Individual Responsibility defined
Individual Responsibility is the concept that as individuals (men and women alike), we are the creators/authors of our realities/circumstances in life – our own Destiny. Truth be told, we do NOT begin to wield control over our life until we have sincerely accepted that we are responsible of the experiences we meet in our life. Be it at home, at school, on the workplace, in the street, …, anywhere! On the marvelous SUCCESS journey, Individual Responsibility is one sour pill everyone traveler very much struggles with, but has to swallow right at the port of origin (before boarding the vessel). Once we embrace it, our life can literally change overnight. We begin to see things in a new and bright light. That is, our perspective changes and causes our attitude to change for the better!
Scapegoats are ubiquitous
Popular scapegoats are God (or any concept we hold of a Higher Being), our parents, our partners in marriage and business, the government, our boss, our teachers, mother nature, etc. As a great teacher put it more than two thousand years ago, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”. This is the parable of the mote and the beam in Luke 6:41 KJV. What a simple yet very powerful lesson! Though in apostolic language, the lesson is still quite relevant to our everyday modern life, no matter what our particular circumstances happen to be.
Exceptions to the rule
Of course, there are things we do not control directly, such as the course of the sun, the succession of day and night, the tide of the ocean, the rhythm of the seasons, etc. The Great Architect chose to withdraw those things from the action domain of our individual Will, for the good of the greater whole.
Likewise, it seems inconceivable to hold immature beings responsible of what happens to them. By this we mean babies (or kids in general) until they reach the age of reason. During that early period of life, they depend mostly on their close circles (parents, school, etc.), to do their thinking for them.
The good news is, we need not worry about things we cannot control. Instead, we should worry about the numerous “little” things we can control but have been trained to ignore. There are many aspects of our individual lives, over which we have full control. Indeed, everybody has the power to choose: Willpower. As a matter of fact, a lot of great minds think this is our most valuable god-given power as human beings; this is what sets humankind above the lower animals! We can choose what to think, how to feel, what to focus our attention on, what to eat, what to wear, who to love, where to live, where to go to school, what to major in, what car to drive, what songs to listen to, what shows to watch, our favorite colors, etc.
Individual Responsibility is NOT taking the Blame!
Now, we hear you say, “What! You mean to say that guy who came from nowhere and knocked me over in the street a year ago, I attracted him?”. Without meaning to be rude, the answer is YES, you did attract that “ugly” guy. The same way you attracted that handsome gentleman or that pretty lady who gave you the most magnificent smile at the coffee shop the other day! No finger pointing here. Individual Responsibility has nothing to do with blaming ourselves. The same way blaming other people for what happens to us, it is also counter-productive to blame ourselves for the undesirable circumstances in our life. We should not waste time trying to find when we planted that particular seed (thought) in the past (near of far) which sprouted and grew into that unpleasant experience. In our experience, this is a place many people get hung up, especially when considering concepts of blame and childhood illnesses or tragedies.
A glimpse on the science behind Individual Responsibility
Our physical environment is but a mere reflection of our inner world – our world of power! “Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth” (Luke 11:2, KJV). We never get what we want in life. Instead, we always get what we are. “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”, ipse dixit Mahatma Gandhi.
Individual Responsibility also has a very practical aspect to it. It is easier to change ourselves than trying to change the whole world around us. And the beauty in doing this is, as we change, our world eventually changes to fit our new awareness.
So, how does it really work? Our thoughts manifest into reality. This is The Law of Attraction, which states that “Like attracts like”. The Law of Attraction is an application of the greater Law of Vibration. Simply put, EVERYTHING in the universe vibrates. Everything is in perpetual motion. Also, everything in the universe, from the tiniest microbe to the most gigantic star, is made of the same building block: energy – also referred to as God, Allah, Jehovah, etc. We attract into our life those things that have the same frequency as our predominant mental attitude. There are other important laws governing the universe. For the curious minds, it is worth checking out “Working With The Law”, by Raymond Holliwell.
Accepting Individual Responsibility marks an essential delineation between childhood and adulthood. This is actually about mental and spiritual maturity. We are not true grown-ups until we cease to seek scapegoats everywhere and in all circumstances, be it in our finances; our love, sex and romance lives; our family lives; our health; our neighborhood; our business; and you name it.
How to accept personal responsibility?
It is also important to practice Forgiveness frequently. The true meaning of forgiveness is to let go of (wrong) things completely, to abandon them. We need to let go of the past, our slight misdeeds in order to be able to focus on important tasks. Forgiveness means choosing to look forward rather than backward. Forgiveness frees us of the nasty feelings of guilt and resentment, thereby allowing us to stay on course for SUCCESS. Truth is, we will fall once in awhile. That is okay because we are humans after all. But it is not okay to lay flat on the ground forever. Chapter 9 of Holliwell’s “Working with the Law” concludes with a beautiful poem on forgiveness that is worth checking out.
Invectus (poem written in 1875 by William Ernest Henley)
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Accepting Individual Responsibility takes us from the passenger seat of our life and places us right into the driver seat. We are in control. Our Exceptional SUCCESS journey begins when we accept Individual Responsibility!
To your Exceptional SUCCESS!