Responsibility is a contraction of the words “response” and “ability.” In other words, your ability to respond to your environment. Skip Downing, author of “On Course: Strategies for Creating Success in College and in Life,” defines responsibility as “the ability to respond wisely at each fork in the road, your choices moving you ever closer to your desired outcomes and experiences. The opposite is waiting passively for your fate to be determined by luck or powerful others.”
You can choose to be the creator of your own destiny, seeking solutions, taking action and trying something new when prompted with any stimulus from your environment. Or you can choose to be the victim of your world, blaming, complaining and finding excuses for your choices when prompted with a stimulus from your environment. The former helps you achieves your goals and accept responsibility, while the latter seldom helps you to achieve either.
When blame and guilt come up, recognize that they are ways of evading the difficulties involved in tackling an issue. If you find yourself looking to blame others or yourself, consider thinking in terms of acceptance as opposed to judgment. It’s a very simple distinction but it is powerful because it can help you step back from your conditioned response patterns. Granted you have your way of looking at things, but sometimes you may forget that you are making choices and those choices have consequences that profoundly affect your relationships and your perspective on life.
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