Oluwafunmbi Purpose Adeoti: Would You Take Responsibility For Yourself Today?

Personal responsibility is the willingness to *accept* the importance of standards that society establishes for individual behavior and to make strenuous personal efforts to live by those standards.

But I think personal responsibility means that when individuals fail to meet expected standards, they do not look around for some factors outside themselves to blame.

The demise of personal responsibility occurs when individuals blame their family, their peers, their economic circumstances, or their society for their own failure to meet standards.

Personal Responsibility is not to be earned or gifted, it is a choice to be made.

The three areas of personal decision-making in which the youth and young adults most need to learn and practice personal responsibility are education, sexual behavior, marriage and work.

12 Reflections on Personal Responsibility

Personal Responsibility means being accountable for what we think, say and do. Personal responsibility involves working on our own character and skill development rather than blaming others for situations and circumstances. It means choosing to design a life that honors our values and purpose.

Here are twelve reflections on personal responsibility:

1. Personal responsibility begins from the inside and moves outward. We must begin by taking responsibility for our thoughts, choices, and reactions. Then we can be responsible for the circumstances we create in our world.

2. We have the divine gift of free will. We make conscious choices as spiritual living in a physical world. Conscious choice is a gift that carries great responsibility.

3. Every choice can benefit humanity or harm it. Even avoiding choices is a choice, and each choice will have consequences.

4. When you think something or someone else is responsible for your problems and their solutions, that exact thought is the first problem to solve.

5. People waste precious years while believing that there will be more time tomorrow than there is today. Today is the perfect day to accept and develop our gifts and talents.

6. A great philosophy of responsibility: When things are working, I am responsible… and when they need fixing, I am responsible.

7. Only our choices and actions today will bring the rainbow’s end with any gold it might contain.

8. True personal independence is the freedom from reaction-the ability to choose actions and make choices that will influence positively the future of our lives and our world.

9. The Creator knows what it is we need to be doing and will provide us with plenty of chances to show up. However, we will not get an unlimited number of chances, and we cannot ever assume that we will have tomorrow.

10. Living serenely does not mean that we deny problems or avoid the responsibility for solving them. Just the opposite-we find the clarity and presence of mind to deal with the issues of daily living in positive constructive ways.

You cannot control all the circumstances in life; however, you can learn from them. You can choose to allow every circumstance to make you stronger, wiser, more knowledgeable, more skillful, and more loving.

You can control your ability to design your life and your philosophies. A philosophy of personal responsibility allows you to live from an inner core of integrity. It will bring a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.

With a personal responsibility mindset, you know that your Happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment depends solely on you and no one else and this in turn should help you to thrive at becoming a better version of yourself daily.

Robert M. Pirsige said “the place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands.”

So how then should you take responsibility for yourself :

1. Know that there is always a price to pay.

“Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves”
Friedrich Nietzsche

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”
George Bernard Shaw

“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.”
Unknown

Not taking responsibility may be less demanding, less painful and mean less time spent in the unknown. It’s more comfortable. You can just take it easy and blame problems in your life on someone else. But there is always a price to pay. When you don’t take responsibility for your life you give away your personal power.

2. Build your self-esteem.

“Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the high road to pride, self-esteem and personal satisfaction.”
Brian Tracy

“The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs.”
Joan Didion

Why do people often have self-esteem problems? I’d say that one of the big reasons is that they don’t take responsibility for their lives. Instead someone else is blamed for the bad things that happen and a victim mentality is created and empowered.

This damages many vital parts in your life. Stuff like relationships, ambitions and achievements.

That hurt will not stop until you wise up and take responsibility for your life. There is really no way around it.

And the difference is really remarkable. Just try it out. You feel so much better about yourself even if you only take personal responsibility for your own life for a day.

This is also a way to stop relying on external validation like praise from other people to feel good about yourself. Instead you start building a stability within and a sort of inner spring that fuels your life with positive emotions no matter what other people say or do around you.

3. Give yourself the permission to live the life you want.

“When we have begun to take charge of our lives, to own ourselves, there is no longer any need to ask permission of someone.”
George O’Neil

By taking responsibility for our lives we not only gain control of what happens. It also becomes natural to feel like you deserve more in life as your self-esteem builds and as you do the right thing more consistently. You feel better about yourself.

This is critically important.

Because it’s most often you that are standing in your own way and in the way of your success. It’s you that start to self-sabotage or hold yourself back in subtle or not so subtle ways once you are on your way to the success you dream of.

To remove that inner resistance you must feel and think that you actually deserve what you want. You may be able to do a little about that by affirmations and other positive techniques. But the biggest impact by far comes from taking responsibility for yourself and your life. By doing the right thing.

4. Taking action becomes natural.

“Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

It is often said that your thoughts become your actions. But without taking responsibility for your life those thoughts often just stay on that mental stage and aren’t translated into action. Taking responsibility for your life is that extra ingredient that makes taking action more of a natural thing. You don’t get stuck in just thinking, thinking and wishing so much. You become proactive instead of passive.

5. Understand the limits of your responsibility.

“Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.”
Epictetus

Taking responsibility for your life is great. But that is also all that you have control over. You can’t control the results of your actions. You can’t control how someone reacts to what you say or what you do.

It’s important to know where your limits are. Otherwise you’ll create a lot of  unnecessary suffering for yourself and waste energy and focus by taking responsibility for what you can’t and never really could control.

6. Don’t forget to take responsibility in your day to day life too.

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” Helen Keller

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
Abraham Lincoln

Life consists of each day. Not just the big events sometime in the future. So don’t forget to take responsibility for the little things today too. Don’t postpone it. Taking responsibility for your life can be hard and tasking on you. It’s not something you master over the weekend. So you might as well get started with the it right now.

7. Aim to be your best self.

“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself.”
Henry Ward Beecher

“Peak performance begins with your taking complete responsibility for your life and everything that happens to you.”
Brian Tracy.

Why should you leave the fate of your life to be decided by someone or something outside you?

Would you take responsibility for yourself today?

Photo Source: psysr.org

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