Being 100% responsible for yourself is not easy. It means you cannot blame someone or something else for your failures or inability to accomplish your goals. It means you are never a victim of circumstance because if you didn’t see a bad circumstance coming, you were not prepared and that is your responsibility.

Responsibility is the ability to successfully respond to a set of causes. So, when presented with an event you first need to evaluate it and then respond in a way that results in meeting your goals and objectives. If you fail and your goals and objectives are not met, then you need to use reflective thinking and causal analysis to find out which causes you didn’t understand and thus failed to control. This is not something you do once in a while. It has to be both a life strategy and life skill that are practiced frequently and intensely. These actions have to be at the core of your thinking if you want to be an effective thinker. 

Sometimes the causes of an event are out of your control and there is nothing you can do to change the event or the outcome, but you can change your response to it. You can be angry or mad and blame others, or you can be positive and glad you had the experience to learn from by understanding the causal relationships that caused it and try to prevent it from happening again.

If you don’t accept responsibility in this fashion, you will misunderstand every problem you encounter. Effective problem solving requires, among other things, that you find solutions that meet your goals and objectives – not someone else’s. When you make excuses for your unhappiness, like a victim, you are abdicating your responsibility for yourself and will fail at life.

When you see something in front of you, be it an idea or a condition you know needs changing, be 100 percent responsible and act accordingly. In addition to being responsible for ourselves, we also need to be responsible members of our community. That community starts with our family, then our neighborhood, city, state, and country. Being responsible members of these communities means that we hold certain values, such as being responsible, in the highest regard. And by doing so, we effectively perpetuate the culture that makes our country so great.

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