Quality Magazine

Jim's Gems: Take Responsibility

February 26, 2013

 

Do you believe that we create our own reality? Or do you believe that reality is something "out there" over which we have no control?
 
If you don’t believe that you’re creating your own reality (or world), whether it be success or failures, you feel that you are at the mercy of circumstances. Things just don’t happen to you. You’re an object, not a subject. If that is what you believe, it’s time to look for another world because the one you’re in doesn’t fit reality. Why be here if you’re just the product of random outside forces?
 
As adults, we generate our experiences in life. While we can't control everything that happens to us, we can control how we respond to what’s going on around us. We can take responsibility for the results we experience in life. And when we do this, we grow enormously.
 
Taking responsibility is one of the best measures of maturity. It’s also an example of beliefs supporting other beliefs, which translates into a coherent system of beliefs. If we take responsibility, we are in control, and if we are in control, we will succeed. Tony Robbins, the self-help author and motivational speaker, said, “Those who take responsibility are in power. Those who avoid it are disempowered.”  
 
Dan Rather, the American journalist and the former news anchor for the CBS Evening News, once said that former President John F. Kennedy became a true leader when he stood before the American people and said that the Bay of Pigs was an atrocity that never should have happened, and then took full responsibility for it. When he did that, he was transformed from someone with promise into a great leader. President Kennedy chose not to blame circumstances or advisors but shouldered full responsibility for his actions.
 
The same is true for you and me. If we take responsibility for our lives--our reality--then, as Tony Robbins said, we are in power. If we avoid it, then we have lost that power.
 
Who is responsible for the quality of your life? If you say someone else, you are trapped unless, or until, circumstances change. If you say, "I am," you give yourself the power to change things, if you choose to do so. 
 
The power to change resides where it has always been--inside you. Take charge of your life, and you give yourself direction and purpose that may have been missing. Will you be taking risks? Absolutely! And you will probably make some mistakes. However, at all costs, take full responsibility and avoid placing blame. Remember, making mistakes isn’t really failure; it’s a learning experience.