DTHT Episode 11 – I’m Not Responsible Because…
Welcome to Do The Hard Thing Episode 11. I am Jason Archer… creator, freedom seeker and leader of self | full time student and part time teacher of self mastery, and today’s theme is “I’m Not Responsible Because”.
So, turn up the volume, put down the distractions and let’s kick this off…
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Have you ever started down a path that you felt held a great deal of meaning for you, and then for whatever reason you could not move toward the outcome you wanted to create. Whether it was a Mental, Physical, or Spiritual target you sought, it didn’t matter… there was some part of you who refused to move. This podcast is born out of that specific idea. Do The Hard Thing is an exploration in human movement.
In today’s environment among a great many people I interact with on a cursory basis outside of my primary circle, there is a common thread woven through much of words I hear fall from their lips… And they boil down to one singular idea: I’m not responsible because…
I’m not responsible for being here on time because traffic was bad. It’s not my fault for missing my deadline because the guys in accounting didn’t get the reports to me in time. Don’t blame me for dinging your car, because you parked too close to the line… I’m not responsible because [insert your excuses or reasons here].
It can be maddening if you let it.
I have literally had people will look me straight in the face and tell me what they can do and when they can have it done, and then turn around and break their word without even so much as an acknowledgement or a commitment to regain any lost trust created in those moments.
I recently had a woman join my gym here in Phoenix, then later quit a few days from her renewal date. Cool. No problem… Yet she got upset when we charged her for the upcoming month. You see we don’t do contracts we simply ask for a 15 notice which is clearly notated on the documents she signed her name to… And, rather than openly discuss her issue with the charge, her first move was to dispute the charge with the credit card company and when that didn’t work, she decided to leave a 1 star review on our Google Reviews.
You see, according to her she shouldn’t be responsible for that last payment because her circumstances changed. And, because her circumstances changed, in her mind she was no longer on the hook for anything she agreed to.
Yet, I submit to you this, gentle listener… You are always responsible, because nobody gives a shit about your reasons for failure.
And, that is how it should be.
Your reasons do not change the consequences the people face when you break your word. When you make a commitment, you create an expectation. That expectation is then used by anyone tied to your commitment to make commitments of their own.
You do not want to be the broken link in this chain of commitment, if you are you will soon find that rather than working to fix that broken link, it is simply removed or replaced in order to create strength in the potential for outcomes that serve everyone involved.
These people who are “Not Responsible Because” keep law offices in business and are the reason contracts are required when dealing with anything significant.
You’ll know this all too well, if you’ve purchased a home and secured a loan… As my wife and I recently did.
There were more than 100 pages of deed, title, escrow and financing documents signed in the presence of a Notary that we were required to execute or there was no deal.
Now I signed the contract… I chose into the deal… the bank doesn’t care what happens in my life, it doesn’t care about my circumstances… It simply expects payment on the first of the month. I wouldn’t be able to send in a note saying the dog ate my checkbook, how about you let me out of the mortgage I agreed pay, surely you can see I’m not responsible for that payment, Mr Banker Guy.
And whether I pay the bank or not… I am responsible for the outcome. I make my payments and keep the home or I don’t make my payment and lose the home, I am responsible. Either outcome is on me and no one else. And, that is how it should be because that is what I agreed to up front.
No matter how many sad stories I can come up with to tug on heartstrings.
If we take this concrete example of our new home purchase further, it looks like this: not only did I choose to buy another home and obligate myself to the bank, I am already obligated to another bank for a second loan on the existing home we currently live in.
We chose to keep this home in addition to the new purchase because we want to create a rental property.
So being the enterprising person that I am I jumped on the process of getting this place rented. In just about a week, I had it rented to a wonderful woman with a young child and committed to them to have this place move in ready in just a few weeks.
No problem… the new place is only a mile away and we don’t have that much stuff to move so shouldn’t be a problem.
Yet, I forgot to tell you about the fact that the new place is being remodeled and has no usable kitchen or bathrooms, or flooring, or paint, or any other creature comfort you can imagine wanting in place in order to separate your lifestyle under a roof from the lifestyle of a homeless man under a bridge.
Naturally, I put a few guys to work over there as soon as I could. We agreed on tasks, on price, and on deadlines… However, the result is the work is not done and it’s well past its completion date.
I have no place to live… and I have to get out of this house in order to meet my obligation to my tenant.
Do I call up this woman and tell her it’ll be another month because it’s not my fault the work isn’t done? How might that go over? She’s living with her sister and her sister is expecting her to be out so she can reclaim her home and entertain people for the upcoming holidays. Does she tell her sister its not her fault that I didn’t move out on time? Those people coming for the holidays have made travel plans. Does the sister call up her guests and tell them it’s not her fault she doesn’t have space?
By choosing not to accept responsibility and find a solution, we pass our problems onto other people.
And, this has become the norm in the US.
The rationale is that if your excuse is “good enough” you can absolve yourself of doing what you agreed to do. You can pass the buck to the next guy or gal and they’ll just have to deal with it.
And, at some point… someone will have to deal with it. Someone will have to Do The Hard Thing and pay the piper. That fucker always gets paid.
But the real cost is price we pay when we choose not to be responsible for our outcomes. Whether it’s in the form of lost authority, lost trust, broken relationships, or worst of all… that feeling of knowing that we allowed others to pay the price for our mistakes and missteps.
When we choose the path of irresponsibility, we bleed power… we bleed self worth… we bleed influence and efficacy in the eyes of others, but far more importantly in our own view of our self and our capabilities.
We create misery for ourselves.
And, how could we not… When we think the results we create are always at the mercy of another person’s actions or behavior, what we are really saying is that we have no control of our lives and destiny. We become victims.
Those are your choices… you can choose victimhood or responsibility.
If you really want to separate yourself from the herd, you’ll do what you said you would do to best of your ability. That doesn’t mean perfection. That’s not what this about. We will all fail… and when that happens owning that failure is what elevates you.
So to answer the question above regarding who is responsible in my situation… There is only one answer. And, that is me. I am responsible.
I will find a way to make this property available to the coming tenant, even if it means sleeping on a cot in the new house and putting my stuff in storage. I am responsible for the work not getting done over there. I hired it out. I let too much time go by before making another decision and it’s not ready. That’s on me.
I will not pass that failure on to anyone else. I will find a way to keep my word. And, in the end… I will continue to grow through the experience. To Do The Hard Thing is be the same person in ease as I am in distress. Circumstance can not be allowed to cause me to step outside myself… should that happen I would not be the person I claim to be at my core. I would be inauthentic and out of integrity.
So my question to you is simply this: Where in your life have you allowed yourself to be out of alignment with your words and your actions… maybe you show up late all the time, or you don’t practice living the way you expect others in your life to live, or maybe it’s something deeper altogether… maybe you seek approval from others rather than being true to your core beliefs because you want to be well liked and not shoulder the responsibility of what your life would look like if people knew the real you.
Whatever it is… explore it and get to work correcting it. Step into the power you were born express in this life by taking on the responsibility of showing up as the best you… you can be.
That’s it for today! Thank you for listening, and if you found value in this message be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Google, Castbox, or Stitcher | Share this with those you know need to hear it on social | And I’ll see you back here in the next episode | This is Jason Archer signing off | Now… go, and DO THE HARD THING.
Listen at dothehardthing.net