What Happens When You Take Full Responsibility of Your Life
I’m a huge fan of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and find his life story to be very inspiring. Among the many things I have learn from this famed actor is the importance of taking responsibility for your life.
At the age of 22, young Johnson was cut off from the Calgary Stampeders about two months into the Canadian football season, effectively ending his football career.
For someone who had envisioned a career as a professional football player, this was a huge blow.
For the next few weeks, he became so desolate, spending his entire time sulking in his room and tottering on the brink of depression.
After weeks of living life like a loser, something clicked in his mind that unless he did something, his life would only get worse, not better.
He came to terms with the fact that his football career was over and that no one was coming to help him get his life back on track. He realized that if he wanted to live a great life, he would have to do it himself.
With this realization, Dwayne Johnson decided that he would have to find another route to the life of stardom he had always envisioned.
It was at this time that he made a decision that has become his one of his most popular quotes – with just $7 between him and poverty, he knew that he was broke as hell at the time, but he knew one day he wouldn’t be.
With his new found determination, he shifted his attention and energies to wrestling.
Today, he has achieved far greater success and stardom than he would have ever achieved on the gridiron.
This story is one of my best examples of what it means to take responsibility for your life.
I have realized that many people go through this life without a purpose.
Like a leaf floating down a stream, they let the currents of life take them wherever they want.
It’s not that such people don’t have any dreams and ambitions in their lives. The problem is that they don’t take any firm action to go after these dreams.
Instead of doing whatever it takes to achieve their dreams, they prefer placing blame on their circumstance, other people, or their destiny for not achieving what they want.
They find it easier to blame external factors rather than doing something to change their situation.
If you want to live a great life and fulfill your wildest desires, you need to stop living a reactionary life and instead take life by the horns and face be ready to face whatever it throws at you.
In other words, you have to take responsibility of your life. Oprah Winfrey gives a pretty good explanation of the importance of taking responsibility for your life in the video below.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY OF YOUR LIFE?
Taking responsibility of your life is understanding that you are fully in charge of your own destiny through your own decisions.
Taking responsibility for your life means that you acknowledge that no one has the power to determine how your life turns out – not your friends, not your parents, not even your spouse.
All the power belongs to you.
Once you understand this, you stop relying on others to help you live the kind of life you want or blaming them for things that don’t work out as you hoped.
Taking responsibility of your life also means living a life with purpose and intention. It means having a clear idea what you want out of life, having a plan on how to achieve it, and consciously making decisions that take you closer to achieving your desires.
It means intentionally doing the right thing, even if it might be difficult or painful at the time.
Taking responsibility for your life takes you from the passenger seat to the driver’s seat of your life.
Rather than simply following life wherever it takes you, you take the reins and start determining the direction of your life.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU TAKE RESPONSIBILITY OF YOUR LIFE?
Once you start living your life with purpose and intention, you might notice some changes in your life. These include:
You Start Achieving Your Goals
This is one of the greatest benefits of taking responsibility of your life.
You stop drifting through life aimlessly, and instead start focusing on decisions and actions that will take you closer to your personal goals while avoiding anything that might derail you from these goals.
Here’s the thing about success – it is never accidental. If you want to become a star athlete, you have to sacrifice your morning sleep so that you can train more.
If you want to build a successful business, you have to sacrifice the weekly night out with your group of friends so that you can work on your business.
This is what it means to live a life with purpose and intention, and the result is that you will start achieving more goals than you did before.
You Get Rid of Uncertainty
When you live a life without purpose or intentionality, you will often find yourself plagued by a nagging sense of uncertainty.
You have no plan for your life, you sometimes don’t even know why you are doing some of the things you are doing, and you definitely cannot tell what your life will look like a year or five years down the line.
Of course, this does not mean that people with concrete plans for their life are guaranteed that life will turn out as they envision. Like people in the military say, no battle plan survives contact with the enemy.
Still, someone with a plan guiding their lives is likely to be less uncertain about their life than someone drifting aimlessly.
They know the importance of everything they do in life and how it ties to their life long plan.
Even when life takes an unexpected turn, someone with a purpose for their life is more adaptable, because they know where they are going.
You Become More Courageous
Taking responsibility of your life also helps make you more courageous as you go after your dreams.
