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Responsibility

I view my life as sort of a case study. Does the stuff I believe actually work, or am I wrong and full of shit?

As with any case study, I need to explain my thesis. This is the first of a series of posts meant to just that – explain what I believe.

Let’s get to it.

Responsibility.

If I were to pick the most important aspect of my hypothesis, this is it.

Now, I know what you may be thinking – “But Ben, what if someone did something to me? What if someone hurt me? That’s not my responsibility – it’s their fault!”

True, not everything that happens in our lives is our fault, but there’s a difference between fault and responsibility.

Fault is all about the cause of the problem. The Great Recession was no one person’s fault. A company going bankrupt isn’t one person’s fault. Fault is ultimately pointing the finger and assigning blame for whatever happened. Blame isn’t concerned with solving the problem – it’s concerned with deflecting the problem to someone else. If it’s not my problem and not my fault, I don’t have to solve it!

There’s a specific reason I use “responsibility” rather than fault. Responsibility is focused on the solution. It’s about solving problems. It’s about the response (which is literally in the word responsibility – go figure!).

Sure, the shit that happens in my life may not be my fault, but I don’t give a shit about assigning blame. My concern lies with finding what caused the problem and figuring out how to solve it. Even though other people may cause something that happens to me, it’s my life. No one is going to solve my problems but me. No one should have to solve them, either – they have their own problems. No one gives a shit about my problems except for me.

I can’t control anything that happens to me externally. What can I control? My response. I can choose to see anything as a positive or a negative. I can only control how I see the world, and not what actually happens in it. I can only control myself.

I’m confident that I can make the most out of whatever the world throws at me. I’ll find a way to thrive because I choose to thrive.

Taking responsibility of my life has had some unforeseen benefits, too. If I’m responsible for every aspect of my life, what’s stopping me from doing the cool shit that I want to do?

The answer is a the classic “I’m the only thing in my way.” I may suck at it while I figure things out, but that shouldn’t stop me from doing it. After all, the only way to get over fear is by taking action.

I’m not saying that everything in life is my fault and that I need to solve everyone’s problems. Not at all. I’m responsible for my life. I can’t control the outside world, but I can control how I respond to it and interact with it.

I’m 100% responsible for every aspect of my life.

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