December 16 – Taking on responsibility to become successful

December 16. “In the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have is the ability to take on responsibility.” (Michael Korda)

There are some days when I just want to go to work, do my job for 8 hours, and go home. I don’t want to think too hard, or worry about anything. Some days I just want to do what is required of me, without too many strings, and then get on with the rest of my life. It’s ok to have days like that from time to time. It’s ok to have the occasional day where I want to just punch in, put in my effort, and go home. On those days I don’t really want any responsibilities other than just to get my own assignments done. I also know that if too many of those days string together, I can expect that people will consider me to be a middle-of-the-road employee. I will neither dazzle, nor disappoint anyone.

Well, that isn’t quite true. It’s not true that being in the middle of the road won’t disappoint anyone. The fact is, it would disappoint me!

A long time ago I learned the lesson of this quote, without it ever being explicitly said to me. I learned before I even had a career, when I was stocking shelves at a drug store, that if I wanted to get ahead in life I needed to be a “go to” person. I needed to be a person whom the boss could bring difficult assignments and he or she would know that I would get them done. Back in the drug store days that meant that I would volunteer for some of the less desirable chores, and that I would attack them without complaint or asking too many questions. I didn’t really get “ahead” in that minimum wage job, but I was preparing myself for future work.

To whatever degree I have been successful in any aspect of my life, it has been because I was willing to step up, take the reins, and deliver.

Today my reflection is on how I will continue to be that “go to” person in the coming year. What set of reins will I take on that I have not yet even considered? Where will I seek to step up and take on responsibility?

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