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Ultimate Responsibility: Life’s Single Greatest Equalizer

There are certain fundamental truths that regardless of circumstance seem to stand the test of time. One of these is the fact that victims never win.

Excuses, rationalization, blame and finger pointing are the foundational cornerstones of a victim mindset. These are the single greatest killers to a life of promise and success. Nothing limits a person more than the thought that it is someone else’s fault, there is nothing they can do or that they are powerless to change things.

Certainly bad things will happen in life. Circumstances will create challenges. People will say and do things that will hurt us. At one time or another, in one form or another, these things will happen to everyone. It is the unfortunate reality of life.

Spending too much time vacillating, pondering or beating one’s self up over the bad things that happen will get a person nowhere. It will just make them unhappy. Bad things happen to everyone, not just us, accept that, it is the truth.

Close to two thousand years ago the Greek philosopher, Epictetus wrote,

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.

Throughout history there are thousands of examples of great things that come from very bad situations simply because someone reacted to them differently.

Jonas Salk invented the polio vaccine because more than half a million people every year were becoming paralyzed and dying from the virus. Out of bad things came something that has saved millions of lives.

Mary Kay Ash started a billion dollar company because she was passed over for a promotion by her boss. She decided that rather than be a victim, she wanted to control her own destiny and she created a company that has helped hundreds of thousands of people do the same. Out of Mary Kay’s “misfortune”, came her success.

John Hetrick invented the airbag after being in an auto accident with his wife and seven year old daughter. More than fifteen thousand lives were saved by this device in just the first twenty years after it was installed in automobiles. Out of John’s trouble, came his inspiration to help save others.

These are but a few examples of the countless times that people have taken their ‘bad luck’, ‘misfortune’, or setbacks and leveraged it as an opportunity to benefit the greater good. The only reason they were able to do so is because they took ownership for their situation, rather than justifying, rationalizing, or making an excuse as to ‘how bad they have it’ or ‘why it always happens to them’.

The sad reality is that most of the people we will meet in life will not think this way. Rather, they will have spent a great deal of time perfecting their ability to find a reason why something won’t work, why it can’t be done, why it is somebody else’s fault. They will have become masters of making excuses, rationalizations and pointing fingers.

However, here is the challenge. Whenever someone makes an excuse, rationalizes why something can’t happen or points a finger at someone else, they have just relinquished all of their power, they have put themselves into a victim mode of thinking. Rest assured, victim thinkers never win. It is impossible because you can’t build anything on a foundation of victim thinking. Conversely, empires have been built by people who were willing to take Ultimate Responsibility.

The good news is, there are only three things that people really need to take Ultimate Responsibility for in life to accomplish everything that they want. The first is the goals that they want to pursue. The second is who they need to become in order to accomplish those goals. The third is the challenges that they encounter in the pursuit of those goals. By taking Ultimate Responsibility of these three things, regardless of what happens, good or bad, they will always be in control of their own destiny.

From a leadership perspective, the concept of Ultimate Responsibility must be one of the essential cornerstones of a peak performing team culture. It fundamentally changes the way people think, the way they interpret, the way they act and react. It is, without fail, one of the most important things we teach at 2logical.

Ultimate Responsibility is truly life’s single greatest equalizer.

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