Weekend fix for the soul: The importance of taking responsibility

  • Kamalrukh Khan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 25, 2015 15:04 IST
It is so much easier to shut down and go into victim mode, but it takes immense courage to be responsible and to react with love. (Shutterstock Photo)

When we talk of responsibility, it essentially means being accountable for our OWN actions in alignment with our core values and beliefs. It is about our words, our actions, our thoughts, not anyone else's. What others say, do or think is none of our business.

For most people, the word "responsibility" denotes "blame", as in "who is responsible for this?" When things turn out well, it is easy to accept responsibility for success. But when the going gets tough, the blame game begins.

Well, here's some big news - This life of ours is 100% OUR responsibility and we have the power to change things. No one is coming to save us. When we point a finger at someone, we have just accepted victim-hood and handed over our power to them. There are many things we cannot control, which can overwhelm and adversely change our lives, and there is nothing we can do about it.

Responsibility is in accepting what we cannot change, changing what we can and knowing that it is our job to keep ourselves happy. Happiness is an attitude, not an occasion. WE make of our life what we choose to. When we accept full responsibility for what we have and haven't done and how our lives have turned out, our perception of the situation changes into a positive one.

As Goethe rightly said, "It is my daily mood that determines the weather. I possess the power to make life joyous or miserable. I can choose to be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I choose to humiliate or humour, hurt or heal. In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated".
Sometimes it so happens that people get embarrassed by the way their near and dear ones or friends may speak or behave.

However, that accountability is not just theirs to take. We can only be accountable for our own poor reactions without trying to control another.

At times people think they would be happier if they just had more money or that perfect partner or if a certain family member would just change somehow or if they just lost some weight.

Here's bigger news - If you are not happy without a relationship, then you are not going to be happy being in one. If you are not happy without the money, then you are not going to be happy with it. If you are not going to be happy with your current weight, you are not going to be happy on losing it.

I read somewhere that the line between childhood and adulthood is crossed when we move from saying "It got lost" to 'I lost it". Indeed, being accountable and understanding that we are responsible for how we perceive things, is a concept of power that puts us in the driver's seat. The scenery from this vantage point can only be appreciated when we are accountable and self reliant. This is an essential first step to becoming truly-empowered and fully enabled. That's the good news!

Accepting responsibility is truly transformational and miracles then become commonplace. It enables us to respond consciously instead of reacting sub-consciously. Just like a power-plant that doesn't have energy, but generates it, we don't have attitude, we generate one. It is so much easier to shut down and go into victim mode, but it takes immense courage to be responsible and to react with love.

So let's choose responsibility then, and take charge of our own happiness, and make the rest of our lives the best of our lives.

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