It’s interesting, when I hear this message being shared with an audience, it often ignites a round of applause accompanied with a wave of head bobs. The applause isn’t because they want to adopt the premise; more often than not, the applause is a reverberation directed at someone they think needs to hear this message, but not them. What I wish the speaker would do at that moment is stop and point out the difference.


The listener is often in agreement with the basic principle of what’s being shared. Because they feel they’re already working hard, it seems to them that this message of responsibility doesn’t apply to them.


What’s running through their mind is not

‘how am I going to step up to play a bigger game or make a difference in my own life?’,

instead, they’re thinking,

‘this is exactly what Greg needs to hear. He should be listening to this.’


At this moment, they’re running a list of people in their mind they wish they could change so that their own life would be easier.


Sadly, they are missing the point and missing the opportunity of the real message.


An important part of taking responsibility for your life is recognizing the results you generate. Everyone has circumstances to deal with. Everyone has decisions to make. Taking responsibility means making choices that are going to take you in the direction of the life you are striving to create.


These may not be popular choices. They may not be the easiest choices. But the person who makes the responsible choices will forge ahead contributing to the very creation of having a successful life.


Another aspect of taking responsibility is giving others the space they need to do the same. You may not agree with what others are doing, but you don’t get to control them either. Every person goes through a journey that’s personal. In order to get the benefit from what it has to teach them, they need to experience life for themselves.


As hard as it may be for you to sit idly by, the responsibility you have to your growth is to stop controlling and having expectations of others. That’s a tough lesson. The only responsibility you have is to yourself.


The responsibility I’m talking about refers to your personal growth and how it affects the results you generate. I am not saying that you negate your role as a parent, as a CEO or as a friend. Those come with a type of responsibility that makes you accountable for the wellbeing of another while they are under your care.


The responsibility we’re talking about here has to do with the choices you make that impact your life. They are the kind of choices that have you make amends with a long standing dispute; the kind of choices that have you take the next step, even though it may be uncomfortable; the kind of choices that don’t require you to tell everyone else how they are supposed to act.


Applauding for someone else to hear the message stops you short of receiving it.


The next time you catch yourself running a list in your mind about who needs to hear the message of responsibility, pause and check in to see where it is you’re missing the benefit of how it might apply to you. If you’re living with results that are less than what you want, chances are you need to hear this message again.




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