is one key factor that can do more to guarantee your success in life
than anything else. Conversely, the absence of that factor will be a
sure guarantee of a life of failure and almost continual
disappointment. That key factor is RESPONSIBILITY.
It sounds like something your mother told you when she was giving
you a smack! Well, she may not have been that far off the mark....
However, responsibility in its widest sense is extremely positive.
It means that YOU, and nobody else, has control of
your life. If you have control, then YOU can change things. You have
the power. It is not in somebody else's hands - your wife, the
government, your parents, your boss, your accountant, the stars....
Responsibility is not a popular doctrine. Instead, the world is full
of people who give away their power to others by refusing to accept
responsibility in their lives. They make excuses and find someone
else to blame for their misfortunes or failed dreams.
They can give you an endless stream of reasons for why they failed
to complete what they first began or, worse still, never began in
the first place. Indeed, our society seems to be set up to cater for
this sort of attitude. People can grow up and live an entire adult
life without once learning this vital lesson so imperative to their
The sad thing about this attitude is that whilst it seems to serve
us well, it really does not. You may certainly get a
sympathetic ear for a while. People may even agree that you're quite
right. However, in refusing to own your part in events, you give
away your power. To whom? Everyone and everything outside of you. If
YOU are not responsible for the various events in your life, then
who is? Answer: other people, enemies, random forces of nature, the
stars, fate or anything else you care to name.
If this is true, then there is logically nothing you can do to
improve your situation. You are only going to get slapped down every
time you try to achieve anything worthwhile. So why bother?
Sadly, that is usually how people who take no responsibility for
their own lives end up thinking.
The result for people who think this way is that they soon end up
with "learned helplessness" and are rendered incapable of
striving for any worthwhile goal. They lose the capacity to believe
in themselves. Thus, they lose the vital capacity of persistence
towards a worthy goal. The first stiff breeze easily blows them
against the rocks. And then they point to their latest
disappointment and say, "You see? I told you!"
It's a vicious circle. However the circle is easily broken.
solution is to take responsibility for EVERYTHING that takes place
in your life. Even if you cannot see how you possibly could be
responsible, it is still a far more powerful approach to own
responsibility than to deny it. Also, from a wider spirit-centered
view of our universe, there are many more levels to existence than
merely the physical. Hence there are more ways in which we may
actually BE responsible for events without our own limited
consciousness knowing about it.
You may be very willing to own responsibility when things turn out
as you planned. However, most people look beyond themselves for
someone else to share the credit when things go wrong! The attitude
of people who master life is to be responsible for ALL that happens.
In doing so, they awaken to the fact that they are creators of their
destiny; not merely leaves being tossed in the wind.
Here's an example from my own experience. I recently employed a
solicitor to do some legal work for me. In fact, I had wanted to use
someone else who specialised in this area. However, when I told my
current solicitor, he insisted he could do the job just as well and
beat the quoted price drastically. So he got the job. Result?
It was a disaster. He was every bit as lacking in expertise as I had
originally suspected. In total, it cost me two months in wasted time
and also a fair amount of money.
Whose responsibility was this? Many would blame the
solicitor. After all, he was incompetent. No doubt about it.
However, the responsibility is actually mine. The choice was 100%
mine. I could have used someone else from the start. Or, as things
began to go wrong, I could have terminated the relationship earlier.
I did not properly inform myself to start with, or I second-guessed
my initial instinct. By taking responsibility for this, by seeing
the sequence of MY choices that led to this situation, I assert my
own power to cause results and make the correct decision the next
time. By refusing to do so, I give the power away to the person I
hired. So it could happen again. It is obvious which is the better
strategy for life!
Whenever something happens in your life, for good or ill, tell
yourself, "I am responsible." Then ask yourself, "How
am I going to handle this?" However bad a situation may be, if
you repeat to yourself as an affirmation, "I am
responsible", then you begin to look to yourself for the way
out instead of to external forces. In truth, you are looking
in the right direction. You ARE the true manifestor of your own
This is the way to take control of your life instead of leaving it
in the hands of blind forces. It may sound hard or callous at times.
However, it is not. You are not saying, "It's all my
fault." Rather, you are saying, "I have the power to
affect my life - for good or ill - and I choose to consciously
exercise that power and take responsibility for whatever
consequences I attract." How much better than blaming the
stars, or your boss!
Once you take responsibility for everything that happens, you build
a firm foundation upon which to build your long-term success. Leave
the excuses for someone else. Set your face firmly in the direction
of excellence. Take responsibility!
Dr. Asoka Selvarajah is an active writer/researcher on personal
development and esoteric spirituality. Asoka's work helps people
achieve their full potential, deepen their understanding of mystical
truth, and find joy in their true soul's purpose.