How to Take Full Control of Your Life Using This One Success Principle

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Taking full responsibility in life is one of the most essential success principles of all. If you don’t take responsibility, nothing is going to change in your life.

Recently, I reread one of my favorite success books, The Success Principles, written by Jack Canfield. And again, I discovered some new insights and I would like to share with you here.

But before that, the book, The Success Principles is one of the most profound, down-to-earth, and easy to understand books that everyone who wants to live a more successful life must read.

No matter who you are and what you want; whether you want to live a successful life, achieving outstanding success in your career, become a good parent, build a successful business or score A’s in your exams, this book is for you.

Jack Canfield, the famous author of Chicken Soup for The Soul series has gathered all the success principles that work for him under this book and name it, The Success Principles.

I believe that this is a book that is worth reading for anyone who wants to do better and achieve greater success in life.

If you’ve yet to read the book, get it and read it now from Amazon. Trust me, this book will change your mind and improve the quality of your life.

The One Success Principle That Will Change Your Life

If you read the book, you will know that the first and the most important key to changing your life; to living the successful life you want and to taking control of your life, is to take full responsibility for whatever that is happening in your life right now.

If you refuse to take responsibility for your life, nothing will ever change.

You see, we have been trained and programmed since when we were young that someone, certainly not us, is responsible for what we experience in our lives.

  • When we don’t get the result we want, it is because of our silly colleagues who don’t want to cooperate with us.
  • When we don’t excel in schools, it is because our teachers don’t know how to teach or the exam is set too difficult.
  • When we fail in business, it is because our spouses are holding us back or the economy is not doing well.

Whatever the event that we face in life, there is certainly something or someone to blame, but that someone is never us.

You have to understand that whenever you blame or you give excuses, you are giving away the power to change.

For something to change, you must first change.

And Sir Jack Canfield shared a very powerful formula in the book…

The E + R = O Formula

You may say that things just happen to you and you cannot change the event. You are right, you cannot change the event, but you can change your response.

One of the most important ideas that you will learn from The Success Principles book is the formula, E + R = O.

Event + Response = Outcome

You cannot control the event and whatever that has happened to you, but you can definitely control your response to get the outcome you want.

When you get a bonus of $1,000, you can spend it on shopping. Or you can invest the money into somewhere to increase your net worth.

Everything that you experienced in life right now is the result of your response to a previous event.

Take a look at these 2 examples below:

  • Event = get a bonus of $1,000
  • Response = spend it on shopping
  • Outcome = you’re broke
  • Event = get a bonus of $1,000
  • Response = invest to mutual fund
  • Outcome = you have an increased net worth

Can you see it right now?

Sometimes, you cannot change the event or whatever that is happening to you, but you can take control of your life by changing your response.

It is your choice.

  • You can choose to eat junk food or push it away.
  • You can choose to workout in the gym or you can choose to sleep.
  • You can choose to read a personal development book or play computer games.
  • You can choose to invest a portion of your salary or to spend it all.
  • You can choose to spend time working on your business or waste your time on social media.

Please understand that whatever you choose to do, it is your choice and you are the one who is responsible for it.

Meaning, you are where you are right now in your life because you have made the decision and chose to be where you are right now.

Therefore, if you want to change your life, achieve greater success, and live better, you have to start by changing yourself.

You have to start by taking full responsibility for whatever is happening to you right now.

When you take control of your life, it is when things started to change and you will experience different stuff.

You Either Create Life or Let Life Happens to You

Orrin Woodward responsibility quote

Do you know that you can be active and take charge of your life, or you can choose to allow life to happen to you?

You see, you are the only person that is responsible for your life. Nobody is pointing a gun at your head and tell you what you should do.

You are the one who is making the decision and hence, determining the results you get in life.

For example:

  • You didn’t attend any sales seminar and workshop, and now the new guy gets the promotion and not you.
  • You didn’t train your dogs, and now they are out of control. It’s your fault.
  • You didn’t spend time reading books to improve yourself, and now you are living the same life where you are 5 years ago.
  • You spend all the money you earn and you didn’t save or invest any of them, and now you’re poor and broke.
  • You work late every day, come back home and eat dinner alone, your wife request to speak to you and you say “later!” and continue to watch the TV. After 3 years, you come back home empty and find that your wife has taken the kids with her. Guess what, you are the one who created that and you are the one who is responsible for it.

Thus, stop letting life happens to you.

It is time for you to take control of the ship and become the captain. You can steer the ship where you want it to go.

Yes, you cannot change the direction of the wind, but you can always change your sail to reach your destination.

The same goes for life. You cannot control what is happening to you, but you can control your responses to get what you want out of life.

Stop searching for the magic button and stop looking for shortcuts to get what you want. Look at yourself. Look inside you, the answer is there.

The only one who can change your life is you. Not your spouse, not your boss, not your colleague, not your parents, and certainly not me too.

I’m sharing with you what I have learned about taking responsibility in life. It is your choice whether you want to heed the suggestion here or not.

Just like what Jim Rohn has to say:

“You can’t hire someone to do your push-ups for you.”

