We understandably think of ‘responsibility’ as one word. Then, we associate it with something like actually having to be accountable for something or someone. There are a fair number of individuals that find the word daunting and want nothing to do with it because that is responsibility in and of itself and who wants that? I do.
I’m going to suggest that we break this word down into its two root words and look at it in a totally different way. As something very desirable, positive and exactly what you want in your life.
Stephen Covey’s first habit in the Habits of Highly Successful People, is Be Proactive. There’s a good reason this is Habit #1. Covey notes that we are each ultimately response-able for our lives. It’s not our parents, teachers, spouses, the government, society or any other excuse we choose to use in the futile effort of not taking ownership.
Proactive, successful individuals don’t offer excuses. They take response-ability. Stop and think. Who do you want to be in charge of your life? There’s only one good answer.
We choose our behaviors and are response-able for our decisions. I’d encourage you to watch your language as well. Make sure it contains what I call “power words” like I can, I intend and I will, always giving yourself the gift of choice and strength. The choice to be the captain of this ship that’s called your life. I want to be the one at that wheel.
A second wise individual comes to mind when I think about response-ability and that’s Victor Frankl.
Frankl wrote words that changed my life for the better when he wrote the book Mans Search for Meaning after surviving four Nazi concentration camps.
Listen to this: “The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.” It opened up my mind when I first read it.
Here’s one more Frankl quote: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.“
Think about that space. Worlds can exist there. I have response-ability. I have the ability to respond to whatever life brings my way in the most positive way I can. I own it.