Success principles abound and yet how many of us have the secret to success? Would you like the secret? Would you be willing to change to make yourself successful? What would that mean to you?
Okay, here it comes; the secret to success is to take 100% responsibility for your life. While we do a whole program based on this principle, we are not alone. Jack Canfield, the cocreator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series wrote a book called, The Success Principles. His number one principle is that we all need to take 100% responsibility for our lives.
If you could have continual happiness, exciting career options, a nurturing family life and blissful personal relationships, how would you create them? The simple truth is that we have to take responsibility for everything we experience in life. Simple is not always easy.
There is a story I think you might appreciate. A hound dog is lying on the front porch of his home howling in pain. The owner is standing out on the walk talking to his neighbor who asks why the hound is howling? “He’s in pain”, says the owner, “he’s lying on a nail”. Oh, my goodness, the poor thing, says the neighbor, “Why doesn’t he move?” The owner says, ”I guess it doesn’t hurt enough.”
We’re all a bit like the hound if we’re honest with ourselves. We may have complained, blamed or given excuses in our lives. Have we always taken 100% responsibility? We have to give up our excuses and change our responses to the situations that make us unhappy to have a better life. We can blame events for our life or we can simply change our responses. In other words, everything we think, say and do needs to become intentional and aligned with our purpose, values and goals.
Now you may take responsibility most of the time or many times with only a few lapses or you may have a habit going that is not serving you. That’s okay, that’s your choice. If you would like to improve some area of your life you need to remember that everything you experience today is the result of choices made in the past. The good news is that you can make different choices when you’re tired of howling.
When I was working in the hospitality business I rose through the ranks quite quickly. It was exciting and exhilarating. I loved the business and the results were showing up on the bottom line. However as my career moved upwards, my relationship with my partner was eroding. Every waking hour seemed to be spent at work. We were young and confused and discussed this openly. I offered to leave my work for a nine to five position but he discouraged me and I was grateful. However years later when he had a second affair, I realized that I could cast blame (in weaker moments it felt great) or I could take responsibility for my part in the situation (which proved to be more effective).
In all situations we can assign percentages of guilt or blame; he was 55% and I was 45% or we can bite the bullet and accept that until we take 100% responsibility for our responses in every situation, we just aren’t going to manifest the life we really want. The good news is, that we can change our response in every situation when we’re ready to change. That’s an empowering thought and sometimes a scary one. It’s also the number one principle of success. So, how would you choose to live if it were all up to you?