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A Challenge: Taking Responsibility

“Take Responsibility.” This simple phrase has such a deep impact yet few people ever stop to ponder. Be a responsible adult, don’t go out drinking on a Wednesday night. Be a responsible citizen, don’t litter. Be a responsible employee, don’t spend all day on Facebook.
The purpose of responsibility is to really take ownership of one’s actions and decisions. Example: boredom. One of my friends loves the phrase “Bored people are boring,” but I like “Bored people are not taking responsibility for their current situation.”
Jane turns to Joe and says: “I’m bored.” Whose responsibility is it to cure Jane’s boredom? Joe’s? Jane is the person who is bored. Jane is the person who is making the decisions to be bored. Being bored is an excuse. It’s an excuse that propagates more boredom. Although the choice is generally not conscious, it is still a choice. She is choosing to not find something better to do.
For months, I have been plagued by the problem of boredom at work. I started a new position where my roles and responsibilities are incredibly vague as I am creating the position from scratch. Most people, even those with whom I work closely, do not know how I can be of use. Given little direction, I made the (unconscious) decision to slide into boredom. I used the excuse, "No one has given me a project,” to defend my boredom. I would tell my friends and family as if I had no other choice than to be bored. In reality, I was not taking responsibility for my boredom. In reality, I caused my plight and was refusing to take responsibility for my (in)actions. I made excuses instead of taking responsibility.
Responsibility is such a simple idea yet very few of us actually take responsibility in our daily lives. Responsibility extends beyond finding projects at work or filling your spare time. It extends to our spending habits. It extends into our politics. Our society makes excuses, and I challenge you. Take responsibility.


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    Apr 27 2013: so responsibility could be defined as taking upon oneself the temporal and spiritual needs of another person. we are in 100% control of our choices. we cant choose consequences but we can choose. we relinquish are power over our selves by blaming, running away, murmuring, not forgiving ourselves or others, justification, rationalizing, entitlement, vanity, enabling... im sure theres much more you can add to this list. this is the looser list. this is where losers go.
    • Apr 30 2013: Michael,

      I think you're on the right track, but I would say that taking responsibility should be defined as taking upon oneself the temporal and spiritual needs of oneself. We are in complete control of our choices and too often we run away instead of consciously making the decision to take responsibility and then take action accordingly.

      You're right though, it is the loser list. And no one wants to be a loser.


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