Courage and Personal Responsibility

You know that as your career mentor, I’m always on the lookout for solid life and career success advice. I have some more for you today. It comes from my friend Eric Harvey.

Eric is the CEO of Walk the Talk Company and the author of several great leadership, life and career success books. His book, The 10 Commandments of Leadership, coauthored with Steve Ventura, is terrific.

Eric and Steve believe that courage is an essential characteristic of all leaders. I agree, and go one step further. Courage is an essential characteristic for creating your life and career success. According to Eric and Steve, courage can be defined as…

  • Following your conscience instead of following the crowd.
  • Taking action again hurtful or disrespectful behaviors.
  • Sacrificing personal gain for the benefit of others.
  • Taking complete responsibility for your actions…and your mistakes.
  • Following the rules – and insisting that others do the same.
  • Challenging the status quo in search of better ways.
  • Facing setbacks and disappointments head on — without losing your drive and spirit or adopting a victim mentality.

Pretty good list. How many of these statements are true about you?

I really like Eric and Steve’s last point. Tweet 32 in my career advice book, Success Tweets says, “Stuff happens as you go about creating your life and career success. Choose to respond positively to the negative stuff that happens.” In other words, face setbacks and disappointments head on. Don’t lose your drive and spirit. Don’t become a victim.

Here’s how I see it, and it’s simple common sense. Career success is all up to you, and me, and anyone else who wants it. We all have to take personal responsibility for our own life and career success. I am the only one who can make me a career success. You are the only one who can make you a career success.

Stuff happens as you go through life: 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 taking personal responsibility for yourself and choosing to respond positively to the negative stuff that happens to you is so important.

Personal responsibility means recognizing that you are responsible for your life and career success and the choices you make. It means realizing that while other people and events have an impact on your life and career success, these people and events don’t shape your life and career success. When you accept personal responsibility for your life and career success, 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 career mentor point here is simple common sense. Successful people know that they can choose how they respond to everyone they meet and everything that happens to them. They know that “the devil made me do it” is never an accurate statement. They also know that no one can “make” them mad. In short, they follow the career advice in Tweet 32 in Success Tweets. “Stuff happens as you go about creating your life and career success.” Choose to respond positively to the negative stuff that happens.” If you want to create the career success you deserve, choose to react positively to the negative people you meet, and the negative things that happen to you. When you do, you’ll find that you’ll have less negative things happening and fewer negative people entering your life.

That’s the career advice I find in Eric Harvey and Steve Ventura’s thoughts on courage. What do you think? Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment. As always, thanks for reading my musings on life and career success. I value you and I appreciate you.

Your career mentor,


PS: If you haven’t already done so, you can download free copies of Success Tweets and Success Tweets Explained. The first is a tweets book, the second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail. Go to to claim your free copy. You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes, and you’ll get a free membership in my career mentor site, My Career Mentor.




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