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Responsibility is an interesting concept. People love to talk about taking responsibility and passing responsibility. Sometimes, people use it as a badge of honor, “It was my responsibility, not yours.” There are a few definitions for responsibility, but the one we like best is: the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.

It All Comes Back To You

From the time you are capable of making decisions, almost everything that happens in your life is the result of a decision you made. Because of this fact, almost everything that happens in your life is your responsibility. Let that statement set in for a moment. Everything that happens to you today is a result of a previous decision you made. Once you see this paradigm shift, you can start moving forward.

Extreme Ownership

In the book “Extreme Ownership,” authors Jacko Willink and Leif Babin use military experience as examples of taking responsibility in business. According to the authors, as a leader, you are responsible for everything that happens below you. It doesn’t matter where you are in the corporate structure. If you have people working below you, you are ultimately responsible for everything they do. If something goes well, you managed them well. But, if something goes wrong, it is because you didn’t communicate something properly. Failure to take responsibility can stop a business from progressing and growing. This is true regardless of where the kink is in the chain of command.

Applying It To Your Life

These same principles apply to you in your regular life. If you get caught in traffic on the way home, it isn’t because someone else messed up. To the contrary, you chose to leave when you did and take that path home. You are responsible for being caught in traffic. If you have a fight with your spouse, it isn’t because your spouse necessarily did something wrong. You chose to be in that relationship. You chose to be in that situation and the words you used. Let’s assume for a second that your business failed. If you are honest with yourself, you will be able to look back and see the decision you made that led to its demise. When you get in trouble at work, you are probably the person to blame.

Those who blame others go through life as the victim. When the victim mentality controls you, you cannot progress. You have to stop pointing fingers at others. Look at what is happening to you today. Trace the timeline back to the decisions you made. Analyze those decisions and use that to guide your decision in the future. Once you take full responsibility to everything that happens in your life, then you can move forward and progress to bigger and better things.