Pillar I in the VII Pillars to Success is Personal Responsibility. Personal responsibility is about accepting the role I play in whatever is happening in my life. It is my ability to manage my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
I like to think of the song I learned as a child-"Head, Heart, Knees, and Toes" only I changed the words to help me remember: "Head, Heart, and Hands." How I think about a situation contributes to how I feel about a situation which contributes to how I respond.
First cause to all things is always thought. Wayne Dyer wrote a book a couple years ago, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life that exemplifies this idea. Dr. Dyer begins his book with a quote by George Bernard Shaw, "Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."
Personal ReSponsibility is choosing to change my mind which changes my feeling and my response will change automatically. Some of the best examples of this come from my experience working with people from New Orleans after Katrina. I had over 300 new clients almost overnight who had lost everything-homes, clothing, jobs, family members, their way of life. I worked with them through the use of resettlement grants to provide housing, job-training, clothing, transportation and even counseling.
Many of them saw this experience as tragic and became extremely depressed. However, there were 1000s who saw it as a new opportunity to gain new experiences, and skills thus a new life. WOW what a different perspective. Recently, I had a one of those clients approach me in downtown Atlanta; he hugged me and proceeded to tell me how wonderful his life is now with a new job, a new home, etc. He chose to see the joy in the eye of the storm rather than the loss he experienced.
There is a quote by Albert Schweitzer I like to use when teaching this idea, "Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will-his personal responsibility."
Napolean Hill once said, "No albi will save you from accepting the responsibility." Personal ReSponsibility is about accepting the consequences for the reality you created and knowing you choose how to live your life.
You control you Responses. And best of all, You Can Have What You Want! So how will take on a new level of Personal ReSponsibility this week?