Personal Response-Ability

Last night as I was winding down from a long work day, I had stumbled upon Deepak Chopra presenting his Spiritual Laws of Success on PBS. I’ve never listened to him speak before and only had read one of his older books many years ago. So, I decided to tune in to see if I could gain any new insight from it.

A good portion of his talk were most definitely ideas I’ve heard and considered before from many years of reading and learning from Dr. Wayne Dyer. However, he suddenly said something that completely sparked something in my Spirit and mind that had me fascinated and surprised I hadn’t considered before!

He asked his audience to look at the word “Responsibility”. It is “response ability” or the ability to respond to situations in your life. Never have I ever looked at this word in this way before even though I’ve always preached to others the idea of “Personal Responsibility” in their lives. This now breathes new life into this idea.

When talking about Personal Responsibility, I have always taught the young people in my life that in order to grow and be successful in life, they must accept the fact that they have more control over the outcomes in their lives than they may believe. They can either be victims in their life or people who trust themselves to make wise choices.

While it is true, we don’t control every aspect of things that present themselves to us in the course of our lives, we can choose to respond with wisdom and love. This is what personal responsibility (response-ability) is all about. People who choose to play Victim choose not to respond or don’t know how to respond.

And truly, most people end up reacting (rather than responding) to situations and usually with high emotional outbursts of anger, fear, and jealousy. When we can learn to accept our ability to respond to those things in life we find most difficult, we can then know the true meaning of personal responsibility.

And when we fully internalize the idea of Personal Responsibility, we can then start to see things in life become even easier lessons in the school of life. The pop quizzes we encounter in the day to day will feel like a breeze because we came prepared with the ability to respond.

  1. Nice piece. I’d heard the term “respone-ability” years ago, perhaps through Landmark Education, and always liked the distincintion. Yesterday I “happened upon” the following quote that also aligns with this topic:

    “Your triggers are *your responsibility*. It isn’t the world’s obligation to tiptoe around you.”

    I believe one of the greatest psychospiritual scourges or diseases is victimhood. Mind you there are clearly innocent people in the world as we see daily horrors from Ukraine. But I’m talking about victimhood of the mind–not taking responsibility to respond appropriately vs. reacting defensively.

    Victimhood is often a very touchy subject to explore.

    1. Hey Layton

      Thanks so much for your comment, I completely agree. Appreciate the kind words as well. Along this same topic of personal responsibility, I’d recommend “Three Magic Words” by U.S. Andersen.

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