I've been reading self-help books for 20 years. I've read hundreds. I've attended countless seminars, taken dozens of courses. I've learned many great things and, in the process, increased my income by a factor of forty.

I have a great life.

But in the process I missed a crucial fact. Something that has held me back. A mysterious overlooked factor.

I spotted it after signing up for Jack Canfield's "Success Principles" coaching program, based on his book by the same name.

The Surprise from My Personality Profile

Part of Canfield's program is a personality inventory called the "Winslow Dynamics Profile." Your personality is graded as to 24 different traits--on a 1-10 scale.

As I expected I had some strong traits. I scored a 10 on self-control and a 9 on self-confidence and a 9 on endurance. Here's what shocked me: my score on Responsibility was a 2! That's 2 on a 10 scale.

For all my time invested in self-improvement I scored no better than a 2!?

Although I found this disturbing, over the next year, as I completed the program, I realized the assessment was accurate. I had carefully deluded myself into believing I was high on responsibility. I began to read books on the subject to get a better understanding of my plight. I began to see some symptoms.

Do You Criticize?

When I criticize others I am exhibiting low-responsibility. That's right. Criticism equates with low levels of responsibility. I am failing to take responsibility for the people and things I am criticizing.

And, it is not just vocalized criticism.

Critical unexpressed thoughts also equate with low levels of personal responsibility.

I started watching my thoughts. And I realized the Winslow was right. Somehow, I had managed to avoid personal responsibility for my personal responsibility.

The Number One Principle of Personal Success

I had read Jack's book all the way through. I had even listened to the audio version. In the Book, the number one principle of success is: Take 100% Responsibility For Your Life." As Canfield put it: "If you want to be successful, you have to take 100% responsibility for everything that you experience in your life."

How had I missed this? It wasn't that I did not understand the principle. I was applying it--I thought. How had I failed to see to what great extent I was applying this principle. In the Intro to his book Jack offers some advice: "Be patient. Hang in there. Don't give up. You will break through."

I had. It was painful to confront. But, if you are sick with malaria, you might not like the taste of Quinine. But, are you going to take it? Absolutely!

Do You Make Excuses?

Another symptom. Did I? Absolutely! Was it a symptom of irresponsibility? Absolutely!

I was catching on.

Sitting with a neighbor. He complained about the lawncare. (I was on the Board of our homeowner's association.) It was somebody else's job, I started to say. Then I stopped.

I had conveniently explained to myself and others for years that "it was someone else's job." But this time I caught myself. I was rationalizing away responsibility. A breakthrough.

"You are right." I told Mr. Brown, "we can do better; we can improve the lawn care."

The Oz Principle

Recommended to me months before. I had picked it up at the bookstore but it had never indicated. Until now. I ran across a copy at a thriftstore. This time I was ready.

"The Oz Principle" is about how we each (in the past) have rationalized away our power and effectiveness by avoiding responsibility. It's about manifestations of irresponsibility such as "denial" and "finger pointing."

And, most of all, it is about how we can reverse the cycle. We can each raise our level of effectiveness and productivity by simply taking on more responsibility.


I'm sure I have a long way to go. But I'm on the path. I'm learning every day. I'm watching for critical thoughts. I'm alert to feelings of blame. I'm making headway. It's taken me a long time to reach a place I thought I was already at. My new found knowledge has opened up a vista for me of new levels of personal causation. I'm excited about my future.

In 25 years as an injury attorney Rex Bush has successfully handled over 1014 cases, his largest settlement to date is 3.25 million dollars. Visit his Utah Attorney website:http://bestdriversupdate.com/Blog/
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