Begin With The End In Mind. Be Responsible.

This is part of my series focused on the “inevitable”  “The End.”  My end.  Possibly your end, as well. This is the third in the series.  The first one was “Be Kind.”  The second one is “Be Respectful.”  Now, if I was to re-write “Be Respectful,” I would change it to “Be Respect.”  There is a subtle difference between “Respectful” and “Respect.”  

Respectful is feeling or showing deference and respect.

Respect is a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

“Respect” is THE noun.  That is what I meant.  Was brought to my attention by one of my “readers.”  Pretty cool.  Glad to have folks read what I write and offer their insight.  Means a lot to me.  

I write this on Memorial Day – May 25, 2020.  We are still in the middle of a response to COVID-19 that has caused tens-of-thousands of deaths / hundreds-of-thousands of folks to be sick with COVID-19 / 36 million plus unemployed / increase number of suicides. I could go on with the damage of COVID-19.  

It’s good for you to know when I wrote this and therefore, the mindset I write this.  

My take on the current situation is it reminds me that I don’t know when I am going to die and yet, I do know that I am in control of my response.  

I was taught “responsible” is another way of saying, “able-to-respond.”  I love that play on words. I am able to respond to the situation.  I am responsible for my behavior / my choices / my actions.  

Begin with the end in mind. 

How am I responding to the response of COVID-19?  

I am doing the best I can.  I do what I can to respect that all sorts of folks are going to respond to it differently and I need to respect their response.  I don’t understand their response.  However, it isn’t really for me to understand.  Their response is based on their experiences / wisdom.  I don’t know either their experience / wisdom.  I could and sometimes do ask, “What is getting you to that conclusion?”  

So, what are you responsible for:  

I am responsible for my side of every relationship I have.  
Love the saying “relationship is like a bridge – there are two sides.”  The relationship should be stronger than any opinion I or the other person has.  I need to have empathy in my heart for the other person.  I need to listen to the other person. I need to accept an apology. I need to be able to apologize.  Seek first to understand then be understood.  

I am responsible for the quality of my work.  
I don’t blameshift for the crappy work I may produce.  There will be some incredible work I produce and I am responsible for that work.  Just as I am responsible for the once-in-a-while crappy work I produce.  When I do have crappy results from the work, I admit.  I apologize.  Learn from it.  Don’t do it again.  

I am responsible for MY every response. 
I can’t blame my dad or mom’s alcoholism for me having to watch my drinking.  I can’t blame me for being Irish for getting angry.  I choose the words I use for the response to a person’s ignorance or their terrible tone. 

I am responsible for me only and this can be controversial.  
There is definitely a movement that I am responsible for how another feels when around me.  Or… how another person performs with me being the leader.  Super interesting to me.  Now, if that is the case, then I do get “heated” when my followers do things that I do not do!  Just being honest.  If I am going to be responsible for my followers (which I get … and I will), then “me” followers better be ready to accept responsibility for the assessment I will give them.   “Did I teach you to lie?”  “No.”  “Then why would you lie?”  “Did I teach you not to practice and not prepare your part for the rehearsal?”  “No.”  “Then why did you not practice and not prepare for the rehearsal?”  

I love Jocko Willink and at the same time, I do get frustrated with “As a leader, I am responsible for EVERYTHING and EVERYONE around me.” I get it.  Go all the way to the end and responsibility lies with the leader!  Yet, I struggle… really, I do… I struggle accepting another person’s feelings about me.  I don’t read minds.  Therefore, I may do something that I had no idea offended the person / hurt the person.  But, because I am a “person-of-responsibility,” I need to accept the way the other person feels?  

Why that way of thinking bothers me is because I feel that (responsible for how another feels about me) leads to being open to being easily manipulated.  That I will make a decision to not hurt another person’s feelings.  Take a side to make that person like me or feel better about me. 

I want to start a crusade or re-start a crusade that a person is totally responsible for how they feel, not how someone made the person feel.  

None of this, “Mr. Everts makes me sad.”  “Mr. Everts makes me happy.”  

No.  Don’t let me control your feelings.  That is a dangerous precedent.  You are opening yourself to allow others to control you.  And therefore, you give away the responsibility for who you are.  You blame others for how you are!  Who you are.  How you are doing.  When, in my reality, every choice you make – including your attitude – is your responsibility. 

Begin with the end in mind.  I am responsible.  

I am responsible for everything I do and don’t do. 
And, there is something liberating about being 100% responsible.  You don’t have to feel the guilt and pain of being a liar!  Being 100% responsible is a process and frankly – a difficult one.  Well, at least a difficult one for me.  When you do accept 100% responsibility for who you are / what you do, FREEDOM will come.  

Jocko Willink – DISCIPLINE IS FREEDOM.  Being responsible takes discipline.  

Be responsible for making yourself better today than you were yesterday.  Don’t allow anyone to take responsibility for who you are and what you do…. Oh, my goodness… I will write that again:  Don’t allow anyone to take responsibility for who you are and what you do!  Be strong.

During this COVID-19 shelter in place / lockdown .. accept responsibility for what your response is to the response.  Yes.  There is much to the response that I disagree with and at the same time, I will be responsible for how I respond.  To have peace, please … please … be responsible for your choice in your response to COVID-19 and EVERYTHING!  I wrote earlier  … The process of becoming a 100% responsible is a tough process and anything worth doing is tough.