In the wake of problems, there are people who step up and offer their time, effort, and abilities to resolve the issue at hand. Regardless of how complex or how difficult the problem may be, they are willing and ready to do what they can- the best they can. There are also others, who, when problems arise, often seem to find excuses not to help. It is either that they are not capable of fixing the problem, they do not have enough resources to fix the problem, or that they are simply too busy to help. It is this same group of people who would rather pass it on to those who they consider liable, people who are supposedly to blame for why the problem existed in the first place. The difference between these two groups of people: responsibility.
Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People has defined responsibility as the ability to choose our own responses. It is about taking ownership of your own actions and behaviors instead of making excuses and blaming other people and circumstances. Responsibility is also defined as having the ability to look inside yourself and be able to discover your own faults, and then make room for improvement. You have the responsibility to develop your skills and abilities, and the level of success you can achieve will be dependent on this. Whether you succeed or fail is your responsibility and no one else’s; the sooner you understand this, the better.
The Value of Responsibility
• In the workplace, one of the attributes that companies require from their employees is responsibility. This is because they know and understand its value in relation to achieving their goals. If a company hires people who are not responsible, projects will be submitted late, team and department targets will not be achieved, and the workplace will simply be a frenzied environment because everyone blames everybody else for any shortcomings and missteps.
• In the home, when members do not take responsibility, it could inevitably lead to arguments and troubles. If husbands and wives are irresponsible, they will not strive to earn a living and be able to give financial and emotional support to their family; if children are not responsible, they will not care much about their academic standing and would not bother to do anything that would help them excel in school.
• In society, if people are not responsible, they would not bother helping others in need; they would not worry about how their actions can affect society; if governments, companies, and organizations do not put value on social responsibility, pollution and poverty would be more evident, and the essence of ‘community” would not be felt anywhere.
For these reasons, responsibility is considered a fundamental quality required of every person.
How to Become a Responsible Individual
Below are some ways that will help you become a more responsible individual.
• Stop making excuses. No matter what the circumstance or the situation may be, you need to act. Do not tell yourself or anybody else that it is “not your responsibility” because essentially, being responsible is a choice and the only person who can make that choice is you. Instead of procrastinating or putting blame on others, do something about it.
• Be accountable. Create a mindset that looks at things as a product of your thoughts and behavior. What happens is all because of what you have done, good or bad. Whatever is going on, you need to take ownership of it instead of “passing the buck.”
• Do not be afraid to take risks. Many people refuse responsibility because they are afraid of making mistakes, afraid of losing what they have, and afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone. Take risks because you will not know what is on the other side until you see it for yourself. Moreover, do not be afraid to fail because success can only be felt and appreciated when one has gone through a series of failures.
• Do not promise what you cannot deliver. Many people in their hopes of pleasing others take on too much tasks and as a result, they do not get things done. A responsible person knows his own capacities and ensures that he can fulfill his promises. In the instance that he cannot, he is responsible enough to say “No.”
Being responsible for yourself and others gives you the power to change things. When you know that you have the power to change yourself, you can do so much in shaping your career and your future.