“Things that aren’t your fault can still be your responsibility.”

“Things that aren’t your fault can still be your responsibility.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Markus Winkler

When we examine our world closely, it’s amazing to see just how many aspects of our lives are not within our control.

It can often feel unfair when we experience bad breaks in either personal or professional matters.

At such times many of us default to pointing the blame for how things go down elsewhere.

Although many of these messy situations may be caused by others, we often find ourselves with mops and brooms, cleaning up after them.

How well do you manage and navigate such events?


Where and how do you embrace your responsibility for things that aren’t your fault?

How could taking this stance more often empower you to live with greater dignity and self-respect?

What would you do with yourself if there were no problems to solve

What would you do with yourself if there were no problems to solve? How often do we make up problems to give us something to do?

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Jonathan Maybe

Imagine you are a business owner or executive working 80+ hours a week.

What if you are a homemaker or caregiver putting in just as many or more hours?

What would happen if you were given a golden ticket which suddenly takes all of the responsibilities and other burdens off your shoulders? What might you do with your own mini-sabbatical?

Consider the following activities and the problems you might create:

  • Planning and going on a two-week cruise or vacation
  • Setting up tee times and playing unlimited rounds of golf for a week
  • Planning and checking off 2 or 3 bucket list activities
  • Visiting family and friends in multiple states you haven’t seen in years
  • Make up a one- or two-week adventure of your own


How did it feel to contemplate those scenarios?

What would it be like to increase the problems of your choosing?

How important is problem-solving for you to feel engaged, purposeful and alive?

I recommend that the Statue of Liberty be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the west coast

“I recommend that the Statue of Liberty be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the west coast.”

—Victor Frankl, Austrian neurologist, author, and Holocaust survivor

Image from Unsplash by Miltiadis Fragkidis

As a relatively new grandparent, I’ve become interested in parenting approaches in today’s rapidly changing world. When I think of the phrase “Teach your children well,” I recall my own upbringing and our efforts with our two adult children, now in their mid-thirties.

Even if you are not a parent or grandparent, consider your own upbringing. How much liberty and how much responsibility were taught and modeled by your elders?

As we fast forward to today, what lessons do our children — and for that matter all of us — need to live healthy,  happy, and responsible lives within our various communities?


Where do you stand on the pursuit of freedom and liberty in the world? What is your perspective on the benefits of greater responsibility? What steps are needed coast-to-coast and throughout the world?

Don’t play the blame game. Accepting things as they are and working to improve them is an act of personal responsibility.

Don’t play the blame game. Accepting things as they are and working to improve them is an act of personal responsibility.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Slim Emcee

Blaming others and playing the victim perpetuates a cycle of powerlessness.

Focusing on our role in various life situations can help us determine what control and influence we may have to make things better through our committed efforts.

No one ever scored any points sitting on the bench or for being a Monday morning quarterback.


What are some of the areas of your life in which taking personal responsibility versus blaming others would make the biggest difference?

What is the first step you can and will take today to make this shift in how you approach some of your current challenges?

Friday Review: Responsibility


How willingly do you take on responsibility? Here are three responsibility-related posts you may have missed.


“I have an existential map. It has ‘you are here’ written all over it.”




“If you want your children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.”




“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”




“What is the problem that you are the answer to?”

“What is the problem that you are the answer to?”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Hans-Peter Gauster

Consider all the roles and responsibilities you have in a typical day. How is it that you create value in your professional and personal communities?

Which of these efforts create the greatest intrinsic and extrinsic value for others and at the same time bring the greatest joy and life satisfaction to you?

Consider the overlapping of these areas as your personal and professional brand or niche. How much of your day do you expend in these efforts versus those that feel like an obligation or burden?


What are your special talents and unique abilities that light you up and solve meaningful problems in the world?

How might you realign your daily efforts to spend far more of your precious time doing what you were meant to do?

“Live a gentle, human-sized life.”

“Live a gentle, human-sized life.”

—Will Kestrel, kestralcreek.com

Image from Unsplash by Henning Witzel

Did you know that the United States population of 328,748,284 represents just 4.27% of the world population?

Despite our modest population footprint, the U.S. consumes 24% of the world’s energy, one third of the paper, and 27% of the aluminum.

If you do the math and all people around the world consumed resources as we do, we would need about six planet earths. Given the increasing global population and the fact that all nations are on a journey towards greater prosperity and quality of life, how can this continue?


Mahatma Gandhi once said that the world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed. What actions can and will you take – starting today – to live a more gentle, human-sized life?

Elbow Grease is the Best Polish

“Elbow grease is the best polish.”

—English Proverb

Image of "elbow Grease" tins

When I was a boy, Vaseline was always in our medicine cabinet. This magical goo is simply a brand of petroleum jelly used for cosmetic purposes like removing makeup or soothing dry skin.

We also found that a little dab of Vaseline could put quite a shine on our shoes, and provide a bit of waterproofing as a bonus!

For us Baby Boomers, the term “elbow grease” simply means hard work and doing what it takes to make something good even better.


Which current personal or professional project would shine a bit brighter with a bit more elbow grease from you or others?

To Drift is to Be in Hell

“To drift is to be in Hell. To be in Heaven is to Steer.”

—George Bernard Shaw, Irish Playwright

Image of hands on the steering wheen

Image from Unsplash

Consider how you feel when you read these phrases:

  • I feel stuck
  • I’ve plateaued in my career
  • My life has no direction
  • I’m lost
  • I’m not getting anywhere
  • I’m bored

Try on these phrases instead:

  • I’m excited about the day ahead!
  • I can’t wait to get there!
  • I feel passionate and purposeful each day
  • I am working toward my goal of …
  • My focus and efforts will get me there!


Where do you feel adrift, personally or professionally?

How can you experience greater happiness by steering and guiding your life in a more heavenly direction?

Quarrels Would Not Last Long

“Quarrels would not last long if the fault were only on one side.”

-Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld, 17th Century French Author

Image of two men arguing

Image from Times of Malta

How often do you observe quarrels in your personal or professional worlds? If, for some reason, you don’t see much, simply take a look at our political environment and the resulting media circus!

Since it clearly takes two to tango, why is it that many of us blame others for missing a step or for stepping on each others toes?

What if, instead of pointing our index finger at others, we acknowledge the three fingers pointing back at us and take greater responsibility for our current realities?


What would happen in your relationships and your world if you looked at what’s right and good about others, and take greater responsibility for the quarrels you may experience?