Motivation Mondays: Responsibility
“If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.” Les Brown
What is a fear of living? It’s being preeminently afraid of dying. It is not doing what you came here to do, out of timidity and spinelessness. The antidote is to take full responsibility for yourself – for the time you take up and the space you occupy. If you don’t know what you’re here to do, then just do some good. Maya Angelou
What does responsibility mean to you? What/Who do you feel responsible for? We all know the airline rule that says when the gas masks appear in an emergency, a parent’s first responsibility is to put the mask on before putting one on their child. The point behind it is that if we prepare ourselves for survival, we are in a better position to help another person. As parents, our responsibility is to our family, true, however, if we don’t take care of ourselves and our needs, we won’t be able to truly give our best. You can’t give what you don’t have. Motivate yourself to become stronger inside and out and then your contributions won’t be mediocre. We must take responsibility for ourselves first; our well-being, our growth and our progress depends on us, and knowing this is critical to our success.
Sometimes, people either take on more than they can handle or shirk all responsibility while criticizing others. While it is imperative that we behave in a responsible way in all our interactions, there is a fine line between feeling responsible and becoming a doormat. The world is full of carcasses of people who relinquished their personal power to others and paid a price for it. Know the difference. First strengthen and nurture yourself and then you will have the wherewithal to help others in a meaningful way. Responsibility is a two-way street, we act to help ourselves and others, and the reciprocity keeps the effort alive.
A Story: A Leopard’s Tale (modified from a story by Pedro Pablo Sacristan)
There was a lazy leopard who lived in a forest that was being ravaged by thieves. As the other animals complained and held meetings on how to catch the thief, the Leopard was busy lolly-gagging in the trees looking for his usual prey. One day by accident, he saw the thief and instead of reprimanding the thief or bringing it to the attention of the other animals, he brushed it off. It was not his responsibility to care, as long as his favorite tree was standing. Instead, he spent the next days, weeks and months, enjoying the shenanigans of the thief and kept quiet. One night he fell asleep and woke up in a strange setting. He was baffled how he ended up so far away from the forest. When he sat up and took a closer look, he could see the forest at a distance but the tallest tree where he hung out was no longer there. The thief had cut it down while he was sleeping. Not only did he lose his favorite tree, he lost his place in the forest.
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of. ” Jim Rohn
Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences. Eckhart Tolle
Does your job or responsibility feel like handcuffs? If yes, then it is time to make some massive changes in your life. Sometimes, when we go into a store or a public place, we are welcomed and helped with enthusiasm by the store clerk or attendant. The store clerk feels responsible to the customers coming in and is eager to do a great job so they customer will leave satisfied. Then there are those helpers who ignore the customers or act as if the customer is a nuisance and interrupting their reverie. Some even act as if they are chained to the job against their will, and they sulk and whine. What they seem to have forgotten is that they are being paid to perform a job. What they seem to have forgotten is that they have the freedom to find something suitable to their temperament and dreams. They are representing the owner and must act in a responsible way.
By the same token, when we are leaders, it is our responsibility to serve and keep our people informed of all the things that help/hurt the community. We can choose to use our position for service or for self-aggrandizement. Whichever path we choose requires that we remember what led us there. When we no longer feel fulfilled, it is time to change guards. Often in Dictatorships, you see leaders who hold on with all their might to the detriment of their people and the destruction of the system. If we are unhappy with our job, a role, or a situation, there are options to take and, as Eckhart mentioned above, choose one and be clear about it. After all, it is your life! Why stay in an untenable situation that is no longer a joy? If you’ve tried communicating and nothing came of it, your responsibility is to remove yourself from the situation and move forward with your life. There is no need for altercations, assigning blame or being rude to the customers, just change directions and do it responsibly.
The story above will give you food for thought, as it reminds us that to whom much is given, much is expected. When we have skills or talents that can benefit others, we need to use them in service to the world. But it is important that we do so with clarity and an understanding that when the time is ripe, we will act and/or withdraw. Read it and share your thoughts. How do you view your role in the world? Are you a looker or a leader?
The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for March are:
03/02 – READ
03/09 – Patience
03/16 – Responsibility
03/23 – Health
03/30 – Strength
“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” Max de Pree
If we each take responsibility in shifting our own behavior, we can trigger the type of change that is necessary to achieve sustainability for our race or this planet. We change our planet, our environment, our humanity every day, every year, every decade, and every millennia. Yehuda Berg
Choice is more than picking ‘x’ over ‘y.’ It is a responsibility to separate the meaningful and the uplifting from the trivial and the disheartening. It is the only tool we have that enables us to go from who we are today to who we want to be tomorrow. Sheena Iyengar
Where do you feel your strongest responsibility lies? If you know what stirs your heart and motivates you to keep pushing forward, then own responsibility for it and do it. Being responsible doesn’t mean that we have to become martyrs to a cause. It means we need to be clear about our commitments and our limits and then see them through. Being responsible means not sitting on the sidelines and waiting for others to do all the work. Some of us like to leave the heavy lifting to others and when the work is done, we bask in the glory after the fact. Our actions have an impact on our world, be motivated to rise above the fray and work for good.
Since this is Women’s History Month, The Suffragettes come to mind. In the early days of the fight for equal rights and the voting right, there were women who championed the cause while others fought against their actions. Some didn’t believe the time was ripe or that the bold actions of women who were seen as property would bear fruit. The Suffragettes fought on at great cost to them and their loved ones; they were locked up, kicked out of communities, threatened and even beaten up. The women leaders persevered and if you know your history, you’d know that because they took full responsibility for a cause they believed in and committed themselves to it, they eventually won out. In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granted women the right to vote.
A Story – The Squidges (modified from a story by Pedro Pablo Sacristan) Come back late for this fascinating story about how our actions have an impact on the world and on those we serve. It’s a great yet funny story.
For More: Women’s Lives & Issues
Positive Motivation Tip: Begin by taking full responsibility for yourself and your actions. They won’t disappoint you.
Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for end of November and all of December below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
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Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM
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