The Life Changing Power of Radical Responsibility

If you have been into self development and personal growth for a while, you may have heard about the importance of the idea of taking responsibility for everything in your life.

Maybe you totally resonated with the concept, or maybe you felt a bit of resistance. Or maybe a mix of both - after all, we aren't actually responsible for EVERYTHING in our lives, are we?

If you felt resistance, it was likely because of the fact that clearly, we are NOT responsible for everything in our lives - We all face situations and circumstances that are beyond our control, and that we did not do anything to cause, create – or dare I say it – to "attract".

But this is why we need to clarify what is really meant by taking responsibility for everything in your life. We aren't actually talking about your circumstances or the things that happen in life that are beyond your control - but we ARE talking about taking responsibility for the things that ARE in your control - your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions. That is to say, essentially everything that you do in response to those circumstances and events that you face in life.

This is sometimes referred to as going from being At Effect to being At Cause. And I like to call it taking Radical Responsibility.

While this idea is big in the world of personal development, it is by no means a new concept. In fact, it is rooted in ancient wisdom and philosophical traditions that go way, way back.

These ancient teachings the world over - including ancient Buddhism, Christianity and Stoicism, to name just a few - all recognized the power of personal responsibility in consciously shaping one's life, reaching one's goals, and maybe most importantly, achieving personal growth, true happiness and deep fulfillment.

And the best part is that these teachings were not just relevant in the past - they hold true today as modern psychology has validated the importance and far reaching benefits of taking Radical Responsibility, and putting it into practice in our daily lives.

There has been a great deal of interest in recent years in Stoicism, which is one of the most influential philosophical traditions that placed personal responsibility central to its teachings. Stoicism, which originated in Greece around 300 BC. is a practical and pragmatic school of thought that is concerned primarily with how we as people can live what these ancient philosophers called "The Good Life". And for the stoics, central to this concept of living The Good Life is the idea that we should take responsibility for our own happiness and well-being.

So how do we do it?

The Stoic philosopher Epictetus famously said, "Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not." And the critical thing for us is that we learn to discern what is really in our control, and what is not.

People tend to suffer in two ways. First, we suffer by trying and wanting to control the things that are not within our control. Secondly, we suffer by failing to realize the power that is within us to take charge of the meaningful things that are within our control.

And according to the Stoic teachings, we all have the power to control our thoughts, emotions, and actions, and we should endeavor to master the power we have over ourselves and our minds in each of these 3 critical areas.

Similarly, Buddhism also emphasizes personal responsibility and the power of our thoughts to direct our destiny. The Buddhist concept of karma teaches that our actions have consequences, and that we are responsible for creating our own reality through our thoughts and actions.

And as for modern psychology, the branch of Positive psychology - which is essentially the study of the psychology of happiness and well-being - focuses on the power of taking responsibility for our thoughts, feelings and actions, and on how we can do so in practice in our daily lives.

When you consider how far reaching this concept is - spanning our entire human history, showing up across cultures, and in so many of the most important and influential philosophical traditions, religions and even in modern day psychology – it is apparent that we would be wise to listen, and to always be looking for the little ways we can move ourselves more to cause in our lives.

If you would like a more in depth exploration of how you can really live and embody this concept, and how you can put it powerfully to work in your life, I’d like to invite you to download your complimentary guidebook here. Simply tell me where to send it, and it’s all yours!