Our lives are not independent of outside factors. We are dependent on the actions of others. We are part of an ecosystem with other human beings. One characteristic of human beings is that we are not perfect beings. We all have different emotions, different mindset, and different experiences.
One component to an amazing mindset and an amazing narrative is personal responsibility. With so many factors and so many random occurrences, it’s often challenging to decipher what we are and are not responsible for. In addition, with so many random occurrences coming at us, it’s often challenging to make sense of it all and to take personal responsibility for it. It’s even more challenging when you were born into a worse situation than someone else.
My own personal mantra is my disability is not my fault, but it’s my responsibility. I am disabled because of a doctor’s negligence. However, I am responsible for making the best of every situation and to dream big. You are too.
You are responsible to make your dreams come true. Whether you were born on third base or were born outside of the ballpark, it’s your responsibility to improve your life and live out the best life possible.
There are limits to what you can control. A mistake that people make is that they want to control and take responsibility for factors that are out of their control and when that doesn’t work, they give up on the whole game. This all or nothing approach does not work.
So, the question is what are you responsible for?
Goals and Dreams
You are responsible for setting goals and developing dreams. You are responsible for clarifying what an amazing life means to you. It’s not enough to say, “I want to be rich,” or “I want to be happy.” Those statements leave no direction. There are more ways to achieve success than there are successful people. It’s your job and your responsibility to come up with a dream that excites you and is tangible. It’s also your responsibility to put in the time and effort to make that a reality.
We all have challenges. That is just a part of life. Part of your job is to take responsibility for the challenges that you have. If you are a minority, you have a different responsibility. If you have a learning disability, it’s your responsibility to find a way to learn that is conducive to your learning style. If you had any kind of trauma that leads to emotional challenges, it’s your responsibility to deal with it. If you need any kind of assistance, it’s up to you to ask for it.
Every environment has different opportunities and different challenges. An environment is mostly influenced by the people that are in it. In reality, we are part of multiple environments. We are part of a professional environment, an industry environment, a working environment, a family environment (which includes immediate and extended family), and one or more friend groups.
Some of these environments can empower you or hold you back. Some can encourage and some can squash your big dreams. Some can frustrate you, and some can make you feel that you are on cloud nine.
Although you cannot completely cancel toxic people or avoid everybody that you don’t agree with, it’s up to you to get in an environment that compliments your goals and dreams. It’s your responsibility to connect with others that can elevate you and who you can elevate. It’s up to you to hang out with people who motivate, inspire you, help you achieve your goals, and make you belly laugh. Don’t forget about the belly laughs.
It’s your responsibility to get out of a bad situation and get into a good one. If you are in a job that doesn’t allow you to grow, it’s your responsibility to get into a different environment with different people. If your friends keep taking, it’s up to you to either communicate what you need or find new friends. Also, it’s your responsibility to let people know how you want to be treated.
You are responsible for your thoughts, moods, health, mental health, and anything that contributes to your well-being. There’s always going to be attacks on your well-being. This can be bad news, random occurrences, somebody cutting you off on the freeway, rude people, or even somebody bringing cake right when you start a diet. You are responsible for having a reaction that won’t distract from your goals and dreams. It also takes emotional and physical energy to accomplish your dreams and goals. You are responsible for protecting your mind and body from any attacks. Even a pesky little cold can decrease your energy and your mental stamina. You are also responsible for dealing with the skeletons in your closet. When I was younger, I had a challenging time telling people what I needed. I used to ask for what I need in a passive aggressive way. I even went to a psychologist to help me with that. Whether you have unresolved issues from your childhood or you have anxiety from a traumatic experience or you just need that extra productive mindset. It’s your responsibility to read books, learn how to deal with it, get around more productive people, or even see a therapist or performance coach.
We take thousands of actions everyday some big, some small. What we do when we open our eyes, our morning routine, having diligence at work, how organized we are, whether we engage in physical or psychological growth are all examples of actions that we take throughout the day. Repeated actions become our habits. A group of habits become our routine. How effective our routine is leads to the life that we have. If you want to improve your life, it all starts with improving those actions and having that trickle down to the rest of your life. You are responsible for the impact that your actions have. If you want a better, or even amazing, life, be responsible for taking better actions.
You are responsible for your own happiness. I could nitpick my life and I could point to my disability as being the bane of my existence and I often joke that my speech impediment is just that. There have been weeks where it seems that all I’m doing is resolving issues that are directly related to my disability. I have issues with my disability. In addition, I have every other emotion that anybody has. I feel that I am one of the happiest people. For the simple fact that I choose to be happy. I have amazing people in my life. I’m always laughing and cracking jokes. I have amazing people around me and the weather is pretty awesome in Southern California, where I live. Life has its ups and downs. Even a trip to a tropical island involves getting to the airport, TSA, cabs, and long lines at dinner. You can nitpick not getting the best oceanfront room. There are certainly better situations no matter where you are, but it’s your responsibility to find happiness.
