Choices and Responsibility

For more than four decades, Zig Ziglar started his major presentations with the following similar statement: “by a show of hands, do you know of somethings that if you do them over the next several weeks, they will make your life much worse?  I am sure you can think of several things. Thank you.  Additionally, do you know of somethings that if you do them, they will make your life much better.  Show of hands, please?  

Everything you are, everything you do or everything you have is based on the choices you make or have made. You are responsible for your choices.  One of the two major problems in the world is people not taking responsibility for their actions. The other major problem in the world is most people do not have a compelling reason, a clear purpose or a big why as to their purpose in life.  No clear definition of success.  Lots of people are in a rut living life as a wandering generality.  “if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time” said Zig Ziglar.  

This leads to a life filled with regrets, unhappiness, despair and depression.  A well-balanced life with meaning and significance is a successful life.  The solution to these problems is to understand true success and the fastest way to get there. You must replace bad habits with good habits. You know you have choices and you are responsible for the results.  You know you must make a decision.  Willard Peterson, Princeton Professor, stated “Decision is the spark that ignites action.  Until a decision is made, nothing happens”. George Bernard Shaw, great playwright, stated “liberty means responsibility.  That is why most men dread it.” We live in a day when most people pass the buck with just a shrug of the shoulder.  I have seen many times where leaders of organizations blame someone else for their misgivings.

Admiral Rickover wrote to men and women in leadership roles the following: “responsibility is a unique concept.  It can only reside and inhere in a single individual.  You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished.  You may delegate it, but it is still with you.  If responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion or ignorance or passing the blame can shift the burden to someone else.  Unless you can point your finger at the one who is responsible when something goes wrong, then you never had anyone really responsible”.

These tough words from this great admiral are needed today more than ever.  Meaningful results get done by doers; by those who get off the fence of indecision and get into action. A life of failure where you learn from your mistakes is better than a life spent doing nothing.  Do not let your story die with you. Sing your life’s song.  Live life and create yourself. The secret of true liberty and freedom is stepping up and assuming responsibility. From Prime Minister Winston Churchill, “The price of greatness is responsibility”.