It Is Your Fault Daddy

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The distinction responsible for vs responsible to is so important to understand if you ever do anything like interact with other people, have a significant other, have kids, or have a network marketing business.

It is impossible to be responsible for another person. No matter how much we want to, we cannot control their thoughts, feelings, perspectives, expectations, reactions, or behaviors. (Even though we cannot – we keep trying). If we cannot control these things, then we cannot be responsible for the outcomes and experiences of others.

So, anytime we think we are responsible for another person’s happiness or success, we are putting ourselves in an impossible position and suffering is sure to follow. You cannot make your partner happy! Only he or she can do that. You cannot make your team member successful. Only he or she can do that.

Now we do have a choice as to whether what we are doing makes it easier or harder for that other person. We can either be a headwind they have to fight against, or a tailwind that pushes them forward. But, ultimately it is still their responsibility.

Think of the old saying, you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. Now imagine reaching up, wrapping your arms around the horse’s neck and then trying to force its head into the water trough. This is not going to go well for you. Your best case scenario probably has you getting kicked just once before the horse runs away.

So, the alternative to attempting to be responsible for is to be responsible to. Responsible to means to do your job, love, support, educate, show them the path, lead them to the water, be a tailwind. Then what they do with all of that is up to them.

I’ve got clients who think I walk on water because they have created tremendous positive change through working with me. I am not responsible for their success. I’ve had clients who have not created much value from working with me. I am not responsible for that either. In both cases, I did my job. I was responsible to.

So, what does this have to do with the title, It Is Your Fault Daddy?

Oftentimes when people are frustrated, stuck, or things are not going their way, instead of remembering that they are responsible for their own life, their own experiences, and their own results, they blame.

One day I was sitting at the dining room table, working on my computer. My daughter, who was 5ish at the time, was coming down the stairs and managed to trip and fall down the last few stairs.

I heard the thud and looked up in time to see her looking around. As soon as she saw me, she stopped looking around and zeroed in on me. Then she said, “Daddy it is your fault!” (I was the handiest thing to blame for what happened.)

Since I didn’t take it personally, and didn’t believe her, I was able to laugh and reply, “No honey, you did that all by yourself.”

As a parent, I am responsible to keep my daughter safe but I am not responsible for her feet. I don’t have control over that. I had done my part, the stairs were structurally sound and were not being used for storage. The rest was her doing. She tried to sell me into being responsible for her mishap. I choose not to buy.

Quit attempting to be responsible for stuff you cannot possibly be responsible for. Just because they are selling (blame) doesn’t mean you have to buy. This will make your life a heck of a lot easier and more enjoyable.

Much love,

Jonathan
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