy your product or invest in your company, then my “belief” is meaningless. What I think doesn’t change your life or the lives of the people working in your company. Even when life’s path, life’s circumstances seem brutal, seem so unfair, I know each challenge is an opportunity for me to learn, for me to grow. A friend or family member suffering with cancer or dying suddenly is a reminder that each of life’s moments are precious. Life is time sensitive. Am I every day, in every moment treasuring my interactions with my friends and loved ones? Am I giving my co-workers my best effort, my best attitude, and appreciating them when they do the same. I was part of a great firm called A.G. Edwards. It had a great culture and a great group of people that I respected worked there. It seemed as if it would always be there, but then one day, Wachovia bought it, and the firm we all knew as A.G. Edwards was gone within months. Just over a year later, Wachovia itself was on the verge of insolvency and was acquired by Wells Fargo. The firm was gone, but out of it, many other firms were born as me and many others took what they learned at A.G. Edwards and wrote the next chapter in the story.

Do you really think the universe cares about what you want or don’t want? Millions of people have spent their lives, wasted their lives talking about how they really wanted something, dreamed of doing something, really wished something would stop happening to them, but never took the first step of changing what they were doing or not doing. Want a better job? What have you done to improve your skills so that you are more valuable to an employer? Want to upgrade the quality of people you are dating? What have you done to improve yourself so that you are more attractive to a potential partner? Wish you had better friends? What have you done to be a better friend, and are you willing to eliminate or limit “friends” who aren’t willing to keep you honest or don’t always have your back?

It is not an accident that those who are the most stressed, the most melancholy about life, are often the ones sitting around thinking about their problems and feeling sorry for themselves. The easiest way to reduce stress? The easiest way to change your world for the better? Take action. Take responsibility for your life and the world around you. If you don’t like things the way they are, then you have to take action to make things different. The universe does not revolve around you. It revolves around those who take action, who actually make things happen. Want to make your world better? Do something that will make your life and the lives of those around you better.