Being Responsible

Responsibility is all about how you respond to what’s happening around you.

Ellie Peterson from The Power of Positive Workouts (http://www.ppworkouts.com/) shared this thought with me the other day. She said, “For me being responsible is my ability to respond to myself first. With this self-knowledge, I can give to others from my highest self.”

I love this quote for several reasons.

1) I like that she gets to the root of the word. Responsible is about how you choose to respond. It’s about your ability to respond.

This concept is important to me because I do think we not only have the ability to respond we therefore a responsibility to choose our response wisely. This is central to my practice as a Humanist.

2) Her first responsibility is to herself.

It’s not that she doesn’t give of herself to others. She just understands, she has to make sure she is ok first so that she CAN give of herself to others.

3) Responsibility is a good thing. It’s something you do for you.

Too often we treat responsibility as if it’s a drain on us. Just the opposite is true. Taking responsibility for how you respond gives you control and frees you up to be the person you want to be. Instead of responding instinctually, you are choosing your response. It’s empowering!

It is very easy to become overwhelmed with work and with our responsibilities. When that happens I like to remind myself that my instinctual response doesn’t necessarily have to be how I actually respond.  Taking the time to consciously choose your response so that your actions are a benefit to yourself AND to others, is the hallmark of a good leader and what it means to be responsible.


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