Taking responsibility is hard and requires immense self-discipline, but it results in incredibly powerful rewards. There is a direct relationship between the amount of responsibility you accept and the amount of control you have over your life. The more you accept responsibility, the greater sense of control you will feel.
There is also a direct relationship between control and happiness. The more control you feel over your own life, the more positive and content you become. Personal responsibility is the fastest and most direct pathway to leading a life of fulfillment, contentment, and happiness.
Remember to say to yourself “I am responsible!” and repeat the thought over and over if you need to. Filling your head with this thought will help you overcome negative emotions that make it hard to make progress toward your goals. If you accept 100 percent responsibility 100 percent of the time and commit then you can achieve any goals that you set your mind to.
If you were to ask a successful person what he or she thinks about all the time, the most likely answer you would get is “What I want!” Thousands of successful people have been asked this very question—and given this very answer.
Goals can be long-term or short-term—“a job that pays well” or “an A in my calculus class.” However, there are a few things that make a goal more likely to succeed. The two most important qualities of a goal are that it be concrete and written down.
Your goals should not be vague and general, like “I want to succeed in my academics.” If your goal is too general, it will be impossible for you to see how to take action on it, and without a specific metric, the goal will not be sufficiently motivating. Instead, it must be something specific, like the exact grade you want in a certain class or on a specific test. It could also be a piece of music that you want to learn for orchestra, the number of goals you want to score by the end of soccer season, or a personal time record you want to break for a running or swimming event.
Writing down your goals and then systematically working to achieve them is a powerful technique; however, it is essential that you specify a realistic and reasonable timeframe in which to complete them. For you to achieve any goal, you need to truly believe that it is possible.
It has been proven over and over in psychology that it is our actions that determine our feelings, not our feelings that determine our actions. The potential in this one small fact is truly mind-blowing: we have control over how we feel. You can determine for yourself how you want to feel by acting in the way that someone who feels what you want to feel would act.
Clarity is perhaps the most important concept in personal productivity. The number one reason why some people get more work done faster is because they are absolutely clear about their goals and objectives, and they don’t deviate from them. The greater clarity you have regarding what you want and the steps you will have to take to achieve it, the easier it will be for you to overcome procrastination, eat your frog, and complete the task before you.