This doesn’t mean that someone who has taken responsibility for his or her life doesn’t experience fear.
On the contrary, chasing after your dreams and ambitions will involve some challenges and the risk of failure and embarrassment.
Making some decisions will be difficult because you cannot be sure how they will turn out.
Still, someone who is driven by a specific purpose will make the decision or take action anyway, despite their fear.
Once you learn to forge ahead despite your fear, this is how you develop courage.
On the other hand, when someone without a purpose encounters an uncomfortable decisions, they are more likely to get paralyzed by fear, because there is nothing pushing them to take action in the face of fear.
You Start Making Better Decisions
This is closely related to the previous point.
Understanding that you are responsible for your own life will help enhance your decision making process.
In many life situations, decisions that better for our long term good and success are usually the tougher option.
For example, let’s assume you just received your paycheck, and a group of friends invites you on a trip they have been planning. You have also been thinking of starting your own online business.
In this situation, you have two options. You could use the money to go on the trip, which means you will have to wait much longer before you can start your business.
On the other hand, you could put the money into your business fund and reach your capital requirements much faster, but then you will miss out on a ton of fun, and your friends will probably think you are a boring person, and therefore never invite you to trips any more.
In this situation, someone who is simply drifting in life will probably go for the instant gratification of going on the trip.
However, someone who knows what they want in life may realize that saving towards starting their own business is more important, and so they will forego the trip, even if they will feel that they are missing out on lots of fun.
The same applies in other similar situations. Someone living a purposeful life will make decision that are better for them in the long term, even if the other option might seem better in the short term.
You Will Enjoy Improved Relationships with Others
We are human beings, and unlike robots which are programmed to function efficiently without making the slightest mistake, we are prone to making mistakes in our daily activities and interactions with other people, and that is totally normal.
However, our reactions to these mistakes has a huge influence on the quality of our relationships with others.
When they wrong others, most people either feign ignorance or try to lay the blame on something or someone else.
For instance, someone caught cheating might claim that the spouse was not available or romantic enough, effectively laying the blame for their infidelity on the partner who has been wronged in the first place.
Taking responsibility of your life means that you should acknowledge that your actions have their consequences.
If your actions wrong or otherwise hurt another person, you should take responsibility for your actions, acknowledge that they were hurtful to the other person, and apologize for your mistakes, rather than coming up with something to excuse your behavior.
This shows that you are a person of integrity and earns you the trust and respect of the other person, which in turn leads to better relationships.
You Will Get Richer
Ever wondered why some people are able to build wealth from humble beginnings, while others remain stuck in the same place despite having better incomes?
The answer lies in their financial discipline. Building wealth needs a lot of financial discipline.
To build wealth from your current income, you might need to spend money on a strict budget, wait longer before buying yourself that suit you have always wanted, survive without some services such as a Netflix subscription, treat yourself to night outs less often, and so on.
All the above are tough decisions.
Someone without a plan for their life will choose to indulge themselves in small luxuries here and there without realizing that they are making their financial goals harder to achieve.
Someone who has taken full responsibility for their life, on the other hand, will take a hard look at their finances and make tough decisions that allow them to save more money, even if it means living without some luxuries for the time being.
You Will Become Healthier
The benefits of taking responsibility for your life are not restricted to material success – they also extend to your health. Just like getting your finances right, living a healthy life involves a lot of hard choices and requires a lot of self-discipline.
It is difficult choosing to go to the gym instead of lying on the couch catching up on the latest episode of a thrilling TV series. It is tough choosing to eat veggies and fruits when you could treat yourself to a wide variety of delicious meals.
However, when you take full responsibility for your life, you understand that each of these decisions has an impact on your health, and therefore you are more likely to make the healthier decision, even if it is tough making this decision.
Your Will Live a Better Life
When you live your life without purpose or plan, like a kite caught in the midst of a gale, life becomes miserable.
You leave control over your life to the hand of fate, and since fate doesn’t know your dreams and ambitions, you will never live the kind of life you want, resulting in failure and frustrations.
On the other hand, when you take responsibility for your life, you live life on your own terms.
You create the kind of life you have always wanted, which results in happier life and a sense of fulfilment.
At the end of your life, you will have less regrets because you will be sure that you deliberately lived your life to the fullest.
