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Responsibility is a big deal in our lives

No one else can force us to take responsibility for anything – we choose to take it. In choosing to take responsibility, we find meaning, and through meaning we find purpose, and through purpose we make our unique contribution to the world. We believe that self-discipline is the cornerstone of success, and we diligently work towards our goals.

"In many ways, your development from child to adult is a process of moving from total dependence, towards independence. When you’re born, you quite literally rely on your parents for EVERYTHING. You can’t even feed yourself, and without your parents or caregivers, you would not be able to survive.

As you mature, and especially in your teenage years, you have the opportunity to start becoming more independent in your journey towards adulthood. With this increasing independence comes with an increasing amount of responsibility.

You cannot have one without the other. There is no independence without responsibility."

For us as adults, this is not a groundbreaking insight. And yet, many of us, myself included, still occasionally revert back to childhood patterns of blaming those around us when we find ourselves in an undesirable situation, or feeling undesirable emotions. As a child, if we're uncomfortable we scream until someone comes to sort it out for us. This is perfectly understandable at age 2, but far less desirable at age 20.

I recently came across the concept of "radical responsibility" and wanted to share a few insights from this book with you:

“Radical Responsibility means radically embracing 100% responsibility and ownership of each and every circumstance you face, day in and day out in your life. This completely goes beyond blame. Radical Responsibility is a trans-blame model, it is stepping out of the blame and shame paradigm altogether.

If you look at the circumstances you face in your life you can often see that you did have some role in creating, allowing, or setting yourself up for these circumstances in one way or another. With that insight and information, you can then make different choices that are going to lead to different results.

By understanding your part in creating a given situation, you can begin to choose how to create your future, and fully take ownership of that.”

Our society seems to thrive on the victim mentality that says that most issues in our lives have been created by other people and things. I believe that at Valenture, we have a unique opportunity to shift this mentality for ourselves and for our students.

My challenge to you this morning is to ask yourself the question, "what experience or circumstance have I blamed my colleague/partner/friend/stranger for over the last week?"

Please think about this carefully. If you don't have a single example over the last week, then you are likely some form of modern-day saint.

The follow on question is, "what part did I play in allowing this experience or circumstance to come into existence?"

Again, I would encourage you to think about this carefully and perhaps even write down the answer.

Finally, you might ask yourself, "what actions can I take right now to change this for the future?"

I find that the most profound changes in our lives don't usually come from awe inspiring moments of clarity or highly charged events which shift our mindsets forever. Rather, it's in the small daily habits we develop, which slowly shift our trajectory over time towards a higher ideal.


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