Commit to Creating Your Personal and Professional Success

Commitment to your own personal and professional success is one of the keys to success that I discuss in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success, Your Success GPS and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.  You demonstrate commitment to your personal and professional success when you do three things: 1) Take personal responsibility for your success.  2) Set high goals.  Do whatever it takes to achieve them.  3) Choose to react positively to everything that happens to you.

It’s simple, really. Success is all up to you, and me, and anyone else who wants it. We all have to take personal responsibility for our own success. I am the only one who can make me a success. You are the only one who can make you a success.

Stuff happens: good stuff, bad stuff, frustrating stuff, unexpected stuff.  Successful people respond to the stuff that happens in a positive way.  Humans are the only animals with free will.  That means we – you and me – get to decide how we react to every situation that comes up.  That’s why committing to taking personal responsibility for your personal and professional success is so important.

Personal responsibility means recognizing that you are responsible for your life and the choices you make. It means that you realize that while other people and events have an impact on your life, these people and events don’t shape your life. When you accept personal responsibility for your life, you own up to the fact that how you react to people and events is what’s important. And you can choose how to react to every person you meet and everything that happens to you.

The concept of personal responsibility is found in most writings on success. Stephen Covey’s first of the seven habits of highly effective people is, “Be proactive.” My friend John Miller’s book QBQ: the Question Behind the Question asks readers to pose questions like, “What can I do to become a top performer?”  John really believes that taking personal responsibility for your life and career is the key to professional success.

The other three keys to success – clarity, confidence and competence — work only if you are willing to take responsibility for your life and career. Your personal commitment to taking responsibility for your own success is the foundation of your success.

Personal responsibility means using this material once you learn it. I’ve written this book to provide you with useful information and knowledge on becoming a professional success.  But, as the U.S. Steel pencils my Dad brought home from work used to say, “Knowing is not enough.”

When I was a kid, I was really fascinating and puzzled by these pencils. “Knowing is not enough – what the hell does that mean?” I used to think. I spent hours struggling with that idea. I was too stubborn to ask a grown-up.

When I got to Penn State, I took Philosophy 101 my freshman year. We had to read Johann von Goethe. One day, as I was plowing through an assignment, I came across this quote: “Knowing is not enough, we must do. Willing is not enough, we must apply.”

Boy was I glad I took that course! It solved one of the profound mysteries of my childhood:  “Knowing is not enough.” As I take it, you have to take what you learn and use it, or what you’ve learned isn’t very valuable. That’s part of personal responsibility, using your knowledge to achieve your goals.

The common sense point here is clear.  Successful people commit to taking personal responsibility for their own success.  They realize that personal and professional success are the result of focus and hard work.  If you want to succeed, you need to look for the opportunity in failure.  Successful people don’t give up.  They keep on working towards their goals with a single minded focus. 

That’s my take on commitment to personal responsibility and success.  What’s yours?  Please take a few minutes to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


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