My previous post related personal responsibility to Gumption. Personal Responsibility was described as a foundation or pillar for each of the 7 aspects of Gumption. The analogy of a pair of shoes was used to compare how personal responsibility supports Gumption just as Forrest Gump’s sneakers supported him when he was running.
But personal responsibility isn’t something we simply put on like a pair of shoes when necessary. It can’t be used when convenient or adapted to one given situation and then tossed aside for other situations. Personal responsibility is something we must wear all the time. You are either personally responsible or you’re not.
So what does being personally responsible mean?
Personal responsibility is simply taking care of your own business, including:
- Doing what you say
- Saying what you mean
- Being accountable for what you’ve said or done
The late Jim Rohn said, “You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” This is truly the crux of being personally accountable for your own choices and actions; living a life with Gumption begins here.
A promise is a promiseForrest Gump
We previously explored the topic of Forrest Gump and Integrity and examined the principle of being personally responsible for your own words. As Forrest often demonstrated, being a person of integrity means being a person of your word and keeping promises.
Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Personally responsible individuals know that cleaning their own house, tending to what needs to be done, is the path to a cleaner world. Forrest Gump demonstrated this when he cut that lawn for free simply because he enjoyed it – and the town of Greenbow was a cleaner and more beautiful place. Forrest didn’t tell others to cut the lawn … he took it on himself. In the same spirit, Forrest donated money to local charities that he saw were in need. He did not preach to others to do the same, he did not need to be asked. He saw needs before him, and gave, thus tending to his own front door to make the world a better place.
Three things personally responsible people don’t do:
Blaming and justifying and depending on others for your personal needs are all personal responsibility killers. When Forrest walked on the bus after joining the army, he asked himself if maybe he had made a mistake. He took self-responsibility: he didn’t blame the recruiting officer; he didn’t try to justify his rightness or the wrongness of others; and he didn’t sit idly awaiting for the potential results of having dependence of others.
A great testament to Forrest’s ability to accept the knocks life handed him and surge forward without blame or excuses is his childhood disability. Because his back was crooked as a question mark, he endured humiliating and painful braces on his legs at a young age. He did not relay this fact in the story of his life with complaint, contempt or excuse as to why he could not succeed. He relayed the situation as matter-of-fact, and focused on the positive outcome of the strength built in his legs over the years.
Forrest Gump lived his life accepting responsibility for his own actions, staying true to his word, and placing no blame or accusation on the world around him … with great success and contentment to show for his character. Are you ready to accept Personal Responsibility, and live a life of Gumption?
Next Blog Title: Why 100% works better than 50/50
Next Blog Date: August 5, 2010