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When we break down the word responsibility, it means our ability to respond. For some, the word responsibility brings on dread and obligation. It doesn’t work to think of it that way. Responsibility is literally your ability to respond. Someone who practices high responsibility has very strong relationships in their life. They have good results in all areas of their life. They recognize their states or moods and deliberately choose to stay in that state or change it. They have mastered their ability to respond. They have become proactive versus reactive. They are constantly monitoring their states and making sure their responses are getting them closer to what they want. This level of thought is transformational. This level of thought will keep you from yelling at your loved ones or trying to win an argument with your spouse, for example. By the way, you can never win an argument with your spouse. You will always loose if you are “winning” against your spouse. Just keeping it real, folks.

Whenever we experience an event, the event does not determine our response. Our interpretation of the event determines our response. This is humongo! Our brains are wired to receive an outside stimulus, interpret the event, and then experience the emotion of what our interpretation is to that event. Very few of us have mastered this level of responsibility. This takes lifetime mastery. Most of us receive an outside stimulus and then react to it emotionally without even realizing why we are responding that way. Masters of breaking this stimulus/response cycle have learned to recognize the stimulus as it comes in, and then have learned to consciously respond to it.

For example, if someone frowns at you, do you get upset and frown back? This is an example of bypassing the interpretation of the stimulus. The next time someone frowns at you, recognize that you were just frowned at; recognize that it is up to you to interpret that event, and then choose your response. Can you interpret the other person’s frown as someone who is having a bad day? Maybe they are constipated. Maybe they were dropped on their head as a baby. Who knows? Your response is based on how you interpret the event.

If you constantly see events as personal attacks against you, then you are not going to be very happy. If someone cuts you off in traffic, do you really think that the other driver thought to themselves, “Ha, ha, I’m going to totally cut this person off and put us both in danger!” Does that interpretation of the event work? I think you get the idea. Once we change the way we view the world, the world we view changes. Once we recognize that we don’t see the world as the world is, we see the world as we are; we put ourselves back in control.