The starting point of personal liberation is for you to accept complete responsibility for who you are and for everything that you become. You must accept, without reservation that you are where you are and what you are because of yourself.

If you want things to change, then you must change first. Your thinking determines your attitude, your conduct and your behavior, and they in turn largely determine your success or failure in life. Because you are always free to choose the content of your conscious mind, you are always fully responsible for the consequences of what you think.

You can dream big dreams, learn how to control both your conscious and subconscious minds and improve your self-concept and performance. But none of these efforts will give you any lasting benefit until you embrace personal responsibility.

Someone once said, “True maturity only comes when you finally realize that no one is coming to the rescue.”

You are programmed from infancy to believe that someone or something else is responsible for much of your life. When you area child, if you are fortunate, your parents take care of everything.They provide you with food, clothing, shelter, educational opportunities,recreation, money, medical attention and whatever else you need. You are entirely provided for by other people. You are a passive player in the process.

It is normal and natural that our parents provide for us during our formative years. The problems begin when people come in to adulthood with the unconscious expectation that somewhere,somehow, someone elseis still responsible for them and for their situation. But from the age of eighteen onward, and sometimes earlier, you are in the driver’s seat. You are the architect of your own destiny. Whether or not your parents have succeeded in raising you as a totally self-reliant individual, from that moment forward there is no looking back. Everything you are, everything you become from then on, is up to you.


Brain Tracy believes that everyone has a “white rabbit,” and sometimes, many white rabbits.These are the excuses that we use to avoid setting clear goals and making total commitments to the things we really want. Since the quality of your thinking determines the quality of your life, you need to become a skilled thinker if you sincerely desire to fulfill your potential. Part of being a skilled thinker is to objectively analyze any mental blocks, or excuses, that you have that you may be using as reasons for not moving ahead.

Some of the most popular “white rabbits” that people use as excuses are self-limiting ideas, such as “I’m too young,” or “I’m too old,” or “I don’t have any money,” or “I don’t have enough education,” or “I have too many bills,” or “I’m not ready yet,” or”I can’t do it because of my boss, my children, my parents” or some other reason.

What are your personal ”white rabbits”? What are your favorite excuses for not making the changes that you know are necessary if you are going to achieve your goals and fulfill your dreams? Go”rabbit hunting” in your own life. Root them out and run them down. Carefully analyze them to see if they have any validity.


The acceptance of complete responsibility, the giving up of all your excuses, is not easy. It is one of the hardest things you ever attempt.That is why most people never do it. “It is like making a parachute jump for the first time: It is both scary and exhilarating.” When you cast free from your excuses, as when you leap out of the plane, yousuddenly feel completely alone, completely vulnerable. However, ina few moments, you start to feel a rush of excitement, your heart starts pounding faster and you feel remarkably happy and free.

You can never give responsibility away. The only thing that you can give away is control. And you know, from the Law of Control,that you only feel good about yourself to the degree to which you feel you are in control of your own life. If you try to make someone or something else responsible, you end up giving them control over your emotions. You are still completely responsible, but by giving up control, you lose your peace of mind.

“Self-responsibility is the core quality of the fully mature, fully functioning, self-actualizing individual.” Superior men and women take both the credit and the blame for everything that happens to them. People who are failures take credit for their successes, but they blame their problems on bad luck, other people or circumstances beyond their control. Successful men and women have a strong sense of internal accountability, which extends to their work and to all of their relationships. Failures try to evade accountability at every turn.

There is a direct relationship between how much responsibility you are willing to accept for results and how high you rise in any organization of value. There is a direct relationship between your income, your status, your position, your level of prestige and the recognition you receive, on the one hand, and the amount of responsibility you are willing to accept, without excuses, for achieving the goals and objectives of your organization, or the other.


Your attitude toward self-responsibility is one of the most important statements you can make about yourself and the kind of person you are. Everyone can be located somewhere on a scale,from high acceptance of responsibility, all the way down to low acceptance of responsibility, or irresponsibility, if you like.

A highly responsible person tends to be positive, optimistic,self-confident, self-reliant and self-controlled. A person at the lower end of the scale, with an attitude of irresponsibility, will be negative,pessimistic, defeatist and cynical, as well as aimless, fearful,unsure and often neurotic or mentally unstable.

Thomas Szasz, a controversial psychiatrist, says, “There is no such thing as mental illness; there are merely varying degrees of irresponsibility.”

Self-responsible individuals tend to be positive and mentally healthy. Irresponsible individuals tend to be negative and mentally ill. This observation brings us to one of the most important discoveries in the history of human psychology and personal performance.

There is a direct relationship between how much responsibility you accept in any area of your life and how much control you feelin that area. In turn, there is a direct relationship between how much control you feel in any given area and how much freedom you feel you have in that area. Responsibility, control and a sense of freedom, or autonomy, go hand in hand. The equation looks like this:


There is also a direct relationship between responsibility, control and freedom, on the one side, and the number of positive emotions you enjoy, on the other. In other words, there is a direct relationship between the level of responsibility you accept and how positive and happy you are overall. Self-responsibility and mental health go hand in hand. They are always in balance. Here is the equation in its shortened form:



Tracy notes that negative emotions are the “robber” emotions of life. They are the primary causes of underachievement and failure. They make people physically and mentally ill, ruin relationships and destroy careers.They cast a shadow over everything a person tries to do. Negative emotions strip out any joy a person might get from any achievement.They are totally harmful and are the great enemies of human happiness.

The elimination of negative emotions is job one for the person who aspires to great success and achievement. Nothing is more important. Peace of mind is the highest human good, and peace of mind only exists in the absence of negative emotions. You cannot be negative and be at peace at the same time. One cancels out the other.


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