HOW TO TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY OF YOUR LIFE
After going through the above section, it is clear that taking responsibility of your life will bring several positive results into your life.
Question is, how do actually you do it?
Below are some tips on how to take full responsibility for your life.
Quit the Blame Game
One of the hallmarks of someone who has not taken full responsibility of their life is the propensity to blame others for everything wrong in their life.
Such a person believes that the fact that there are not where they would like to be in life is not their fault, but the fault of something or someone else, such as the economy, their parents, their spouses, their bosses, and so on.
The problem with always trying to find someone or something to blame is that it robs you of the power to take action.
If you believe that you are poor because of how the economy is set up, then there is no motivation to work harder because whatever you do, you cannot change the economy and cannot therefore change your situation.
If you believe that your current situations is a result of your decisions and actions, then this means that it is also possible to change your situation by changing your decisions and actions.
Therefore, the first step to taking control over your life is to quit the blame game and acknowledge that everything boils down to you.
Whatever kind of life you want to live, not one will give it to you or take it away from you.
Only you alone are responsible for your life.
Just like finding someone to blame, complaining about your situation or circumstances puts you in the position of a victim who has no control over their life.
The reality is that the world is not an ideal place, and therefore, things will not always go your way.
If things don’t go as expected, or if something happens to put you in a position of disadvantage, instead of complaining about the situation, focus on what you can learn from the situation and think of what you can do to get in order to get yourself from the situation.
Use the Power of Intention
One of the benefits of being a free-willed human being is that you have the power to choose.
f anything, life is a series of choices. Every single day, you make several choices before you even get to the office.
Should you wake up immediately after the alarm or snooze it? Black tie or red one? Sweater or blazer? Coffee or tea? Your car or the subway?
You are constantly making choices. Even when you opt to not make a choice, you are effectively making a choice.
Since life is a series of choices, taking responsibility of your life requires you to be intentional with the choices you make.
Rather than making choices randomly or based on what feels good at the moment, you want to make choices based on your life goals.
Each choice you make either takes you closer or farther away from the goals you have for your health, your finances, your career, your relationships, your business, and so on.
Using the power of intention is all about making choices that take you closer to your goals.
Do Away with the Excuses
How many times have you wanted to do something but then came up with an excuse as to why you couldn’t do it? Either you didn’t have enough time, you had no idea how to do it, you didn’t have enough money, you didn’t think it was the right time, the list is endless.
The problem with excuses is that they keep you from taking action. There is a popular saying that if you really want something, you will find a way, and if you don’t, you will find an excuse.
In other words, having an excuse is like an admission to yourself that you are not willing to do what it takes to achieve something, or you don’t want it enough.
Taking responsibility for your life means getting rid of excuses and doing whatever it takes to achieve your goals. Don’t have enough money? Find someone to fund you.
Don’t know how to do something?
Learn how to do it.
Don’t have the time to work on your dreams? Free up time by getting unnecessary activities from your calendar.
Follow Through with What You Say You’ll Do
There is no better demonstration of taking responsibility for your life than following through with what you say you will do.
Almost everyone in life has some things they want to do to improve their lives, but the difference between those who achieve greatness and those who don’t is action.
How many times have you said you will do something but failed to do it?
This could have been something good-intentioned, such as going to the gym, saving more money, starting a business, being more careful with your money, eating healthier, you name it.
You cannot take responsibility for your life if you don’t do what you say you will do.
So, from today, when you say you will do something (either to yourself or when you tell another person), put it in your calendar, do away with any excuses that might keep you from doing it, and actually follow through and make sure that it’s done.
Once you learn how to take follow all your plans with action, you will be on your way to taking full responsibility for your actions.
If you want to live a great and fulfilling life, you cannot afford to drift aimlessly through life.
The key to living the life of your dreams lies in taking full responsibility of your life, which means that you should live your life with purpose and intentionality.
Instead of living like a victim who only reacts to life, you should take charge and take your life in the direction you want.
Once you do this, several positive things will happen in your life.
You will start achieving more of your goals, your health and finances will improve, you will enjoy better relationships with others, you will become more courageous, your decision-making will improve, and your life in general will become better.
Give the tips shared above a try and see as your life starts changing for better!
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