Not long ago I was having trouble with this blog site. Since that time we have changed the template we use and things are better. But as I reflected on it, it seemed like a good opportunity to talk about taking responsibility for your actions. Let me tell you the story.
You regular readers may have noticed that something was wrong with the blog because it didn’t change for a few days. Usually, I change the main articles everyday—it is my first acts of the day—right after meditation. But one day everything at the top of the blog was stuck. Yes, stuck. The slider didn’t slide so you couldn’t see the new feat
ured article and the “Self Improvement” articles with the tabs simply were gone. Yikes! What happened?
I immediately reported this to my webmaster son saying “HELP! the blog is stuck!” He took a look at it but his busy day didn’t give him time to focus on it or do anything with it.
It wasn’t a “quick fix.” The next day I bugged him again, knowing he was buried in work, but—well, you know. Moms now and then have priority. As he checked it out he updated WordPress—actually, he updated everything in the blog thinking it might be an incompatibility problem with some new software.
No change. It was still stuck.
“I can’t seem to find the problem,” he announced, but I’ll keep looking.” I wanted to have it working by the time the radio show aired because I wanted to refer to it. A half hour before the Self Improvement Show was to start it was fixed. “What on earth was the problem?” I queried.
“It was you,” he said, with a crooked smile on his face.
“What do you mean it was me?”
“Did you delete some videos from the sidebar?” he quizzed.
“Yes,” I responded. “What does that have to do with anything?”
Well, it seems it had everything to do with it. I had left a piece of the code to the videos in the sidebar and the computer didn’t know what to do with it so it shut that part of the blog down.
It was me all along. I was the problem.
I thought of Gary Spinell’s book “It Was You All Along.” (A great read, by the way.” I couldn’t get the title out of my mind for the rest of the day. It was me! I messed up my own blog inadvertently while I was trying to make it better. But I didn’t know it was me and it caused my son to work half a day to solve a problem I caused in a few seconds. I didn’t even remember doing it until he told me what caused the blog to be stuck
Me. It was me.
Aren’t we the ones who usually set ourselves up for our own mishaps? We forget to call. Or we procrastinate. Sometimes we do things we aren’t skilled to do but don’t want to wait for help. We over-schedule and then have to rush to get finished or cut corners or drive too fast. And sometimes we get impatient with those around us who can’t quickly “un-do” the mess we made. Sometimes it’s hard for us to take responsibility for the mess we caused and we make excuses or blame someone else. We humans are wonderfully complex and sometimes proud creatures who don’t always want to admit that “we did it.”
Taking responsibility for the messes you cause and admitting your shortcomings and glitches doesn’t make you “less than.” It makes you and others realize that you are human. We are not perfect and we aren’t expected to be perfect. But we do need to take responsibility for what we do and for what we do NOT do.
According to Shawn Jackson at GoodChoicesGoodLife.com:
The real difference between being responsible and being irresponsible is an indication of how effectively we’re managing our lives when the opportunity to make a good or bad choice presents itself. Accepting responsibility – both personal and indirect responsibility – is one of the most important factors in defining a person’s true character. When that responsible moment comes, what you do – or don’t do – is an indication of the type of person you really are.
How do I become a responsible person?
- Be accountable.
- Stop blaming.
- Acknowledge what happened.
- Accentuate the positive.
- See yourself clearly.
- Say “thank you.”
- Practice healthy self-focus.
I thank my son for fixing this blog and gently and humorously reminding me that “It was me all along.”
About the Author
Irene Conlan, MSN, PhD is the owner and publisher of The Self Improvement Blog and former broadcaster of The Self Improvement Radio Show.