Responsibility For Life ::
When going is good and a
person achieves some success, he always takes pride in
his achievement, pats himself at his back and starts
boasting of his competence, hard work, perseverance etc.
Generally the success goes into his head. He starts
behaving with an air of superiority. His brilliant
success in examination, his bagging a prized job,
promotion in the company or signing a major business
contract are occasions to celebrate his personal
efforts, smartness and capabilities. He hardly
acknowledges any support, co-operation or contribution
by any one else towards his success.
whenever a person faces any failure or is unable to meet
with any commitment he looks for scapegoats. He
immediately points his finger at some people, events or
circumstances to blame for his failure. If he is late
getting up in the morning, the blame is on his spouse,
parent or the alarm clock for not waking him up in time.
When he misses the bus, train or flight, the blame is on
his family or traffic system, city management
authorities or the weather. If he can’t find an easier
scapegoat, a person even blames God for all the
negatives in his life
attitude is some thing like this:
I cannot be held responsible; it was not my fault
My wife failed to wake me up in time.
Relatives dropped in and stayed long after midnight.
I am just unlucky.
My stars are not just in right places.
My assistant in office is useless; he was at
It wasn’t my job or responsibility.
How could I do this when I had other important
things to do?
My boss interferes too much.
We could have done better but for the sluggish
market conditions. So on and so forth…
There is always some one or some thing else to blame
for all that goes wrong. Throughout life they
practice intellectual defensiveness and keep on
justifying their thoughts and actions to themselves
and to others. Whether they are right or wrong,
they tend to offer seemingly logical arguments to
justify their actions and feel contented that there
is nothing more to be done.
Most people find it difficult to manage difficult
and uncomfortable emotions like anger. When a person
loses his temper and behaves irrationally, he not
only hurts others but also himself. He fails to
realize that irrespective of the others instigation,
the emotion of anger is his own. Others may have
just given the spark but the fire in the belly is
his own. He fails to own the responsibility for his
own emotion. He takes full credit for his positive
emotions like love, kindness, compassion, care,
empathy etc, without feeling least accountable
for his negative emotions like jealousy, hatred,
arrogance and rigidity etc.
Every person experiences the quality of life, events
and circumstances that he has consciously or
unconsciously created for himself. It is foolish to
complain about the circumstances of life, for these
are the outward manifestation of what we are
ourselves. When life is not going smoothly and the
problems start becoming difficult to handle, instead
of getting frustrated and blaming our fortune, our
parents or others, we should go within and examine
our past deeds. Loosing our cool or getting
irritated with the persons around us is easy, it is
more sensible to introspect whether we ourselves are
responsible in any way for the events? We might find
our bad behaviour, faulty thinking or poor
communication contributed in some ways for shaping
the current happenings.
Taking Responsibility and Development
Blaming others might satisfy your urge to find
scapegoat. But examining the situation and
especially going within to look at our past actions
might release tremendous creative energy leading to
early resolution of problems. Even when you realize
that others or circumstances beyond you were the
real culprits, you can strategize differently to
confront similar situations in future. This will
lead to personal growth and transformation.
Perceptions will become more realistic and quality
of life will improve.
Even in an organisation, several issues and problems
crop up on daily basis. These hinder the smooth
functioning of the business and threaten to create
disharmony among people. If a conscious effort is
made by people to look within for root causes of the
problem, they may find that the current difficulties
have arisen because of past carelessness, actions or
inactions? Such exercise could lead to long term
solutions of problems instead of quick fix approach.
But this takes courage!
as long as a person keeps blaming outside factors,
there is no scope for any improvement. If things
have to improve, a person must start looking inside
and asking himself questions like, ‘Where did I go
wrong’? ‘What can I do to improve things’? He should
meditate on his personal weaknesses or drawbacks and
take steps to correct the situations for future.
This alone will bring about desired changes in his
The moment a person understands that he is
responsible for his own life; he starts planning his
life better. When he fails to reach his work place
in time, he does not look for excuses nor points his
finger at the family members or the bad traffic.
Instead he understands and accepts his personal
responsibility for not taking necessary steps
the night before or in the morning. He examines his
own shortcomings and attempts to overcome them in
In his famous book ’The 7 Habits of Highly Effective
People’, the famous author Stephen Covey explains
‘responsibility’ as ‘response-ability’ – ability to
choose response. According to him highly pro-active
people do not blame circumstances, conditions or
conditioning for their behaviour. Their behaviour is
the product of their own conscious choice based on
their perceptions and values rather than a product
of their condition based on their feelings only. He
further observes that when a person’s behaviour is
the result of their feelings only, he becomes
reactive. Reactive people are generally affected by
their physical environment. For example, if the
weather is good, they feel good and if the weather
is bad, it affects their attitude and performance.
On the other hand, the proactive person carries his
own weather with him. Whether it rains or shines, it
makes no difference to him. He is value driven.
Whether to be reactive
or pro-active is again a matter of personal choice.
Every person has a freedom of the choice to either
react or respond in the face of any stimulus. If
this freedom is judicially exercised, it becomes
easy to feel responsible for the consequences
there-after. We have a ‘choice’ of choices we make
but once having made a ‘choice’, we have no choice
of the consequences of our ‘choice’. We can become
the owner driver of our life’s vehicle than the paid
driver. Only the owner driver has the privilege to
choose when and where to stop, where to take a turn
or stop to relax. The paid driver does not have this
freedom. He must obey the commands of his master,
When a person’s marriage is on rocks, taking
responsibility would mean examining his own personal
conduct, attitude; action and behaviour rather than
pointing finger at his spouse and blaming her for
every thing that went wrong.
Unless we accept our responsibility, we become the
victims of life instead of its master. Accusing
others and holding grievances for our failures is
easy but taking responsibility for one's life
requires courage and wisdom. It means mature
thinking and hard work. It means being part of the
solution rather a part of the problem. This is
Taking ‘responsibility’ does not mean blaming
ourselves or carrying a guilt complex in our mind.
It means creating an awareness of ‘as I sow, so
shall I reap’. It means stopping to think that I am
always right and others are wrong. It means
accepting that what happens to us is the result of
our own choices. It means being pro-active in
nurturing our relationships and creating the right
kind of environment around us so that it generates
positive vibrations for a joyful and satisfying
Self Made People
proclaim proudly and at the top of their voice
that they are ‘self made’. They did not
seek or receive any support from any one for
their growth. No one held their hands and led
them on the stairs to success. They have been
self-reliant. Broadly speaking they may be right
in their proclamation but truly speaking they
have been supported and helped by many others –
persons, agencies and organisations. Let us
examine the facts.
From the moment we
are born and all throughout our life, several
factors facilitate the smoothness of our life.
Birth was smoothened by competent doctors and
nurses. Graduation in school and college was
made possible because of the foresight, hard
work, immaculate planning and financial
contribution of several agencies including
parents, educationists, planners, donors,
society and government. The total cost per
student to any educational institution is
generally several times more than the fees paid
by a full fees paying student. Up to the point
any student is engaged in studies,
it is the parents,
family and society that are paying for him, as soon
as a student graduates to professional work life and
starts earning, he generally thinks of only
bettering his personal lot. His focus is on his
personal growth, his wife, his children and material
Responsible people do
go out of their way to show their gratefulness to
the society and contribute their resources of time
and money for worthwhile social causes. Ideally it
should be the bounden duty of every one to
contribute to the best of his abilities to nurture
the process, which nurtured us?