Finding freedom in responsibility might seem like a strange place to look. However, it is the only place you need ever look. When you take responsibility for everything that occurs to you, you lessen the burden on yourself. You no longer search for a reason or to spend hours and days exploring who is at fault or how things happened. You simply need to decide how you will respond.
By removing all of the questions and self-doubt, contemplation in between an event and your response, you simplify your life. And we know that freedom is quite simply, simplicity and the availability to make decisions without external influence.
We are constantly reacting, our entire life is a reaction to events that occur to us and around us. Sometimes we are in control of those events but more often than not we have little say in the events of our lives. Think of all of the bad luck, good luck, weather, late arrivals, annoying colleagues, friendly waiters and all of the small encounters that make up our days. We truly have very little control over anything in our lives, even the small unimportant stuff. What we do always have control of- albeit sometimes poorly – is our reaction. And for our reaction, we are always responsible.
A reaction is never fixed. You control it and it is always your responsibility.
I want to take pride in my reactions from the small events to the large-scale life-changing moments. I want to be strong enough, bold enough and brave enough to take responsibility for every reaction.
I think too often we justify our reaction when we decide who is at fault, or if this was a deserved event. We find ways to dissolve the responsibility of our response or reaction based on whether or not we deserved what happened to us. It’s unhealthy and creates stagnation when in its place we could already by striving towards our goals in the best way we can when considering our (new) situation or standing.
I want to have an active reaction, a conscious, active reaction. To me, this means identifying the event and leaping with vigor, directly towards what I identify to be the best course of action without dwelling on alternatives, how things unfolded and who was at fault.
I don’t want to spend time questioning how a situation happened, why it happened to or what it will impact. I want to experience the event, feel it, take responsibility for my action and then react with positive energy. Ideally, with this flow of events, my reaction will bypass the To me this is the ideal reaction.
- Experience and feel the emotion
Search for reasons why Look for who is at fault Did I deserve this
- Take responsibility for my reaction
- Identify my goal (Adjust it accordingly if necessary)
- Make a reaction based on that goal (Make it happen)
The last week
This is my last week in Adelaide recovering from hip surgery before I head out on a plane to Istanbul, Turkey. It’s been a long, slow month but that is how life goes sometimes. I’ll be taking it easy this first month of travel and building back up to a good amount of walking per day before I even attempt any hiking or jogging!