Monday, July 25, 2011

The Magic Power of Taking Responsibility.

Shared by David Riklan

Experience has taught me that the first step to consciously making any change in your life is to first "take responsibility" for your life or at least take responsibility for that part of it.

Dr. Phil wrote a book called Life Strategies in which he talks about taking responsibility. On his TV show and in his book, he says, "You create your own experience. Acknowledge and accept responsibility for your life."

Almost all of the experts talk about taking responsibility. They say to STOP BLAMING other people, but I have a slightly different view.


I asked myself, "Am I truly, completely responsible for where I am today?" Think about it. We were raised by our parents, and taught by our teachers, friends, and the media. I personally watched about 500 hours of Friends, Seinfeld, American Idol, and most recently, House and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Didn't these things influence me?

In truth, I believe that all of these things have had a tremendous impact on where we are today.

But when I think about taking responsibility, the question for me is NOT "Who is responsible for your current situation?"



The answer for each of us has to be, "I will." Can we really give up this responsibility? Does anybody else want it? I don't think so.


I want to share with you a quote that brings home this point for me.

It's from Denis Waitley, the author of The Psychology of Winning. He said, "There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them."

Personally, I went with the second option. I took responsibility for changing my conditions.


One of the exercises that I use and I recommend everybody use is starting with a list. Take a few minutes and think about the areas of your life that you are willing to take more responsibility for. They should be areas that you are serious about.

They could be in your career, family, personal life, social life, fitness, health or intellectual pursuits. Areas could include your spiritual life, leisure time, community involvement or a financial area...just about anything.

What areas do you want to take more responsibility for? Give yourself a few minutes to think about the key areas that you want to take more responsibility for. What are those key areas?

Now write them down and read them.
(***HINT: That's where the magic power comes from. If you write it and read it, you can own it and take responsibility for it.)

Most psychologists will tell you that your behavior is impacted by three factors: genetics, environment, and free will. We don't have a lot of control over our genetics, at least not yet, and we can't always control our environment, so all that's left is free will.

This free will enables us to take responsibility for our lives.

I think that most of us know that they're supposed to take responsibility, but it's not always easy.

I know that it's easy to blame your background, your boss, your schooling, politicians, your wife, your husband or your mother, but until we accept responsibility, we're not going to make progress.

So here we are. We all know we're supposed to do it, but most of us aren't doing it in every area of our life.

So, where do we go? Back to experts. After reviewing material from countless experts, I came up with a few specific suggestions to help everybody in that area.


I am a strong believer in the concept of modeling. By modeling, I mean finding other people who are doing something well and copying or modeling their behavior. So, I would recommend that you look around at the people that you know or "know of," find the most responsible person you know, and ask for help or model their behavior. Find out what they're doing.

Who are the most responsible people that you know? Why are they so responsible?

Now write them down and read them.

(***REMINDER: That's where the magic power comes from. If you write it and read it, you can own it and take responsibility for it.)


Another idea is to take on small projects and see them through to completion. Take ownership of small projects first and then build on it. Then, slowly increase the amount of responsibility you take on. The more we prove to ourselves that we can take on responsibility, the better we get at it.

We need to start accepting 100% responsibility for what happens in our life and know that we have the power to take control of many aspects of our life.


We need to make an extra effort to be aware when we are blaming others. This awareness alone will enable us to take greater responsibility. You might even want to go as far as to note every time that you blame somebody else and write it down or at least make a mental note.

Who are you blaming and what are you blaming them for?

Now write them down and read them.

(*** REMINDER: That's where the magic power comes from. If you write it and read it, you can own it and take responsibility for it.)

To sum it up, start by identifying the areas where you want to take responsibility.

Model yourself after other people who are taking responsibility for their lives.

Take on small projects, build on them, and finally maintain awareness.

All of these things will help us move closer to taking personal responsibility.

When David Riklan started building over 10 years ago, he had a simple mission: to provide quality information about great resources for people to improve their lives.

His philosophy was simple. There is no “one secret” to success. What works for one person may not particularly work for the next. With that philosophy in mind, he built the # 1 self improvement website on the internet, published 8 books and, through his speaking and seminars, teaches countless people how to match their needs and background to the philosophy, the system, the product and the expert that will work best for them.

Visit his website at

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