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Personal Responsibility Essay

Accepting personal responsibility in life is one of the most important traits a person can have. A responsible person has accepted that they are in control of the choices they make in life and cannot blame other people for those choices. It also means that when they are responsible and can accomplish anything, including experiencing success in college and any other challenge put their way. What does personal responsibility mean? To me personal responsibility means that I am responsible for what I choose in life. I have to hold myself accountable and cannot blame others for the choices I make. Jake Lawson wrote on the Livestrong.com website, “Accepting personal responsibility includes but is not limited to: acknowledging that you are solely responsible for the choices in your life and accepting that you are responsible for what you choose to feel or think” (Lawson, 2011). That statement is very profound and powerful.

It is easy to place the blame on others but all that really does is hold us back from finding our true potential. We cannot use scapegoats to hide the fact that we possibly make bad decisions in life. Whichever direction my life heads, I am the captain of this ship and I cannot let others control what I do. I have control over my emotional responses to outside interference and must live with the consequences of my actions. In the Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (Issue 4), 497-515, Dana Klein wrote ‘people are responsible when they act with the ability to do the right thing for the right reasons, or a good thing for good reasons.’(Klein, pg. 497) What exactly does that mean? It means that if we choose not to do the right thing or make bad decisions, they have not shown personal responsibility. I have to be willing to improve myself professionally, academically and personally in life. I can never be complacent or else I will never accomplish more and continue to grow as a person. There is more to being responsible then just making the right choices.

Personal ethics is also a large part of personal responsibility. If I do not make ethical and moral choices, I am not showing personal responsibility. When it comes to determining a specific course of action, I have to take my personal ethics into account. First, I have to look at the action and what, if any, the moral repercussions of that action will be. Even if the course of action potentially could be beneficial to me, I have to be aware that it could hurt someone else. For example, if I am putting in for a promotion at work and I know that a coworker who is also considered is better qualified for the job, but because of gender or racial bias I am offered the promotion over him or her, I would have to weigh what the consequences would be if I accepted or refused the promotion. I could alienate myself from my coworkers if I took it, but may be passed over for future opportunities because I did not accept it. I would be tempted to take the job but in the end I would turn it down so my coworker would get it.

It is true I may not get another chance to advance in the near future, but it is more important to me to have the respect of my peers. There is a distinct relationship between personal responsibility and college success. I have to complete all my assignments properly and have them turned in on time. I have to dedicate a certain amount of time to do this or else my schoolwork will suffer and I have only myself to blame. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that may cause an issue, but it is my responsibility to deal with it and minimize the impact of it. I cannot expect anyone else to do my work; otherwise I will never learn anything and will always be dependent on other people to help me make it through my college career. Therefore, although I do not want other people to do everything, I have to be willing to learn new things and take advantage of the numerous resources available to aid me to do my own work in making me a stronger student.

There are many programs out there to help, such as tutoring or mentoring programs that can help me be more responsible with my education. In doing all this I can credit taking personal responsibility for succeeding in accomplishing my goals as a college student. Another part of accepting personal responsibility is the willingness to set up a plan in completing my goals in life and as a student. Life is chaotic enough, so being able to manage my time is extremely important. Time is at a premium so I need to set up a schedule for the day to balance work, family, and time to study and work on assignments without over-extending myself. If there is no schedule, it can lead to assignments being rushed and not completed to the fullest potential of what I know I can do.

Another key element in planning to complete goals in life and as a student is not to wait until the last minute to do things. Procrastination can hurt when working on any task or assignment. I need to prioritize when certain assignments are due and get those completed in the order of when they need to be completed, and not to overlook smaller things because a group of smaller problems will become a larger problem. If things feel as if they are going out of control, I cannot be afraid to ask for guidance in how to rein in these issues and manage them better so as not to let certain things suffer, like work or personal life.

In conclusion, personal responsibility is incredibly important in more than just education, but in life itself. One cannot be successful in any endeavor without accepting that they make the choices in life and decide to be responsible for those choices, whether they be good or bad. By understanding what I need to do to accept personal responsibility; I can become a better student, a better father, and a better person in general. I cannot let fear of the unknown control my actions because by overcoming fear and taking responsibility for my life, I can succeed at anything. Change your choices and actions, and you will change the results that follow (Gallozzi paragraph 5).

Annotated Bibliography

Reference Page Entry
Gallozzi, C. (n.d.). Personal Responsibility. Retrieved from http://www.personal-development.com/chuck/responsibility.htm
The article discusses the issue of personal responsibility and how making a change in your life is not possible without recognizing you alone are responsible for the choices you make.

Reference Page Entry
Lawson, J. (2011). Accepting personal responsibility. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/14698-accepting-personal-responsibility/
The site discusses the many facets of personal responsibility and the definitions of accepting personal responsibility and what failing to accept personal responsibility can lead to.

Reference Page Entry
Nelkin, D. K. (2008, December). Responsibility and rational abilities: defending an asymmetrical view. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 89 (Issue 4), 497-515. In this paper, the author defends a view according to which one is responsible for one’s actions to the extent that one has the ability to do the right thing for the right reasons.

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