Response-Ability Determines Growth

It is not what happens to you, but how you react that matters.” – Epictetus

The Inner Gate of Change

You are ultimately responsible for your own growth & development.

You are the only person who can make the decision, for you, to choose to participate in the Cornerstones Program.

Here are a couple of quotes that are relevant to everyone’s personal development:

No one can persuade another to change.  Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.  We cannot open the gate of another, either by argument or emotional appeal.” – Marilyn Ferguson, American author, educator, & public speaker

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestioned ability of a man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.” – Henry David Thoreau – US Transcendentalist author (1817 – 1862)

The quote above reflects a mindset (or paradigm or perspective) that believes in the ability of every human to choose their response to the events that happen in their lives, regardless of what those events are.

Formula for Taking Response-Ability

In a book that I have frequently mentioned, The Success Principles, author Jack Canfield puts this principle first and foremost of all of the 64 principles discussed in that book.  He calls it “Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life”, and he provides a simple formula to help illustrate this point.

E + R = O (or Event + Response = Outcome)

The explanation from the book follows:

“The basic idea is that every outcome you experience in life (whether it is success or failure, joy or frustration) is the result of how you have responded to an earlier event or events in your life.  If you don’t like the outcomes you are currently getting, there are two basic choices you can make:

  1. You can blame the event (E) for your lack of results (O).  In other words, you can blame the economy, the weather, the lack of money, your lack of education, the current administration in Washington, your bosses attitude, and so on…  No doubt all of these factors do exist, but if they were the deciding factor, nobody would ever succeed.
  2. You can instead simply change your responses (R) to the events (E) – the way things are – until you get the outcomes (O) you want.  You can change your thinking, change your communication, change the pictures you hold in your head (your images of yourself & the world) – and you can change your behavior – the things you do.  That is all you really have control over anyway… Everything you think, say & do needs to become intentional & aligned with your purpose, your values, & your goals.”

What will your choice be? 

No one is going to hold you accountable for your own growth & development if you don’t hold yourself accountable first.  You must make the choice and say,

  • “You know what?  I’m going to work on my time management skills so that I can achieve at a higher level”, or
  • “Alright that’s it, I’m going to learn about the best way to run a group meeting so that I don’t have to waste so much time just trying to make a decision”, or
  • “There’s just got to be a better way to give a speech than the way I’ve been doing it – I’m going to do some research & incorporate what I learn.”

That’s all that Cornerstones represents.  As I mentioned in a previous post – if your response to Cornerstones is something along the lines of “Man that s^%# isn’t gonna make a difference in my life”, then you are exactly right.

And likewise if your response to Cornerstones is “Hmmm, there might be something here for me, I’m going to just try it out by completing the Cornerstones Personal Development Plan, and see what happens…”  You will get a different Outcome or result than the member in the first example.

Take responsibility to achieve the outcomes that you want by refusing to resort to blaming or complaining.  Anytime you feel like blaming or complaining, stop & ask yourself : “What kind of response from me would lead me in the direction of the outcome I’m shooting for?”  Listen to your inner voice, and do what that voice says!

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