Today, I am going to talk about something that will not be popular. You have been warned! My topic for today is personal responsibility. Far too often, I find people are unwilling to take responsibility for their choices. It is never their fault (insert eye roll here). I am a firm believer in actions and consequences. We all have free will and we use it to make choices every day. Sometimes those actions have unintended consequences, but sadly that is not important.
Whether or not you intended for something to happen, if it happened as a result of an action you took, you are at least partially responsible and rather than blaming someone else, own it. I preach this to my kids constantly and they hate it, but I want it to sink in. I want them to learn to think before they act – to consider the consequences. More importantly, if they make mistakes, which they will, I want them to own up to their mistakes, take responsibility and then do what they can to fix it.
Let’s say, for example, that you hang around with “bad company” and they influence you to drink and drive. Let’s say the police arrest you for drunk driving. It is not your friends’ fault that you were arrested. Yes, they are bad friends and yes, they influenced you negatively but YOU made the choice to do it. They didn’t put a gun to your head and force you to do it. They didn’t make you get behind the wheel. No, the choices were all yours and they were poor choices. Take responsibility, accept the consequences and decide to do better in the future.
I am not saying you can’t make mistakes. We are all human and we all make mistakes and will make many more before we leave this earth. The point is, when you make a mistake or have a lapse in judgment or simply do something silly, take responsibility for it right away. Yes, it may have severe consequences but the longer it takes for you to learn to take personal responsibility the more severe the consequences for you will eventually be.
I leave you with a quote from Nobel Peace Prize winner (1952) Albert Schweitzer, “Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility in the realm of faith and morals.” Once you shed the victim mentality and learn to take control of your choices, you will start to make better choices. If you make better choices, you will improve your life and isn’t that what we all want – to live our best lives?
Here’s to taking personal responsibility and making good choices. Good luck!