Companies always ask for someone who wants to take more responsibility for high-paying leadership positions. But most people can´t even take responsibility for their own lives or the lives of their children. Even politicians try everything to avoid being made responsible for wrong decisions. Kids do it when they tell the teacher the dog ate their homework.
I personally do not know a single person who takes responsibility for their actions. Not one. It´s insane because once you realize that everything in your life comes down to the choices you made you can turn your life around.
I once held a presentation of 30 minutes in a language I wasn´t a native speaker of. I was well prepared but at one point I needed to break my flow of talking because my notes were messed up and I lost momentum.
My teacher gave me a 1.7 (the best grade being 1.0) for the presentation because of that sudden break. When I told my friends about it they were outraged about how unfair that teacher was. But I knew that I was the one who messed up. It was my responsibility to check my notes before the presentation started. I was to blame for that mistake.
And I realized that taking responsibility for own mistakes is something nobody does. People are quick to make excuses, even flat out lie about proven facts just to avoid responsibility. Everyone knows that humans make mistakes day in and day out but nobody will admit it.
There is an instinct deep inside of us, the fear of loosing our social status within the group. But when I made it a habit to take responsibility for every small choice I made I notice that people around me started to respect me. Maybe they were impressed by my courage, maybe I just look like a nice person and it was easy for them to forgive me. I am not a nice person, though, I look down on everyone who is afraid to take responsibility.
There are only very few things in your life you can not influence by making choices: your skin color, your parents, your gender, birth defects etc. Those are given traits and you have to deal with them if you want to achieve anything great in life.
EVERYTHING ELSE is under your control, though. Your happiness is under your control. Your health. Your freedom. The quality of your life is dependent on the choices you make right now and the choices you made at some point in your past.
Those can be small choices like eating another piece of pie or big choices like leaving the country you were born at. Every choice influences your life in some way. There are no choices without consequences; once you chose X you can no longer chose Y. You can not un-eat the pie. You can not change the past.
If you are overweight it is because you chose to overeat. If you are stuck at your office it is because you chose that office job. If you are in debt it is because you chose to buy unnecessary things. If you are feeling unfulfilled it is because you chose to do things that didn´t make you happy! There is no one else to blame but YOU.
Think about it and you will realize that´s good news. If your life is the consequence of your choices you can turn it around anytime you want by making better choices. Do not cry about bad choices you made in the past. You can not change that so complaining about it is a waste of time.
Take responsibility for your choices. Realize that your actions have consequences. Now only make choices with consequences you like.
Go to the gym, leave the town you hate, quit the job that only stresses you out, end the relationship that drains your energy. It is your own responsibility to take care of your happiness. No one else will do it for you (and once you started taking responsibility for your own life you won´t even want someone else to choose for you).
You are free to make your own choices, fellow superhero. You are free to shape your own life. Make the choice to take responsibility or make the choice to live a life others designed for you. Just like everything else – it is up to you.