Principle #2: “Self-Responsibility Is The Beginning of Greatness.”
Self-Responsibility is the persuasion that nobody else except you is in charge of all your life experiences and the future that you create. In other words, your future is your responsibility – it is entirely up to you to create your eventuality.
There are seeds of greatness in every one of us. Every human possesses the inherent potentiality for greatness. Greatness is the ability to impact your generation positively at the maximum level possible with your gifts, talents, experiences and personality. Greatness without self-responsibility is self-deception. You cannot achieve greatness unless you understand the importance of self-responsibility.
The word “Responsibility” is a two words joined together, “Response” and “Ability,” meaning that you have the ability to decide your responses regardless of what happens to you in life. This is the hallmark of every successful, happy and fulfilled life.
It is not what happens to us in life that paralyses us and crushes our hopes. Rather it is how we respond to what life brings our way.
Sometimes, you may not be able to choose what life brings to you. But the way you respond is often within your control. You always have control over how you interpret the events in your life. The thought that you permit to flourish in your mind is your responsibility.
Jim Rohn, the American business philosopher, put it this way, “You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of,”
Changing yourself to accept 100% responsibility for your life is your duty and a necessity for happiness and success. I have never seen any high achiever and highly functioning human that does not believe that he, himself, is the captain of his life. This is a belief system of champions. If you believe that you are responsible for the results and future that you create, you will take responsibility and develop the self-disciplines required to make your life a success.
On the other hand, if you think success is a matter of luck and that some kind of external forces or circumstances are responsible for everything that comes your way or that you will become, you will coast through life. You will not value your time or yourself. You will blame everyone and everything except yourself. You will never stretch to tap into your precious potential and abilities.
Now here are the four things that self-responsible and self-actualising achievers never do:
- They never give excuses. Self-responsible achievers never give excuses for their failures, passivity or mistakes. They accept their flaws, learn from them and move on very quickly. In his excellent book, The Magic of Thinking Big, David Schwartz coined the word “EXCUSITIS” (from the root word “excuse”), which he defined as “The disease of the failures.” He said that “Every failure has this disease in its advanced form. And most “average” persons have at least a mild case of it.” Whether you use excuses as conscious defense mechanisms or as unconscious expression of laziness, if you must do really well in life, you will need to be cured of excusitis and develop a sense of urgency for positive actions.
- They never justify their weaknesses. Highly charged people do not justify their weaknesses. Rather, they recognise their weaknesses and are always striving to improve their weak links. They are always in a stretch zone and personally developing their weak points in order to make maximum impacts in their generation. Also, self-responsible people understand that having weaknesses is part of our humanity and it’s nothing to be ashamed of – as weakness has its purpose. It humbles us. it helps us develop sensitivity to the pains and weaknesses of other people around us. Above all, it tells us that as long as we are alive, it is out duty to commit to continuous and relentless personal development in order to turn our weaknesses into strength.
- They never blame others for their failures, setback or pains. Highly responsible people never blame others for their unpleasant life experiences. A great symptom of the disease of failures is blaming everybody else except yourself for everything that is not going right for you. You blame the sunshine. You blame the rain. You blame the winter. You blame the summer. You blame the government. You also blame your parents. In short, you blame everything that moves or stands still for your ordeals and lack of progress. This is a defeatist mentality and a stinking attitude towards life. This is the type of thinking that separates failures from the successful . One group take responsibility. The other group cast away responsibility.
- They never blame themselves for their past mistakes and failures. Self-responsible people do not batter themselves to death with the club of their past memories. They understand that they can no longer change the past. But they have a responsibility to make the present count if they are to enter into a different future. Therefore, they learn from the past and press ahead in positive actions. Safe-blame is an acute symptom of lack of self-responsibility. If you are self-responsible, you will never hold yourself up for your past errors. Rather, you’ll see how much wisdom you can salvage from your past faults and then commit to positive change that will ensure that you make the rest of your life the best of your life.
In conclusion, you will need a tremendous amount of emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual energy to achieve your ultimate goals in life and make huge positive impacts in your generation. But the starting point is to stop blaming, stop justifying your weaknesses or failures , stop giving excuses for not taking actions and stop blaming yourself for your past errors. The same winds blow on every one of us as we sail to our destinies. But what decides our arrival to our destinations is whether or not we take full responsibility for the setting of the sail.
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