Have you ever awakened, looked at your alarm clock, and said to yourself, “I don’t want to get out of bed today. I want to sleep in.” Or even thinking, “I do not want to be an adult today. I want to be a child with no responsibilities”? We all go through sluggish times — accepting responsibility can seem draining, and the reality is that sometimes the tasks we have to be doing are indeed exhausting. But, there is another way to look at responsibility such that it becomes a means of nurturing yourself rather than depleting your emotional and physical energy reserves: Responsibility is a basic human need, just like food or oxygen; we cannot fulfill or justify our existence without it. It is one of the greatest gifts we’ve been endowed with — the gift of being active participants in the unfolding of our destinies. And responsibility is not just about helping others — it can save your life, as well.
What Happens When You Don’t Accept Responsibility
- You might experience a state of aimlessness.
- You might also be anxious.
- Your conscience could pester you.
- You and other people might suffer.
- You’ll miss opportunities.
- Feelings of dependency and indignity could plague you.
- You won’t make your full impact on the world.
The Magic That Happens When You Do
- You’ll feel like an active participant in life, rather than a victim of circumstances.
- You’ll feel connected to the world around you.
- You’ll enjoy dignity and independence.
- The joy of using your distinct talents and abilities will be yours.
- Feelings of frustration and helplessness will give way to satisfaction.
- You’ll go from being reactive to being proactive.
- The positive effects of your actions will reach far beyond your scope of vision.
Exercise: Look at your attitude toward responsibility. Then, look for an opportunity to help, to inspire, or to lend support. Act on it. Write about it in your MyMLC Journal.
Go deeper into this subject: Toward a Meaningful Life | What If You Were Adam or Eve? Taking Responsibility for the World | Our Responsibility Is to Shine | In the Beginning | Critique | Common Wealth |