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Why self responsibility is the key to being the best you

The debate is still out on how people can find success in life. The problem, of course, remains that success looks different to everyone.

How can I tell you how to find success if my definition of success is different from yours?

Well, it turns out that no matter what you want your life to look like, there are a few key elements that have to fall into place in order to make that life a reality.

One of those key elements is self responsibility.

Which perspective do you adopt?

Some people believe that life happens to them, while others believe that life happens for them. The perspective you wish to adopt can drastically change your life – for the better.

If you are passively passing through your life thinking that life is happening to you, good or bad, regardless of what you do to change it, then you won’t ever get out of your own way to make good things happen.

Why would you? If something bigger or badder than you is in control, shouldn’t you be worrying about other things? It would seem so for some people.

On the other side of that coin, however, is another group of people who firmly believe that they have the power to influence their lives.

And many of those believers are people who used to think that life happened to them. Then, at some point, something happens to change their mind and they start focusing on taking responsibility for their actions, good or bad, and they start to see change in their lives.

There is a famous quote from Charles R. Swindoll that summarizes this perfectly:

“The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”

Usually, people adopt the perspective that they can change their reality by changing their perspective after they realize they can lose those last 10 pounds, they can get that raise at work, and they can start their own business.

You’re more in control of the outcome than you think

Whenever we overcome major hurdles in life, we tend to want to give up our efforts to luck.

Sometimes, it feels more like dumb luck, but if you trace back your steps from idea to completion, you’ll find that you were probably more in control of the outcome than originally thought.

After all, did fate make you run 5km every morning before work? No, you did that. And if you can do that, what else can you do?

The idea that our lives are just passing us by is a commonly adopted practice and widely accepted human fate. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Everyday millions of people take steps in a different direction than they were previously headed and make real, lasting change in their lives.

Some people leave their spouse, quit their job, or book that vacation. Sometimes, it’s a small choice like choosing fruit over another bag of potato crisps.

The point is that nobody is making you eat that food, stay in that job, or be miserable. We are choosing those things.


(We just released a new eBook: The Art of Resilience: A Practical Guide to Developing Mental Toughness. We highlight 20 of the most resilient people in the world and break down what traits they have in common. We then equip you with 10 resilience-building tools that you can start using today–in your personal life or professional career. Check it out here.)


It’s just easier to blame someone or something else than it is to take self responsibility. So when you find yourself in a slump, ask yourself what you did to get there. Because if you can will yourself into a slump, you can will yourself out of it.

Success is a matter of perspective

In work, success usually comes in the form of money, promotions, fancy job titles, and opportunity. But it can be about other things as well.

For many entrepreneurs, success is about finding that elusive balance they craved while working a 9-5. It’s about being able to earn money they never thought possible, or clocking out early on a Friday afternoon because they can.

To some people, paying their bills and having enough money for a case of beer on the weekend is their definition of success. To others, millions of dollars in the bank is what they consider success.

Whatever it is that you want in life, you can have it. If you want it bad enough and are willing to put the work in to get it. All too often people think that they will fall into money or that someone will notice them and give them a promotion.

But if you want those things, you need to show up and be seen first.

How to take self responsibility

Taking responsibility doesn’t mean doing way more work than you need to. It’s about accepting that you are the only one who can change your life for the better.

If you don’t like something about how you are living, it’s about taking the time to change it. No one can do that for you. Not your mom, your dad, your rich uncle, Frank: no one can change what isn’t working in your life, except you.

So now you have to ask yourself this question: are you ready to take responsibility for your life? Amazing things can happen if you do.

NOW WATCH: This simple hack has completely changed my life


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Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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