You are 100% responsible for everything. I mean everything.

At least that's how you should live your life.

You're at work, and something happens–a colleague didn't do what they were supposed to one time. Your jerk boss decides last minute to blame you for something that you raised concerns about a month ago. Your spouse is oblivious to what you've been doing around the house and yells at you for not doing the dishes. Again. And yes, I know, you did them all last night.

But you are responsible.

I've always struggled with this. It seems unfair, almost unjust. Why should I take responsibility for something that is clearly, utterly, and completely is beyond my control? Why should "they" get away with it? If I take responsibility, aren't I enabling and reinforcing that bad behavior?

Actually, no.

The book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, finally helped me understand. Responsibility and fault ARE NOT the same. It's not your fault that the deadline was missed but you ARE responsible for what you're going to do about it.

And hell, maybe you do nothing. Maybe that's the best choice. But you are responsible.

See, things happen. Whether it's people, nature, or God, shit happens. This is a universal truth and we cannot escape it. Some of the things that happen are good, some are bad. Some are preventable or in our control. Others aren't. And frankly, none of that matters.

Things happen and then it's up to you to decide how you want to respond. Responsibility is not about taking the blame, it's about taking control. If you realize that you are responsible, then you can act. And when we act, we can be authors of our own fate. Or at least try.

Too often we blame others. So much breath is wasted blaming, arguing about who's right, who's wrong, and what "they" should do.

But you can't control them, you can only control you. So respond. Take action to make whatever outcome you want to happen, happen. Or at least a more likely outcome.

Take control over your feelings. Yes, those things that try to control us and come out of nowhere.

Impossible? No. Difficult? Yes.

Be responsible for how you feel. Be responsible for how you act. Your reaction is up to you. "Re" and "act" meaning, your action that happens in response to a stimulus.

Because you got angry when someone cut you off does not mean that you have to speed up and flick them off. You will have impulses, and that's fine. But your "re-action" is under your control.

The blood flowing to your limbic system, reducing your ability to think clear does not make you a monkey. You can still think. You can still breath. Talk yourself off the emotional, reactive ledge, and think.

That magical tool of cognition that humanity  has developed. Thinking. Think about what your reaction is going to be. Be responsible for your action.

Responsibility is painful. It's shitty, frustrating, and requires extra effort. But as you realize that you're in more control than you think, other things begin to happen as well. You are no longer controlled by others.

Or at least less so. You may be fired. It might not be your fault. And bitching about it for a month is justifiable. And it would feel oh sooooo good.

But, your response is your choice. You can respond with bitching, or you can respond with gritting your teeth and looking for new jobs.

Either way, the choice is yours.