“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” Mark Twain.
Remember when you were growing up all you could think about was when you were grown up. We thought about the freedom and privilege we would have when we became adults. We kept saying, “Treat me like an adult”, “Let me make my own decisions”, and “Can’t I come and go as I please?” Right? So here we are all grown up with the liberty and privilege only to find out it came with a heap of responsibilities. So now we are being held accountable for our behaviours and decisions.
“It is not enough to take steps that may someday lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe We are answerable for all our actions, our thoughts and our behaviours, whether deliberate or unintended. We make mistakes, and when they do, we need to take the situation into control and fix it.
There is an expression that says, “You are where you are because of who you are”. Everything that happens in your life happens because of you, because of your behaviour, words and activities.
How do you become a responsible person?
- Be accountable. If your children are lively, your partner bad-tempered, your co-worker intolerable, you are always responsible for how you react. You are completely 100% responsible for your communication and behaviour.
- Stop blaming. Remember when you point your finger at others, three other fingers are pointing towards you. As you point that finger, the other person only becomes defensive, and the conversation takes a turn for the worst. Just because the other person is being foolish, does not mean you should act that way as well.
- Recognize what occurred. When you admit, “Yes, I did not call when I said I would,” you remove the necessity to make up petty explanations. “I screwed up” is a three-word sentence, when followed up with “What can I do to make it better?” it makes people eager to forgive. Your integrity gets respect.
- Emphasize the positive. Keep a positive attitude as you go through each day. Have you ever noticed that people who do not take responsibility for their behaviour are cynical and pessimistic? Anything that does not go right is always that other person’s doing. They are eternal targets. When you assume responsibility for having the life you want, you shift your focus from what went wrong to what is right. As light shift in focus turns a loser into a champion.
- See yourself unmistakably. Taking responsibility means admitting both your weaknesses and strengths. It means accepting all that is great about you. Be kind to yourself. A responsible person does not discharge their achievements. You know you have noble and positive talents. Have a complete picture of who are. A responsible person continues to develop emotionally.
- Say “thank you.” Receive the compliment When someone recognizes you, say, “Thank you.” When someone is caring or gives you a gift, say, “Thank you.”
- Practice healthy self-focus. Pondering too much about our problems, stressing endlessly about the tomorrows, regretting the past, and feeling sorry for ourselves can only lead to indulgent self-pity. It is draining. However, taking time actually to know what makes you tick, in a gentle, insightful way is the start of self-love and individual accountability.
We do not like to fail or worse yet to seem like we are failing. So we set goals for ourselves and at the same time create a “fall-back card”, we can play when we are not successful so that that we can blame someone or something. The more individual responsibility we take, the more control,and the more control we have, the more likely we will obtain our goal since there will be no reasons to use our fall back card if we fail.
Therefore, taking responsibility for our actions equals success. It also makes us feel good about ourselves and frees us of negative behaviour such as anger, fear, bitterness, resentment and uncertainty.