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Responsibility – The First Step to taking Control

How to start to change your life

Accepting responsibility for our life is not just about taking responsibility for the way we do our work, being on time for meetings, being a responsible parent or guardian, although they are a part of it. Here we are talking about accepting responsibility for where you are in life and everything that has happened in your life up to this point.

Earl Nightingale said that Attitude is the “Magic Word”. Neville Goddard called feeling “The Secret”. What I also needed to learn to change my own life was another word: Responsibility.

To change our life can be as simple as making a decision. A decision to act or not to act, to move in a given direction or not. But any decision and change must begin with a change in the way we think.

This one word, Responsibility, can change the direction and outcome of your life, your attitude and perception. But it is easier said than done; personal experience has taught me and shown me how difficult it can truly be.

We have a tendency of blaming outer factors for our failures or when things happen to us. Some of those things are not easy to accept, that we had a hand in them, but, regardless of what happened we made the choice to be there at that moment in time.

One of the first lessons I learned was from Jack Canfield’s “Success Principles” – to take responsibility for my life – ALL OF IT.

This was a hard pill to swallow. Me? At fault for not doing better in my life? What about the people that stood in the way of my betterment or getting a promotion at work? The teachers that didn’t help but put me down? The people I met in my life that….

And then it started to dawn on me that I had never taken responsibility FOR my life. I had not used my innate ability to think and plan and set goals. Infact I had never really set life goals.

One of Earl Nightingale’s questions was, what do you expect your net worth to be at the point of retirement – do you have a set amount? But we’re not talking about just money here now – there’s your spirituality, your self esteem and self respect, your self image, your CONTRIBUTION.

The point here is that until you take full responsibility for your life you really can’t move fully forward. There may have been things that happened in your life, that others’ actions caused a subsequent event, but, at the same time, you chose to be there.

That is what this means – take responsibility for the choices you made in your life. All of them – the good and the bad, the right and the wrong. Only yours, not the choices that others made that affected your life – that is out of your control. Just you choices.

It’s at this point that you should understand and realise, that the choices you make now and in the near future, minute by minute, are what will create your future.

A bit obvious really. If you decide to jump out of a third floor window to the pavement, you’ll cause yourself some damage. But what caused you to do that? What where the other options?

Pay your taxes or go to jail – that is still a choice really. Most of us choose to pay our taxes and avoid jail. Those that won’t or can’t made choices along the way to bring them to that point.

Do you see the correlation, the pattern?


Decide that you are now 100% responsible for your life, all of it. It is, in reality, the only way you can advance.

This is not a concept or an idea; it is an integral part of a life directed towards a given goal or as Earl Nightingale would say, “A progressive realisation of a worthy ideal”.

And what if you don’t take full responsibility, you still maintain that something was completely nothing to do with you? You will of course still achieve your goal, but the outcome will not be fulfilled and there will still be a part of your life that you will be carrying. You will not achieve as much as you could have.

Whatever you hold onto persists; emotionally, physically and mentally. Always remember that your subconscious mind will maintain any belief you hold onto and the only way to change that belief is through the conscious mind.

On the one side the mistake is in trying to realise an inside without an outside, and on the other in trying to realise an outside without and inside; both are necessary to the formation of a substantial entity.
Thomas Troward

Photograph by: Suganth on Unsplash

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