It’s up to you…

I’m not sure how long it’s been in the making, but we do seem to have an unhealthy entitlement culture in the UK right now. Many people expect the Government to take care of them when they are sick, old, unemployed, etc, and I don’t think that’s right. Being dependent on others is bad for your sense of self worth, and that can lead to other issues.

Now I have my own views on why this culture has developed, but this isn’t a political blog so I’m not going into it here. I just know that if everyone was taught and encouraged to take more personal responsibility for their own circumstances, less reliance on, and therefore less Government would be needed, and the UK would be a better, happier, more productive and more positive place to live.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know people need help from time to time and I’m not suggesting we leave people to struggle. After my bankruptcy a few years back, Government benefits kept us off the street and I was very grateful for that. But the first question I asked when I went to the benefit office was ‘How much do I have to earn so I never have to come back here again?’ Unfortunately the question that is most asked seems to be ‘How much can I earn without losing my benefits‘.

In my opinion there are so many benefits to living a personally responsible life that it should be taught at school as well as at home. Authors B.J. Gallagher and Steve Ventura wrote a great little book about achieving success through personal accountability titled: Who Are “They” Anyway?

This list shows some of the benefits.

  • You have more control over your destiny
  • You become an active contributor rather than a passive observer
  • Others look to you for leadership
  • You gain the reputation as a problem solver
  • You enhance your career opportunities
  • You enjoy the satisfaction that comes from getting things done…the power of positive doing
  • You experience less anger, frustration and helplessness – all leading to better physical health
  • You realize a positive spillover effect into your personal life at home

According to Gallagher and Ventura, the most important words of personal responsibility are as follows:

The 10 most important words:

I won’t wait for others to take the first step.

The 9 most important words:

If it is to be, it’s up to me.

The 8 most important words:

If not me, who? If not now, when?

The 7 most important words:

Let me take a shot at it.

The 6 most important words:

I will not pass the buck.

The 5 most important words:

You can count on me.

The 4 most important words:

It IS my job!

The 3 most important words:

Just do it!

The 2 most important words:

I will.

The most important word:


Or, in the words of renowned columnist, humourist, and cartoonist Frank Tyger…

“Your future depends on many things, but mostly yourself”

I’m determined to teach my children how to develop that attitude.

How about you?

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  1. Glynn
    6 years ago

    I was told a while ago that I am responsible. I am responsible for any mess I find myself in and I am responsible if I succeed. I am also responsible to be there for others and I am responsible enough to ask if I need help.

    I am responsible. Three important words for me.


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