They are just three words… but strung together, vocalized, and believed, they initiate a powerful current that shapes a person’s destiny.
As many of you who regularly read my column know, I have a teenage daughter. And, like many of you who are parents, I often wonder, what is the most important impression I can make on my 14-year-old to help her to have a successful, happy, and enriched life.
I have found the answer is: I am responsible. I’ve also found that that phrase is vital not just for her but for me as well. As you peel back the layers in people’s lives, you discover that the path they have taken is a direct result of their beliefs, attitude, and level of responsibility. Their accountability determines what they will accomplish in life because if they believe they can succeed, achieve, and assume responsibility for their future then they will. If they believe the exact opposite that success is luck, achievement is a mysterious gift, and responsibility for their wellbeing is outside of themselves, the path they travel will take their journey in a very different, and often, disappointing direction.
I am responsible is a mantra in my household. It takes the place of “I’ll never”. Often people say, “I’ll never” dot, dot, dot. But then one day they do the dot, dot, dot. Then the phrase “’l’ll never…” no longer applies. However, it’s at that moment that the powerful words, “I am responsible” can be uttered and change the direction of a person’s life instantly.
Taking responsibility and ownership of our lives brings a level of peace, trust, and individual power. It is the opportunity to reclaim our dreams. Many of my colleagues are entrepreneurs who echo the words, “I am responsible” when they wake up each morning and then work to bring their vision of growing a successful company stronger each day. It’s this spirit that represents the chance to better not only their lives but also our world.
A lack of hope and belief that anything can be done to improve one’s self, the economy, a career, results in futile efforts. When you make the words, “I am responsible” part of your daily life you have determined that your results will be a direct reflection of your efforts.
In highly successful people we can see their beliefs and sense of responsibility have carried them far in life. Here are some comments from a broadcaster who has impacted TV and many lives.
Oprah Winfrey is quoted as saying, “My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” She continues, “I don’t think of myself as a poor deprived ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody who from an early age knew I was responsible for myself, and I had to make good.”
I am responsible. Three powerful words that can help all of us “make good” in our lives.