Taking Responsibility in Business and Life
Most of us want to kickstart some sort of change in our lives. Some of us are looking for better jobs, more freedom or the courage to start our own businesses. And yet, most of us never take any kind of affirmative action to achieve these things.
Why do we fail to do something that we are clearly aware will change our lives for the better?
Because we aren’t able to motivate ourselves enough to take action.
Without the ability to ignite your own engine, your own desire for achievement, it’s difficult to get things done. The difference between success and mediocrity is often motivation.
An increasing number of people don’t have bosses who tell them exactly what to do. A growing number of the workforce is expected to improvise, to color between the lines, to make their own moves. Is it surprising then that people who are able to self-motivate are happier, healthier and wealthier than the rest?
As someone who wants to change their life for the better, there’s one simple idea that you need to adopt. The key to motivating yourself, to propelling yourself to greater heights than you imagined possible, is…
Think about what taking responsibility means for a second. Think about the idea that you are 100% responsible for what has happened to you so far, and more importantly, you are 100% responsible for what happens to you in the future.
Does the thought sound ridiculous? Scary? Exciting?
The reason why this concept is so powerful is because it fundamentally changes the way you interface with the world.
If you have an ‘external locus of control’, i.e. you think your life is a result of external circumstances, you are:
- More likely to blame your boss/company/family for your situation
- Less likely to act on your goals since you see your life as a result of external circumstances.
On the other hand, if you have an ‘internal locus of control’ i.e. you believe that you can influence your life and situation with your actions, you are
- More likely to take action since you believe in yourself
- Less likely to let external circumstances hamper your progress
Psychologists have found that people who have an internal locus of control are more dedicated, work harder and are more successful than their peers. Studies show that your brain literally responds favorably to you taking responsibility. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh showed that the striatum – the part of your brain which forms connections between the pre-frontal cortex (which makes decisions) and the basal ganglia (responsible for emotions and movement – shows intense activity when you feel like you have control over your surroundings and actions.
Reigniting the fire
We’ve established that taking responsibility for your own life and taking affirmative action is the key to self-motivation. So, how should you go about doing all of these wonderful things?
Self-motivation is a skill, and a skill can be learned through practice. The more decisions you make for yourself, the more autonomous you’ll feel and the more motivation you’ll have for persevering in the pursuit of your goals.
Start with small choices. It could be something as trivial as finally cleaning your room or your desk. Send that email you’ve been putting off. Make that phone call. Eat an extra serving of greens today. Small choices add up. Pretty soon, you’ll have an unstoppable snowball of positive self-motivation that will drive you to shatter your limits.
If you’re currently working at a job that doesn’t offer too much control, you can still find ways to exercise your autonomy – bring up a new project idea, ask for a raise, ask for a desk with a better view etc. If your lunch buddy asks you where you want to eat in the afternoon, pick a place instead of letting them decide. Keep working that skill.
We’re very aware of how important self-motivation is, and we want to make it as easy as possible for independent professionals such as yourself. This is why we created Dubsado to simplify and automate client management so you don’t have to spend half your day organizing schedules or sending follow-ups.
The world is truly your oyster. Once you realize that you’re in control of your destiny, a whole universe of possibilities opens up. You get to decide. You get to choose to be happy, healthy and rich. It’s the simplest choice you’ll ever make.