January, 2012We can learn a lot about responsibility from bugs.
The ant works hard in the sweltering heat all summer long, building its house and loading up on supplies for the winter.
The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so it dis out in the cold.
The lesson? Accept responsibility for your actions. We've had it drilled into our heads that actions have consequences. So why are people surprised when the consequences are less desirable than they anticipated?
Take it from Albert Einstein: "Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment and learn again to exercise his will -- his personal responsibility."
When people fail to take responsibility for their own actions, the blame game begins. There's always a scapegoat nearby, but that strategy doesn't take long to unravel.
I recently watched a program about people in prison. It was fascinating to hear so many deny responsibility for their actions. Nothing was their fault, especially the incidents that landed each of them in jail. They expected others to be responsible for them.
Others understood that their sentences were justified, given their actions. They acknowledged their mistakes and learned their lessons the hard way. They were determined to change their lives. This is why taking responsibility for yourself and your actions is so powerfully important.
My buddy Denis Waitley, who writes and lectures on personal, professional and financial success, says, "A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make."
Responsibility -- like discipline -- is one of those words that has been pounded into our heads so many times from authority figures that we often turn a deaf ear. That's a big mistake. Accepting responsibility is an indication of good character.
In your work life, it is certainly also a major asset. The boss or employee who says "The buck stops here" earns the trust and respect of managers and co-workers.