"Everything that happens to you is self-created.
Whenever you're responding to any situation, whether it's a sip of coffee,
or a traffic jam, or a love note, or criticism from a boss, or rainy weather,
you're in fact responding to a signal that you generated within yourself."
~ Deepak Chopra

There are two ways to look at taking personal responsibility, one in the sense of acting dutifully, and another in a more radical – slightly peculiar, profound and unusual – sense. By this I mean taking initiative and acting from a place of power and leadership.

The first sense is probably most familiar to you. I want to talk about both. Both are essential in having a stellar relationship with yourself and with others.

On a basic level, taking responsibility means being, well, responsible!

It means you choose to make your life, and those you interact with, clear, clean and in integrity.
It means being an adult: Mean what you say and say what you mean; Do what you say you are going to do, when you said you are going to do it – and when you don't, clean up your messes. Admit when you are wrong and when you screwed up, cop to your part in a snarl; Learn from it, do it differently next time.

And granted, none of that is easy. Most of the time it means admitting you are wrong when you are wrong, and you (like all of us) would prefer to be right, to look good, to save face, even if that is a sham.

However, to put it succinctly, you can be right, or you can be happy. Your choice.

On another level, the "radical" level, taking personal responsibility means deciding to be the sanest person in the room at all times.

It means that you realize that you create your own reality, that you accept that you are the cause of everything that happens in your world, so you are therefore the best and only qualified person to do anything about it.

A little shaky on the "I create my own reality" concept? It means that you are clear that there is no one version of reality. There is yours. You create your version of reality based on your particular personal patterns, interpretations and reactions. It also means you recognize there is a distinction between a thing occurring in your reality, and what you decide that occurrence means or what to do about it.

Once you've come that far, it means that you realize that you are the most fit person to steer any situation, conversation or relationship you find yourself struggling in toward joy, clarity, and health. It means, you first! It means not waiting for anyone else to do it, even when – especially when – you think the other person is responsible!

Since you create your version of reality, you are the best and only person to shift it.

Taking radical personal responsibility on this level means that you decide your overall objective is to have healthy and extraordinary interactions and relationships with the other people in your life, including YOU, that it is you who acts first to make this happen, and that that is more important than you being RIGHT.

Again, you can be right, or you can be happy: your choice. Or should I say, your duty, your initiative, your responsibility.

And here's the kicker: taking radical personal responsibility means that you also take responsibility for your own happiness and joy. How does that one work exactly? And how exactly is that good news? I'll work it out for you in a few following sections, starting with Your Sweet Downward Spiral. Join me and I will hold forth.

Go to Your Sweet Downward Spiral
Back to Relationship With Yourself

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