The best gift

Who me?
My greatest failures, and those I have seen with others often arise due to one thing:

A failure to accept personal responsibility at the appropriate time.

Some things you can’t avoid. These are lightning strike events. Unforeseeable or at least very hard to predict. You get struck down by illness, you lose a key team member due to an accident, your main supplier’s plant burns down. These events may be associated with frustration and stressful times, and at times grief.

Matters you can avoid by taking personal responsibility earlier are distinguished by relatively greater sense of personal grief/musing/blaming/upset/guilt.

Mostly when people ‘lose their rag’ at someone else it is borne from their own failure to accept responsibility for a number of possible reasons:

    • Not staying in touch
    • Not keeping in contact on an important project
    • Not relaying their standards clearly enough
    • Not having provided all the necessary information
    • Not having picked up on the cues that the person was behind
    • Not setting a clear time frame or constraints
    • Not having trusted the person sufficiently

If someone is doing something for you, then that is the point they are doing it “for you”. You need to ensure they have taken on a commitment within their reach. You can’t just expect it to be done.

On the flip side if you are doing something for someone else, then do it, and if you can’t then let them know immediately.

    • I was too busy
    • It was unrealistic
    • It was too hard
    • I didn’t know how
    • I forgot

Are all just lame excuses.

We recognise these uncomfortable moments because they will be associated with (one or more of):

    • Blaming
    • Upset
    • Guilt
    • Anger
    • A sinking feeling

As compassionate as I am in what I do I am fairly direct with people about their responsibility to change their situation. No one else can do it for you. No one motivates you, demotivates you, makes you sad, angry happy or mad. We do it all by ourselves.

Nobody is broken, we all work perfectly. We get exactly what we create.

When we can step out and step up to see ourselves as the architects of our own life then we commence a new journey of possibility, liberation, personal freedom and – at the very outset personal responsibility.

It is the best gift anyone can receive.

4 Replies to “The best gift”

  1. Dear Richard,

    I absolutely agree with your point that often failure arises due to non acceptance of personal responsibility in time. We often blame others for our failures, It may be circumstances, situations,environments and personal problems etc, but we fail to look into our efforts and decisions. Timely actions solve even difficult tasks and untimely actions are unable to solve even the easy task. So, time is critical and deciding factor to solve problems. I believe that circumstances will be there all the time but how we see them make a lot of difference. If we see them as an opportunity, we can overcome them and if we see them as obstacles, circumstances will overcome your capabilities. This is the difference. It is all in our thoughts and perception.

    1. Dear Ajay
      many thanks for your encouragement and support. Your observation about ‘timely’ is very valid. You will see I build on another matter needing timeliness in tonights post – about apologising. I wish you well, Regards Richard.

  2. Dear Richard,
    An intersting post and lot of good practical thoughts that you have shared. I look at things from a different angle. What makes a person tick as successful? Accepting the responsibility in difficult times and honouring the commitment with positive contributions would also change the fate. This is what really counts and noticed by the senior/top management.

    There is a clear demarcation in the attitude and approach taken by highly successful people, mediocres and frustrated people. Your pointers probably are for the last category. You may push mediocres to the upper category by developing their aptitude, changing attitude and work style habits for looking opportunities even in adversities by focusing on solutions. There is no word like ‘problem’ in a dictionery of suceessful people.

    1. Dear Dr Asher, thank you for your contribution and checking in on my blog. I absolutely agree that those who are successful have the traits you describe. I like the distinction between mediocre and frustrated – that has not occurred to me before (though thinking now even worse is mediocre and frustrated!). In NZ we talk of a ‘can do’ approach and that is carried by most successful people and all entrepreneurs. Warmest regards, Richard

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