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  • Writer's pictureChris Gordon

The Art of Personal Responsibility

Last week was a mental health dump, not exactly the intent, but that was the outcome. This week let’s sink our teeth into, personal responsibility.

When it comes down to it, we are all responsible for where we are. There are a lot of folks out there who have a tough time digesting this.

The only excuse we have for not getting what we want out of life is we didn’t want it bad enough; we weren’t willing to put forth the effort and work at it to make it happen.

The above two statements have been very front of mind lately. We have one stating we need to accept and claim responsibility for where we are, while the other really puts the onus on us for not doing what was necessary to get to where we wanted. In other words someone or something is responsible for our inadequacies and we were just too lazy to do what it took to make it happen.

Here is some context. We all are responsible for our choices and we should not be upset at the outcome if the choice we made was the wrong one. Meaning, if you find yourself locked up because you felt okay to drive after a couple, don’t be pissed at the officer for doing their job. It was your responsibility to do the right thing.

When we talk about responsibility many times we find the topic of control finding its way into the conversation. This is for good reason as we generally do have control over our choices. If we choose to drink and drive we are responsible for any adverse outcomes. If we choose to skip the gym and go to the bar once, not a big deal; if we continually choose the bar over the gym we must be willing to accept potential long-term health issues. In both of these scenarios you had some semblance of control over the outcomes and because we only control so many factors in our lives better choices are more likely to lead to better outcomes.

If you’ve read this far you may be thinking to yourself, “yea dude no sh*t… what you’re saying is pretty much common sense” and you are right, we also realize that. Our intention is not to beat a dead horse with the same ole message, it is simply to bring awareness to those who tend to forget that they are where they are because of the choices they have made. Oh, and this is not a dig at anybody as I am also speaking to myself here…. which brings me to my favorite topic, excuses.

Excuses are a wonderful thing because they can validate our short-comings. In business we can make excuses for not hitting our numbers because the weather, the economy, the price, or a bad demographic. In life we can do the same…. the dog ate it, getting stuck in traffic, ran out of time, or can’t afford it. I’m too lazy to look up the actual quote, but I am sure you have seen a meme on it… about letting excuses be stronger than your goals or something to that nature. You get the gist I’m sure.

To reign this in let’s think about this in the context of being personally responsible. Meaning, the reason I didn’t get….. the promotion, the job, the starting spot, whatever it is you were striving for, a lot of times is outside of your control. We tend to throw around excuses and blame others for not hitting the mark because we can’t accept the outcome. We do this, I feel, when we know we didn’t give our best effort. But, when we reflect back and can say with 100% confidence that we busted our ass and still came up short…. Well, in this case it could just be you were not the best fit.

There are things within our control, but the majority of things, we have none. We cannot control a situation, per se, but we can control our response. We cannot control what others do, but we can control the effort we give. The outcomes in our lives are determined by the choices we make; if you don't like where you are at it is your responsibility to take ownership and reset the sails.

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