Claim Responsibility For Your Own Life

Imagine being the cause of your life and the opportunity maker within it.

So, our first question to you is this: How is life going for you?

Is it going in the direction you imagined it would? Are you living the life you always wanted? Are the dreams you set in motion still spinning, or have they stopped and left you feeling incomplete? Have you reached the point where you are taking inventory of your life? This is what we know about what happens in the process of living:  When we are not in the presence of it, we are not present to it. As humans, we often put off designing the lives we love until it is too late. We tend to believe that we have all the time in the world—although our time here is finite. The time to begin authoring the design of your life is now. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you must be considering today, whether it is attention to your children, health, marriage, finances, spirituality, or other need. Your time has come to actively participate in your own life.


Step into the intention of living your life with purpose and on purpose. Seize the very core of your being to participate in the present moment . . . every minute, every hour, every day.  Maybe you are one of those who desire to begin something new, to fill what’s been missing in your life, or to scratch the itch of “I sense I need to change.”


Our second question is: What will make you happy?

What role will you play in your own life that will make you content with it? If you had access to the “how to,” would you use it? Living a life you love is possible to do.  You are, after all, the creator of your catalysts . . . as well as your chaos.


Our third question is this: Are you ready to imagine being?

What have you imagined being? Have you realized any of those dreams? What do you imagine being at this point in your life? It could be that you feel you have lost your ability to imagine. It could be that your imagination is vibrant, and you merely need a bit of a push to the “what’s next.”


Remember this: The stuff of life will always get in the way of achieving the life we love, especially if we are not consciously considering who we are and realizing that we cause the happenings of our life.  However, it is never too late to imagine being. Never.  If you want to be an active participant in your life—to become the person that you have always wanted to be—then consider those you love (including yourself) and declare your initial intention:


I will participate in my own life.


It is your life.

And, sometimes, it just seems out of control and you want someone to blame.  This past year was a perfect example of that. In 2009, the anguished cries of millions of people could be heard amid the deepening recession that wrapped itself around the globe.


Recession? Blame the government. Housing foreclosures? Blame the banks. Astronomical medical costs? Blame the insurance companies.  Unemployment? Blame big business. It’s all too easy to blame others for the crises in our lives. Yes, we are, at times, at the mercy of those in whom we place our trust. Yet, while we have the right to feel frustrated and angry for their wrongdoings and mismanagement—and outright greed—we cannot fully assign blame to them for all the bad that has manifested itself in our lives.  Responsibility for our well-being must lie with each of us.


To take back your life, you must imagine being the cause of what takes place in it—and across your entire lifetime.  Responsibility is even rougher when you realize you did impact someone else negatively as a result of your decisions. Throughout history, across the public and private sectors, people have tried skirting their responsibilities. We see this in the CEOs who are involved in large corporate scandals, with investor scam artists, and even with teenagers

who deny that drugs or gang activities were the real issues behind the collapse of their lives or the breakdown of their communities.  Here’s a tip: If you are in doubt about whether to take responsibility, consider the idea of Karma. Karma can kick you in the behind. The thought of being “paid back” for not taking responsibility just may encourage you to assume your share of it.


In order to access the life you truly imagine, you must first assess your current life to determine what role you have—or have not—played in taking responsibility for it. You must:


Realize and accept that you alone must be responsible for your life.

Most of us will have eighty years in this world. During that time, there will be any number of choices and decisions for which we must be responsible. You can certainly ask someone else to

choose your direction, yet, even then, you are responsible for having asked. Each day, you have an opportunity to own your life. Accepting and embracing your responsibility is the first

step toward realizing the results—or consequences—of action or inaction, choice or lack thereof. This responsibility is ultimately on you.


Become clear regarding exactly what you must be responsible for

The bottom line is that you are responsible for the good, the bad, and the ugly. There is as much grace in celebrating your good as there is in taking ownership of your not-so-good. Your responsibilities are founded on choice and decision. This can pertain to how you behave, what you do/don’t do, who you spend time with, what you say/don’t say, what you eat/don’t eat, whether you work out, how you feel, and so forth. As you assess where you are in your life, identify precisely where you need to step in and be more responsible.


Assess who you need to communicate with about your responsibility.

Whether it is to clear up the past or to ensure you are cleared to take ownership of the future, you must come clean with proclaiming your responsibility for the many aspects of your life. Even in arguments with loved ones, you have responsibility—even if shared. With coworkers,

you may disagree or agree to disagree, and the outcome of doing so rests on your shoulders. As you take ownership, it is freeing to let others know you have made this conscious choice. In doing so, you rally supporters or you institute a measure of accountability.


Accept and forgive yourself for previous shortcomings.

We all have them—shortcomings. They present themselves in our ability to manage our time, our tempers, and even our oversights. We too often beat ourselves up for our shortcomings, when what we could be doing is learning from our mistakes and developing our abilities. Assess where you have not quite measured up. Decide to forgive yourself, and do better next time.


Ensure you learn so you don’t repeat the same mistakes.

Mistakes are commonplace in life. Mistakes happen every day. They can be embarrassing and they can negatively impact our confidence.  However, they are necessary to help us learn and grow. We certainly don’t know everything when we enter or exit this world. It is a perpetual process of creating the knowledge base that enables us to make better and better choices. Acknowledge your mistakes—how they were caused and what can be changed to avoid a recurrence. As our knowledge grows regarding what we can cause by taking ownership of our responsibilities, we also learn how we can teach others to do the same.


Access the Life You Imagine

The truth is, if you do not accept your responsibility for being the cause of the outcomes in your life, the dissonance will fester, grow, and follow you across time until you deal with it. As much as accepting responsibility for being the cause in your life can be complicated, it does feel good to realize that the possibility to “cause” rests squarely with you.  In these times, more so then ever before, it is time to take responsibility so you can access the life you imagine.


It is time to be the cause.


Your life is yours, and you have the power to choose between taking responsibility for it or leaving it to others who may not know what you truly want in life.


What can you take responsibility for now that will allow you to be the cause in your life . . . to imagine being?