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Blaming Others, Personal Responsibility

Irresponsible People Are the Most Responsible – Part One of Four

Refusing to take responsibility. What comes to mind when you read that sentence? Maybe someone who’s stubborn? Immature? Full of pride? 

How about someone who isn’t aware of a tiny little space? If you’re not aware of the tiny little space I’m going to discuss today, then you probably refuse to take responsibility on a daily basis. 

One of the simple ways we can break down, simplify to the core, our entire human existence is by putting literally everything into two categories; two events that occur countless times each day in an almost seamless pattern; one triggering the other…

Category One: All the stuff that happens.

Category Two: The way we interpret all the stuff that happens.

Think about it. That’s it! That’s life. That’s our existence.  

Everything in Category One we will refer to as Occurrence Events,and all the stuff in Category Two is given the label Interpretation Events.  We refer to the way we interpret things as “events” because a thought is most definitely an event.    

And wouldn’t you know, there exists a tiny little space between every Category One event and every Category Two event. That little space is a pause. And within that pause a decision is made. Whether you know it or not, for you and me, this “one-triggering-the-other” dynamic happens every single day, hundreds of times, even thousands of times. 

It is essential for us to know that we can actually choose how to respond in literally any situation, instead of allowing the circumstances to direct our reaction. That, coupled with knowing what the right reaction ought to be and then deciding to react that way.     

In two words, the two essential ingredients that absolutely must be present in any scenario in which you want to affect any kind of positive change: AWARENESS and SKILL. 

The people who lack awareness and skill are not only irresponsible; they are the ones who are most responsible for most of the world’s problems. 

Let’s be different. Let’s be aware of the fact that when an event occurs, there is a tiny little space of time within which we can CHOOSE how we’ll react to whatever it is that happened. And once we have an awareness that that space of time is actually there, we can choose to learn – and then insert – a new way of thinking and reacting to similar events. 

Once we do, we can get rid of ridiculous statements like…

He made me mad 

She drives me crazy

I get frustrated whenever he talks to me a certain way          

She knows I go ballistic whenever she uses that accusatory tone with me

In the next three posts…

  • We will discuss Awareness
  • We will define Skill, and
  •  We’ll talk about how to control both Occurrence Events and Interpretation Events; controlling things that occur and controlling how those events are reacted to


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Author Jim Aitkins

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