June 20, 2016

Self-Responsibility: 11 Quotes

Does your life always go as planned? Are you always free of illness and other physical limitations? Do people constantly treat you right? Do your kids accomplish everything they’re asked when they’re asked? (Come on, be honest!) Are you often able to check everything off your to-do list? Have you gotten every promotion you’ve ever tried for?

Doesn’t sound like your reality? You have no clue what I’m talking about? Well, neither do I. I have no idea what a “perfect” life is. Many days, I scramble to make it through the minimum of responsibilities. I could go through the list above point by point and tell you how far my life has always been from these ideals.

The Blame Game

Who can I blame? Who is at fault?

  • My imperfect parents?
  • The many “experts” who didn’t diagnose my main medical problem correctly (so I’ve suffered my whole life)?
  • The many bullies in my earlier life?
  • Impatient, selfish, or evil people today?
  • Friends and loved ones who can’t/won’t give me what I want/need?

Believe it or not, none of these groups are the problem. The root cause of my limited life is me. I have had many struggles. Some of them were my fault; some weren’t. Many of them could have been changed at the time if I had acted differently; others couldn’t.  That’s in the past; none of it can be changed. However, I CAN change my reactions to any current or former challenges now.

The bottom line is that the trials of my past are no excuse for failure in the present. They do not define me. If I engage in self-sabotaging behaviors, that’s no one’s responsibility but mine.

I choose my own reaction to every action; nobody else does. I can decide to try to find solutions to my problems, or I can choose to wallow in self-pity. It’s all on me. Which attitude do you think would be the most productive?

Today’s Mindset

Let’s expand this to society as a whole. Current culture says to blame everyone and everything but ourselves:

  • “They disrespected me.” You were equally antagonistic, and you overreacted.
  • “He didn’t let me do what I wanted.” It would’ve harmed you, or someone else.
  • “That teacher always fails me.” Do you ever study?
  • “I have no desire to work. I don’t feel any energy. I can’t help it if I have to sleep 15 hours a day. I want to sleep according to my own schedule.” You’re self-sabotaging. Maybe you aren’t eating the right foods or exercising. You can’t expect to be successful if your body is run down.
  • “They don’t like my religion/race.” That may indeed be true. However, are you presenting yourself in a friendly, or confrontational, manner?

What do the Experts Say?

Throughout history, self-responsibility has been a favored topic of religion, literature, and self-help gurus. I have compiled 11 quotes from current and past prominent figures on the topic of self-responsibility:

“If you hang out with chickens, you’re going to cluck, and if you hang out with eagles, you’re going to fly.”—Dr. Steve Marshall
“When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot. When you realize that everything springs from only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.”—His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
“Real power comes when we stop holding others responsible for our pain and we take responsibility for all our feelings.”—quotesgram.com
“You can either have excuses or results…but you cannot have both.”—www.coaching-cues.com
“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.—Denis Whattley
“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”—Eleanor Roosevelt
“Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others.”—Confucius
“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”—Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt
“If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”—John E. Lewis
“The victim mindset dilutes the human potential. By not accepting personal responsibility for our actions, we greatly reduce our power to change them.”—Steve Maraboli
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”—2 Corinthians 5:10

My Conclusion

Nobody but me is responsible for my own happiness. Enough said.

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How have you taken charge of your own contentment?

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