You have choices. You can live a healthy lifestyle or eat to your heart’s content. You can spend money like a drunken sailor or invest in your future. You can listen to your conscience or fall victim to temptation. The fact is, you have the freedom to choose, but you’re not free from the consequences of those choices. That’s your responsibility.
Some folks, however, never learn that valuable lesson. In fact, they don’t spend much time at all thinking about consequences. It’s probably because they’ve become whizzes at dodging their responsibility, or they don’t see immediate fallout resulting from their behavior.
Choices are easy. The tough part is living with them.
Why Responsibility Matters
When things go well, it’s awesome; when they don’t…oh well. The question is, do you accept responsibility for your actions, learn from the experience, and move on? Or do you go into denial, sweep the problem under the rug, and find someone else to blame?
You can’t take control of your life until you’re accountable for your behavior and the choices that you make. When you dodge responsibility, you spend more time inventing excuses than trying to right the ship. When actions don’t have consequences, there’s no reason to work hard; there’s no incentive to be determined; and there’s no motivation to up your game. That can cause you to get lazy, sloppy, and stale. Ouch!
If You’re Not Responsible for Your Actions, Who Is?
Own your choices rather than relinquishing that responsibility to others. Determine who you want to be; set the direction you wish to take; and focus your efforts on your goals. When you own your life, you choose to:
Accept yourself and your circumstances rather than feeling powerless and helpless, unable to affect the outcome.
Abide by your beliefs and values rather than allowing yourself to be bullied by peer pressure and persuaded to follow the pack.
Pursue your inner peace rather than seeking acceptance from others.
Face challenges with courage and conviction rather than surrendering your dreams to fear.
Openly acknowledge mistakes rather than finding a scapegoat.
Control your thoughts and emotions rather than allowing anger, fear, guilt, or envy to get the better of you.
Live every day to the fullest rather than becoming trapped by reliving disappointments of the past.
Accept ownership of your health and emotional well-being rather than submitting to self-defeating behavior.
Follow your conscience rather than selling your soul to the highest bidder.
Believe in yourself rather than measuring your self-worth based on what others think of you.
It’s Your Responsibility — and Yours Alone
Our society has standards of acceptable behavior. But the rules of decency are meaningless if there aren’t any consequences. When parents overlook bad behavior, when leaders look the other way, when citizens let their conscience hibernate, it’s easy to become desensitized to poor behavior. So, while you may think you’re doing someone a favor by giving them a free pass, it’s a recipe for disaster. The fact is, when you don’t face consequences, there are consequences for that, too.
Personal responsibility needn’t be a burden. It’s a blessing to own your life. Be the master of your destiny with a vested interest in your actions. Take pride in who you are and what you do. Stand tall by taking charge rather than outsourcing your responsibility to others. Accountability can’t be delegated. If you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, don’t blame the mirror. It can’t be done for you; it must be done by you.
Do You Accept Responsibility for Your Actions?
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