Take Responsibility

Have you ever stopped to think how, in life, when you have taken complete responsibility for something, it got done? It may have been something insignificant such as planning a party or a trip. It may have been something seemingly insignificant like cleaning out a messy garage. Other times, perhaps it was something larger and more important. Completing a critical project at your job. Being there for a friend who needed you at a crucial time. It might even have been a major life issue such as raising a child or moving to a new city.


The moment you decided to take full responsibility and made the commitment to do it, there was no doubt in your mind that you would do otherwise. Sure enough, you did it.

Willing commitment vs. negotiated commitment

I call it “willing commitment” and it stands in start contrast to “negotiated commitment.” Willing commitment comes from within you, but negotiated commitment wasn’t 100% your idea. Willing commitment you own, but negotiated commitment owns you. With willing commitment you take total responsibility, but under a negotiated commitment – not so much, if at all.

You probably can also remember a number of times where neither you nor anyone else took total responsibility for something that people agreed would be great to achieve. It never happened, of course, because no one took responsibility. The neighborhood walking path that never got beyond the planning stage. The class reunion that fizzled. The local theater group that never materialized.

The examples are different in each of our lives, but the principle remains the same. When no one takes responsibility for an idea, it remains just that: an idea. No one develops a vision, a will, a determination. Actions are half-hearted and uncoordinated. There is no persistence. Critics and doubters get all the attention, chipping away at everyone’s motivation and the momentum fades.

When you compare those moments when you took responsibility and ultimately achieved something, to those other moments when no one took responsibility and nothing was achieved … you begin to appreciate the breathtaking power of that one single act of taking total responsibility, in having an attitude, a mindset even, that THIS WILL GET DONE.

What are you going to get done? What one thing in your life that, if you gave it your all, would have a dramatic impact on you, your family, or your community?

What’s stopping you? Why? How are you going to get around that obstacle?

Photo by Dshalock® the Libertarian Emperor of America

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1091 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

Ron is the founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal. He has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a partner in a national building materials company.

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