Take 100% responsibility for your life woman on beach
The Success Principles in Action Jack Canfield

Success Principle #1: Take 100% Responsibility for your Life

How much responsibility do you take for your daily interactions and outcomes?

This is a really incredibly powerful success principle, as it is so easy to take the low road, or the easy way out.

We apportion blame to something outside of us, outside of our control; another person or event for anything that we don’t like or doesn’t show up the way we wanted it to.

She/he didn’t do what he said he was going to do, so ……

The weather was too bad, so …..

It wasn’t my fault, there was nothing I could do about it.

It would have been OK if x hadn’t happened.

I inherited this mess.

And so it goes on. Do any of these sound familiar?

It is easier to blame than to take responsibility as when we blame we are the injured party or we do not have to take any action to change anything or do anything.

Sadhguru in his book, Inner Engineering, reminds us of the original meaning of the word, responsibility, which is our ABILITY TO RESPOND. When we put the blame on a situation or another person, we are basically giving away our ability to respond. We are at cause not effect, which means we are helpless, powerless and have no control of the situation and play no part in how it plays out or the outcome.

This is in fact madness as by the very fact of us being there, we are involved whether we chose to take no action or some action that didn’t turn out as we wanted, we still were party to the event and therefore part of the event and outcome.

Inspired Action

Next time you find yourself saying any of the above or squarely putting 100% responsibility outside of yourself then ask yourself, what part did I play?

For example, if you have an argument with a fellow worker or partner and you feel they were being unfair and it was all their fault, take another look. What part did you play? You might reply, “I didn’t say anything” or “I didn’t do anything, it was all them.” Maybe the very fact that you said and did nothing was part of the issue. Maybe you were acting defensive, and this triggered something in the other person, maybe they were having a bad day, maybe you were tired and stressed and misread the situation.

Where two people are in an interaction, they must both play a part otherwise one wasn’t there at all. Maybe that is the issue that you are not present, or you don’t feel that you are being heard or seen, in which case is that 100% fact or could you be misinterpreting the situation? Maybe you don’t feel that anything you could say or do could impact on the outcome, but how can you be sure? Complacency and doing nothing is still an action. It’s a choice you made. You didn’t like the outcome, but you didn’t try anything to affect the outcome.

If you are angry with someone else, ask yourself what part of me is angry with me? Am I justified in being so angry? Did I have any part in this? Could I have taken different actions and got better outcomes?

If you are looking for why things aren’t as you would like them to be and you are looking outside of yourself for the answer or something or someone to blame, then you are looking in all the wrong places. Start to look at YOU for why it isn’t how you want it to be and then see the magic happen. Of course, this means that you will have to face some things that you have been denying for some time so this isn’t going to be easy and it also means that you are going to have to change your response mechanism so that you automatically look inside yourself first before you point the finger outside.

You are the creator of your destiny, don’t give away your ability to craft and mould that exactly as you would like it to be.

Take 100% responsibility for your own life and see how your success in life changes.

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