Jim Rohn

You can read, learn, and get a mentor to show you the way, but you are the one who has to do it, not someone else.

Nobody can change your life unless you do.

Stop Playing the Blame Game

So, from now onward, choose to take 100% responsibility for your life. When things happen, don’t blame and don’t give excuses. Take responsibility and take charge of your life.

One of the most important keys to taking responsibility for your life is to stop playing the blame game.

When you are in a conversation with someone or with yourself, notice the way you talk.

Do you blame someone or do you take full responsibility for it?

When something happens, do you say that it is because of someone’s fault or something had happened? Or do you take charge and the responsibility?

When you’re late for an appointment or to work, do you blame the traffic? When you’ve lost the sale, do you blame the competitor or the client? If you’re poor and broke right now, do you blame the economy or the government?

When you put the blame on someone or something, you are giving away the power to control.

When you say that it is your manager’s fault, there’s nothing much you can do because it is not you, it is your manager that is in control.

Therefore, stop playing the blame game.

Notice how you talk to yourself and others. Whenever you find yourself blaming others or something else, acknowledge it and then take charge of the event.

  • If you’re late for work because of the traffic, take the responsibility that you choose to go out at the last minute and not earlier.
  • If you’ve lost the sale, take the responsibility that the client did not want to buy from you, and find out the reason so that you can improve and never repeat the mistake.
  • If you’re poor or are in debt right now, take the responsibility that you did not learn how to manage your finances and you spend more than you earn.

When you take 100% responsibility for your life, you can change the things that you don’t want, because you are in control.

Do you get that now?

Do a Reality Check

So how do you know if you are taking full responsibility for your life?

Do a reality check. Look at your life right now. Look at each area such as your finances, your relationship, your health, etc.

If you want to do well financially, but you are poor right now, it tells you something. It gives you the signal that you are not taking full responsibility because if you did, you will be doing well financially right now.

Your life tells you something.

  • You are either rich or you are not.
  • You are either maintaining your ideal weight or you don’t.
  • You are either making sales consistently or you don’t.

Your results don’t lie. You have to accept reality and stop blaming or giving excuses right now.

If you continue to blame and give reasons, you can never change. So stop doing that.

Instead, take charge of your life right now.

Learn to take full responsibility for what has happened. After all, this is your life and you are the one who chose to be where you are right now.

  • Choose to change.
  • Choose to work harder.
  • Choose to prospect more often.
  • Choose to exercise daily.
  • Choose to write 1,000 words a day.
  • Choose to learn to manage your finances.

You are where you are right now because of your past decision and action.

And because you are the one who is responsible, you can change the situation. Are you happy with your life right now? Do love where you are in life now?

If you don’t, choose to change it. It all starts with you.

You can change, get better results, be more successful and live a better life in the future, but you have to take the responsibility and take control for your life, right now.

Your Future Starts Today

A lot of people don’t take responsibility because the result is not immediate.

If you go to the gym and work hard today, you are not going to achieve your ideal weight tomorrow. It takes consistent effort.

Success is a long-term marathon and not a short-term sprint. You need to do it consistently each day in order to get the result you want.

Most people don’t have the determination and the commitment to follow through. They procrastinate, they blame, they give excuses, they quit and they give up.

The results will come, but not immediately.

You have to understand that your future and the success you want, start today, not tomorrow, and not sometime in the future.

If you want to earn a million dollar in the next 3 years, you have to start working right now. What you do right now will impact your life and give you the result after 3 years.

Always remember this; it is what you do right now that will determine your future. (Read my definition of success and you will understand why success is a journey, not a destination)

Hence, success is now. Success is what you do at this moment, not sometime later, not tomorrow, and certainly not next week.

It is now. It is what you do right now that will determine what you will get in the future.

Thus, choose to do what is necessary. Choose to do something that will improve your life. And stop playing the blame game or give lousy excuses that will never get you what you want in life.

Before we finish this article, you may wonder what are the practical steps and tips to take full responsibility for your life. You should check out my guide here:

10 Ways How to Take Full Responsibility For Your Life


Taking full responsibility for your life is one of the main keys to achieving the success you want. If you don’t take responsibility, nothing will change.

It all starts with you. It is your choice. You can choose to take action and work on your dreams, or you can choose to delay and procrastinate. Your call.

Likewise, you can choose to read this article and then do nothing, or you can choose to read this article and try to implement and live the success principle I shared here.

Whatever you do, you will feel the impact in the future.

Therefore, take my advice, learn as much as possible. Master yourself, develop your skills, and improve your knowledge. The better you become, the more successful you will be.

If you have no idea where to start, check out my masterclass at Goal Setting Formula. Set empowering goals that change your life forever.

Let me know what you think about this article. Do you like what you have read? Share with me in the comment section below.

Shawn Lim

This article may contain affiliate links. Meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. As always, I only recommend products and services I trust.

Hi there, this is Shawn. I inspire people to achieve their goals and dreams and to reach for higher success in life. If you want to learn more about me, kindly go to the About page. By the way, have you downloaded your FREE copy of The 90-90-1 Rule? Don't forget to do so. Cheers. :)

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