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Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life (Part 1)

This is the first installment of my effort to integrate the 64 Success Principles from Jack Canfield’s book of the same name.

Last week, I went to a one day live workshop with Jack Canfield, and was considering, along with the accountability partner he recommended and the mastermind group that frankly I’m not in the mood to participate in, how I could execute on the principles better.  I very much like the content, and the success is in the action, not in the knowledge.

The idea of doing this on my blog popped into my head earlier in the  week.   One of the things I am developing on my journey of self improvement is a better connection with my intuition, so when this idea showed up, I decided to act.

By doing this publicly, I have some built in accountability to actually do it, and you can join me in both the journey and in the conversation.  There is the possibility of some free virtual coaching should you decide to join the conversation.

According to Jack Canfield, it takes anywhere between two to three years to master the principles in this book.  So, my original idea of doing one a week isn’t realistic.  What I am going to do then is spend anywhere from two weeks to a month on any given principle with the idea that some will be easier than others.  And, I reserve the right to revisit those that may need more work at a later date.

So, let’s get started.

The first principle is “Take 100% responsibility for your life.”  This means I have to take responsibility for the level of my results, the quality of my relationships, the state of my body, my financial wellbeing… everything.

My first thought is to resist.  And I’ve been doing this principle for years now.  The question, “How did I create this?” is a hard one to ask when it feels like external sources contributed to the outcome.  Knowing that I am the only person whom I can 100%, I know cognitively that it’s an important question to ask.  And, up to now, I have resisted.

A reminder that I am not yet there of this happened just this week.  The fitness manager at one of the clubs where I teach changed the schedule with less than a days’ notice, without asking any of the instructors about their availability.  As we’re all scrambling around trying to find people to cover our classes, my first thought was, “I can’t believe she’s making this our problem!  She changed the schedule, she should be the one who has to figure out how to cover it.”

Imagine a buzzer a la Family Feud.  Wrong answer.  In a world in which Circimstance/Event + My Response = Outcome, what is this really buying me?  So far… stress and resentment.

A better response would have been to pick up the phone and request that she do the work.  Another response would have been to postpone the changes until next month.  Another response would be to quit.  Another would be to request input into the changes.  So many choices!

To be successful in living this principle, we have to do three things:

  • Follow the “No Complaints” rule.  I’m still working on that one, too, and I’ve done a decent job of adopting this one.
  • No excuses.  Up to now, this one is really hard.  Sometimes things feel like they’re out of my control.  And, whether the lack of desired outcome may be a result of my ignorance, well that’s still on me.
  • No blaming.  I am cause, not effect.

The advantage of living this principle is that it trains our brains to notice and respond more quickly.  More about this later!

Be Your Best You Today,


p.s. – Please do read the chapter “Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life” and post your results below.

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One Response to “Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life (Part 1)”

  • It’s in the first chapter of Monday Morning Leadership by David Cottrell. “Until you accept total responsibility no mater what, you’ll never be able to put plans in place to accomplish your goals.”

    You can’t move forward until you’ve completed that step. For some organizations that may take years.

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