Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. ~ Calvin Coolidge
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For me the purpose of life is central to being and doing. My purpose is to continually strive to evolve – to become a better human, to make a bigger difference to my family, my community, my world and myself. Thinkers over the years have proposed various motives for the human purpose. Freud believed in the ‘will to pleasure’, while Adler believed in the ‘will to power’ as the force that drives human actions. For me Victor Frankl’s premise that the ‘will to meaning’ provides the central purpose to human life, resonates strongly. Frankl states that, “Human existence – at least as long as it has not been neurotically distorted – is always directed to something, or someone, other than itself – be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter lovingly.” He calls this self-transcendence, and contrasts it with self-actualization as Maslow uses the term. Self-actualization, even pleasure and happiness, are side-effects of self-transcendence and the discovery of meaning. He quotes Albert Schweitzer: “The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”
The Hindu concepts of ‘Dharma’ , ‘Karma’ and ‘Moksha’ are very appealing. Dharma is defined as the ‘right way of living’, ‘proper conduct’, ‘duty’ or ‘righteousness’, ‘the means through which humans approach the desired goal of human life’, ‘that from which results happiness and final beatitude’.Karma is usually understood as a sum of all that an individual has done, is currently doing and will do. Karma is not about retribution, vengeance, punishment or reward; karma simply deals with what is. The effects of all deeds actively create past, present and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one’s own life, and the pain and joy it brings to them and others. Humans therefore have the power and responsibility to shape their lives by focusing on their present behavior that can shape their future. Moksha is seen as a final release from one’s worldly conception of self, the loosening of the shackle of experiential duality and a realization of one’s own fundamental nature which is true being, pure consciousness and bliss an experience which is ineffable and beyond sensation.
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Responsibility assumption is a doctrine in the personal growth field holding that each individual has substantial or total responsibility for the events and circumstances that befall them in their life. While there is little that is notable about the notion that each person has at least some role in shaping their experience, the doctrine of responsibility assumption posits that the individual’s mental contribution to his or her own experience is substantially greater than is normally thought.
There is nothing more important than taking full responsibility for what happens in our life. If you haven’t taken full responsibility in your life, then you are only waiting for the “real life” to begin. This may sound a bit cruel, but actually that is the essence of what it is. Something has to happen, something is not yet quite right, and something is holding you back. You are holding yourself back.
Only the responsible person enables him or herself to get to the next level of personal development. You are responsible for everything that happens in your life, for everything you are happy with and everything you are not happy with. You simply must accept the fact, that everything that is around you right now is the direct effect of who you are, or who you were until that very moment. Taking responsibility is the starting point for growth in your life. It is looking inside and realizing that if you want the world around you to get better; you will have to get better. A lot of what we describe as success in life flows directly from your taking responsibility in life.
The mind-set of the irresponsible person is that there is someone out there who is responsible. Who might that be? Then you realize that you give power away to an illusion, an imaginary someone that in reality must be yourself. There is none other to blame; neither the politicians, nor the boss in the office nor the “people on top”. There is only you who is responsible for your life. If you claim this, then you move to a powerful position. Sometimes, there is the misperception that if you take responsibility, especially when you are with other people in a working environment you will be the stupid one who has to stand for what you said now. But that is only looking at it in the short term. You must realize that with the so-called “burden of responsibility” comes the freedom of living your life fully, if you go through with it. It is fun too, to change for the better once you see that you are now making progress in a desirable direction.
If you take responsibility over and over again in a people-environment you will definitely grow and advance individually and personally. In a working environment eventually you will be recognized and will be able to advance. You will build trust among people and you will become a leader in the group, sooner or later. More important is the fact that you will become a leader yourself. You will achieve personal development by expanding on the demands you set on yourself. By committing yourself to responsibility, you grow inevitably.
You can take control of responsibility in your life, now, by following these steps, responsibly:
- Ask yourself: what is that which is holding you back the most in your life? There might be a resistance to answering this from somewhere inside yourself but you must get the answer, here, to proceed in this journey of personal development.
- Realize and say to yourself: “I am responsible!” several times until it feels completely true. Simply clear your mind from all doubts and repeat again to yourself “I am responsible!” And, that you mean it. Don’t take this light heartedly. There will be a certain feeling attached to this if you really mean it. Most likely it will be a sensation of surrendering to the situation, accepting it and at the same time building up the potential energy to act in a way to change the situation to wherever you want to be.
- Feel how you take full responsibility for this. There is a certain tension building up now in your mind and also the potential of energy that is empowering, because you are in charge and know that you are now able to change the situation. It may come as rationalization, which means an internal dialog that is justifying why you are not responsible. You have to overcome and overpower all negative thoughts at this stage.
- Whoever you give responsibility for your life, you give the control over your life. You don’t want to do that, do you? Sure another person would also take responsible actions, but you are concerned with yourself, here. You want to move yourself into power and take control of your life.
- Make a first list of the things you will do now. Start with the first item on the list now (or as soon as possible). Push through all resistance. Only you can decide to get in the driving seat of your life, so just do it.
If you’ve done it, and are really committed to it, there is a whole new world waiting to be opened to you. You begin to grow personally and socially and then sky is the limit. You begin to permanently eliminate your limiting structures and grow because you took the responsibility.
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