Making the best of every situation is a choice. One reason that people abandon their goals is because, at some point, going after your goals can be really frustrating. There will be days when all you do is put out dumpster fires. There will be days when you don’t feel like engaging in your challenges. One of the responsibilities that you have is making the best out of most situations throughout your day. Sometimes you have a short memory. If someone cut you off on the freeway, forget about it in five seconds. The same goes for a rude waiter or a rude person on customer service. When you make the best of every situation it’s not only good for your well-being, but you attract the same behavior that you put out. You also bring a wet blanket instead of more gasoline when something goes wrong. A big part of happiness is not giving into our instincts to be negative. We are not wired for dealing with these times. We are still wired as cave people and our wiring says not to get eaten. The brain cannot tell the difference between our instincts that say not to get eaten and other issues that we have to deal with at this time.
A mistake that people make is that they assume that they have to wait for inspiration and motivation. In reality, motivation and inspiration are something that you create in your mind and find it. I studied the creative process and it’s not about working only when you are inspired or motivated. It’s about working until you get motivated or inspired. I believe that all motivation and all inspiration starts within. This is not to say that people, books, art, stories, or religion are not sources of motivation and inspiration. It’s just today that it’s up to you to find what excites you, gets you going, inspires, and motivates you. Without your work, you cannot be motivated or inspired. It’s your responsibility to get motivated and inspired. In addition, you don’t get inspired just for kicks and giggles. You get inspired and motivated to do work. If you’re not inspired to do the work, then inspiration and motivation don’t mean anything. In addition, there are times when you are not motivated and inspired. When you are in this funk, it’s up to you to find motivation and inspiration to get you going.
As a practitioner and teacher in the self-help industry, I wish I could motivate others to take action. I always wondered if my teachings and my instructions are enough. I now realize that I can only provide the hammer. It’s up to you to take home the hammer and build something amazing. It’s your responsibility to find that thing that gets you excited. It can be a book, a motivational speech, a YouTube video, or even that you want the best life for your family.
An amazing life takes skill development. There’s only so much that raw talent can lead to. A football player is maybe blessed with physical talent, but nobody was born a football player. They have to learn the game and put in the work. They have to spend hours and hours in the gym. By the way, I don’t think anybody was born to crash another human being at full speed. In the 21st century, the way to keep improving is improving your skills. You can’t expect what you learned in college to carry you for years. In addition, industries are changing at a rapid pace. If you want to keep up, it’s your responsibility to keep expanding your skillset.
You are responsible for the opportunities that will take you to your dreams. You start with the opportunities that you have every day. This includes learning, loving, and just being a good person. It also includes taking your talents and serving others to create an amazing life. In addition, you are responsible for growing yourself professionally so that you can develop whatever lifestyle you want. My disability took away many opportunities. It was up to me to develop a good mindset, write about it, and market my services. It took a long time and much heartache, but I got it done. Although I built an amazing team, it was up to me to create the opportunities.
The fact is that opportunities are not infinite and there are limitations on how you can improve opportunities. A mistake that many entrepreneurs make is that they assume that they just say that they are in business or they develop, and exciting product that is enough. In reality, it takes being good at several different competencies to take advantage of the opportunities. An entrepreneur must be good at marketing, finance, building a team, using technology, and many other components.
Throughout our lives we commit to different jobs, people, causes, and so on. When we commit to something, we are taking responsibility to make it work. This may be committing to a job, committing to a family, committing to a mate, committing to raise your kids, or even saying I will bring potato salad to a potluck. When you commit to something, it’s up to you to take responsibility to make the best of the situation.
When you deal with people at work or in a personal situation it’s your responsibility to bring positivity to anything that you do. Unfortunately, many people do exactly the opposite. They say to themselves since my life is not humming, then I have the right to be rude, complain, and be miserable. They want others to suffer as much as them. However, when you are the light, you attract better people in your life, and others shape up just a little. It’s challenging to complain to a person who’s smiling. If others don’t appreciate your positivity, you find people that do.
So what are you NOT responsible for?
The goal is not to put all the burden and all the responsibility on your shoulders. That is a good way to drive yourself insane. The question is what are you not responsible for? You are not responsible for the happiness of others. You are responsible for creating a win-win situation, but if you give more than you take, you are not responsible for other people’s happiness about their well-being. If you commit to somebody, whether that’s a boss, a friend, a spouse, or even a mate, you are not responsible for everything that goes wrong in their life. For any healthy relationship to take place, both individuals have to take responsibility for their part.
You are also not responsible for saving all the world’s problems. You are responsible for making sure that your world and your environment are humming.
The number one goal in life is to improve your life no matter where you are. Some people are going to be ahead of you and some people are going to be behind you. Some people are going to have opportunities that you don’t have. Some people are not going to have the challenges that you have. It’s your responsibility to take control of your life. This includes your actions, habits, emotions, finances, and any other factor that effects your life. You also are responsible for the environment that you create.
So, take responsibility and go out there and live your amazing life.
In order to live an amazing life and to succeed, it is important to take control of your own future. Without taking the necessary steps to get yourself organized, find an environment of growth and surround yourself with those who will inspire you. It is your responsibility to make this happen for yourself.