A Rule for Life: The One Hundred – Zero Rule.
The One Hundred – Zero Rule is about taking 100 Responsibility but 0% blame for an aspect of your life.
The One Hundred – Zero Rule rule is strong medicine so it might be best to only use could use it for a short while to deal with an important issue in your life. How long you use it for is up to you, but I suggest you at least give it a try.
I first used it to deal with a divorce. I found myself going through an unexpected and unwanted divorce and it came as a painful shock. To be honest, I had a mixture of feelings about it. On the one had I felt sad and angry and on the other hand I felt some relief, and even a small sense of freedom. The relationship had become a struggle and I had not been able to find a way to break out of the struggle.
I did not want the feelings of anger and sadness that I was feeling around the divorce to define me. Nor did I want them to have too much say in the type of person I would become and how I would live my life from then on. Feelings like anger and sadness, and even bitterness an despair have their place, but I did not want them to dominate the next steps of my life. I was looking for another way.
In looking for another way, at some point the idea of The One Hundred – ZeroRule rule came into my mind. The idea that I could take 100% responsibly for what was happening in my life, but also 0% Blame was very appealing. I would accept responsibility, but I would no get into all the self blame, self judgement and self criticism that can come with that. This means that I could acknowldege where I was at fault, or where I might have been at fault, but without a lot of negativity and self recrimination going on as well. I could learn from the situation without a lot of painful self blame and that wold make it a lot easier for me to learn and move on.
It would also mean that I could move on with my life without getting stuck in a lot of blame towards my soon to be ex-wife and her role in causing the divorce. Therefore the 0%blame also applied to her as far as I was concerned. Whether she took responsibility for her part in it was up to her.
Was it easy? No it was not easy. Divorce brought up deep feelings and deep issues, but although it was tough I made sure it was not all bad. By applying the One Hundred – ZeroRule I was able to ensure that it helped form my character in a better way and not cause me to become bitter and cynical. It helped my see through some illusions I had been holding onto and see more of the true beauty of life rather than the fantasy I had been trying to live. The One Hundred – ZeroRule helped me thought one of the most difficult times in my life.
Objections Some may object to this 100 0 because it is seems too severe and too harsh. Should it not be at least 50/50? Isn’t it unfair to ourselves to take 100% responsibility? The thing is that blame tends to look or a target. If we are not blaming ourselves then we are tempted to blame the other. We have to confront the idea that “someone has to be blamed.” and confront blame head on to break out of it.
Besides, we don’t need to live by this rule all the time. As i say, it is strong medicine, so only take it when you really need it.
How it works.
You take 100% responsibility for your life as it is now; without blaming yourself or anyone else for it.
You do this because you want to come out of this situation an even better person. You do this so that you can find meaning, some kind of benefits even, from your suffering. You don’t just want to suffer for no reason and without it having meaning. You can help to give your suffering meaning by using it to develop yourself. You are more than a victim of a capricious fate. You decide how the events of your life affect you and your decision is that you will grow from them. Making the deliberate decision to use your suffering to develop your character helps give meaning to that suffering.
Remember no self blame, no self recrimination. What are the facts, the real facts that you know for sure about your situation? You deal with them. You don’t make them any worse or any less than they are. You are willing to change in response to what you will learn and discover about yourself in this process. Your goal is to develop your character, not to make anyone wrong. What can you learn from it? How can you grow from it? Any kind of attack on yourself such as self blame and self condemnation is only going to get in the way, so you don’t want any of that.
You also watch our for any tendency to blame the other person. You accept those feelings if they come up, you find healthy ways to vent them if necessary. You get support in getting your feelings out, especially if you are the type of person who would not normally do that. You keep turning your attention to what you can learn and how you can grow.
You can ask yourself, “What did I do to create this situation?”, but be sure to see the insights you get as helpful and beneficial not as critissms. It is probably better to ask, “What can I do to create a better situation?”
Asking yourself “What did I do wrong?” might be useful, but it is all too easy for that to turn into self blame, so be careful of that one. It is more important to ask yourself “What did I do right?”, so you can do more of it, and to ask yourself, “How can I become an even better person?”
Watch out for any tendency to exaggerate or turn the situation into a heavy drama or a catastrophy. You can handle it, you will handle it, and you will come out of it a better person. You know you will come out of it a better person, because that is what you have decided to do.
Life can seem harsh, it can seem unkind, it can seem cruel and unloving. But this is only part of the story. Life can be filled with meaning and even filled with love, but we need to let go of our illusions first. Being disillusioned can be painful, but what else can lead us to life’s greater reality?
Growing up is a continual process. You are not the 3 year old you used to be, nor the 13 year old you once were, Yet, this growing up was not a loss to you. You have learned, matured and grown. You will continue to learn and mature and grow, because that is what gives life meaning. Ultimately we are all part of something bigger. That something bigger is what turned your 3 year old self into whatever self you are now. This is good, but it happened to you. You did not decide to grow and mature, but you did anyway. Now you can decide to grow and mature and participate in the process of your own evolution You would not have wanted to be stuck as the 3 year old you were, so why would you want to be stuck as the self you are now?
Later, when you see things from the bigger and wider perspective of you new self, the self you are becoming, you will see it was all for the good. Yes, it was painful and it was hard. But it was all for your greater good.
The One Hundred – Zero Rule can help to ease your way into your new self. It can help you let go of the things and the situations which you are holding on to and be free to live more fully in the present. It is only in the present that this newer self, this newer version of you, can be found. You can choose to resist the process of change, but that just makes it more painful.
The One Hundred – Zero rule won’t prevent you from needing to go through the changes you are going through, but it can make them easier to handle. I will help you to let go of your suffering and find more meaning in your life no matter what goes on in your outer circumstances.
I hope you will try the One Hundred – Zero and that it will benefit you in the many ways it has benefited me.
Blessings on you and your life journey.