I was sitting through two days of meetings at a company that I consult with and someone asked if a certain action was possible. The answer was “we have the ability to do it”. However, no one wanted to step up and take responsibility to undertake the action. It got me to thinking about what it takes to be successful in any endeavor. Once again, it comes around to being willing to take action.
While we may have the ability to do something, we will never find out if we can turn it into positive action unless we respond to the challenge. In other words, it is our ‘response ability’ that determines whether we are going to move forward or stand still. Ironically, with my play on words, I seemed to have hit upon a key element of success. The ability to take action, and thus to take responsibility for oneself.
Success doesn’t happen from standing still. Success comes from action. Action comes from making a decision from within, or an outside stimulus which compels us to make a decision. If you are standing in front of a moving object you have to decided if you are going to remain standing there and be hit by it, or to take action and move, thus redirecting it or avoiding it entirely.
These are actions that can lead to success. If your choice is to stand there and be hit, you cannot complain about being hit. It was the consequence of your decision. If you step aside and let it pass you by, it may have been the wise thing to do, or it may have let an opportunity pass as well. Again, the consequence of the decision, usually determined by 20/20 hindsight. If you interact with the oncoming energy and redirect it you become a player in your own life to help move things in the right direction. Action and interaction.
Taking responsibility for our actions is the act of redirecting the inbound energy to work for us, not against us, and to not let it just pass us by. I am talking about life energy and the ability to generate and produce something useful that is of value to others. This is how to respond to a challenge and to rely upon one’s own abilities – response ability.
Let us take this oath together…”I swear – by my life and my love of it – that I will never live for the sake of another person, nor ask another person to live for mine!”. Amen to that, fellow human being!