Understanding Responsibility vs Blame

By Leo Gura - January 5, 2015 | 40 Comments

Why you are 100% responsible for everything!

Video Transcript

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Hey, this is Leo for Actualized.org, and in this video I want to talk about how to understand responsibility versus blame.

One of the most important principles of personal development is this idea that you have to take 100% responsibility for your life. I talked about this principle in other videos and I have a really popular and powerful video called How To Stop Being A Victim, which talks a lot about this.

I also have a video about how to master and control your emotions, which talks about this. I have other videos that briefly touch on this as well. What I sometimes see in the comments section is that people get confused about what this really means.

What does it mean to take 100% responsibility for your life? Doesn’t this then mean that I am to blame for all the stuff that’s going wrong in my life? That’s the common objection I hear to this. This is such a critical topic that I wanted to shoot a video just to clarify this.

If you’re confused about what responsibility means and if you don’t actually take 100% responsibility for what happens in your life, then it’s going to be very difficult for you to make any kind of progress in your personal development.

You’re basically going to be permanently stuck. You’re going to become a victim and you are going to stay a victim. This is how people kill their personal development forever. For some people, they cannot progress at all anymore because they have entrenched themselves into victim thinking.

This is a very important thing for you to get over if you’re suffering from this. Let’s talk about it.

Complete Responsibility

When I say that you should take 100% responsibility for your life, I mean a very radical thing here. I mean that you take full, complete and 100% responsibility for everything that happens in your life.

I mean the obvious stuff and the not so obvious stuff. I mean the stuff that you are not even necessarily causing, but you’re still responsible for. This is where people have a problem, so let me clarify what I mean.

As soon as I say this, what comes to mind is this kind of objection – “But Leo, what about rape, theft and murder? I’ve got this toxic relationship, I have this bitchy wife, what about her? Am I responsible for that? I’ve got this asshole of an abusive husband, am I responsible for him too?”

Maybe you were born with certain deficiencies. Maybe you were born disabled or handicapped. Maybe you were born in a bad country. People say – “How can you say that I am responsible for that? You’re saying that I’m to blame for getting raped, for someone stealing something from me or for being abused in this relationship?”

This is what usually comes up. The first really critical thing to get across here is to make a distinction. Responsibility doesn’t mean that you’re at fault or that you’re to blame for this situation.

For example, we take a rape and we say that the person who got raped, even though she didn’t want it and didn’t cause it – let’s assume so – is still responsible for it. What could that possibly mean?

I am going to give you my definition of what 100% responsibility means. It’s not about internalizing blame. As you grow yourself, the first thing you have to realize is that this whole notion of blame and fault is a completely pointless activity.

There is never any need to blame or fault people for stuff, whether it’s people, things or situations. There is no need for it. This is really a lower consciousness behavior that your ego creates. Your ego creates it because it makes you feel better.

What is happening is that you’re making a distinction between good and evil. It’s a false distinction. It’s not a real distinction. It is a distinction created in your mind and this is done because it allows you to say that you’re the righteous one, and that person, thing or situation over there is the evil one.

It creates this separation. It creates a stronger sense of you and your ego. This is why it’s done. When you’re not conscious of this, that’s why it happens, because this is a very low consciousness activity.

As you develop yourself more and become more conscious, as you do meditation work, as you grow yourself in other areas of your life, as you understand victim mentality, then what tends to happen is that you stop assigning blame to anything at all.

This is because it’s a totally pointless activity. More importantly, you just see through it and the sham of it. It really is a sham. It’s like a con that you’re playing on yourself, when you do this good and evil dichotomy.

What, then, does that really mean?

Don’t Internalize The Blame

Don’t internalize the blame. When I say that you’re responsible for the rape or this bad thing that has happened to you, that doesn’t mean that you now need to go and guilt yourself and make yourself feel bad about it. That’s not what we are saying.

What we are simply saying is what I’m going to get to in just a moment. I’m holding it off because I want to contrast it with another definition that I see some Eastern philosophers or mystics making.

For example, Osho has this definition of responsibility because, in the East, they are pretty big on this. This notion is kind of central to enlightenment work and meditation work. One of the things he will say is that to him, responsibility means response – ability.

It’s your ability to respond to the situation you are in the moment. For example, he would say you’re responsible for the rape in the sense that right now, right this second, even though the rape might have happened five years ago, you have a choice as to how you respond to what happened five years ago.

Some people will choose to bitch, moan and complain about it. Other people can take that exact same experience and transform it in their minds into something resourceful. They can have a resourceful response to, an otherwise, evil thing.

That’s responsibility. That is an important component, but I think that it’s a bit of a play on words and that’s not what most of us mean when we say responsibility. This leads me to my four part definition of what responsibility means and what it really means to take 100% responsibility in your life.

You’re Responsible For More Than You Know Or Want To Admit

Number one – First of all, it means that you recognize that you cause a lot more of your life than you are willing to admit. You’re the cause of a lot more things than you think you are. In this sense, you are responsible for a lot more things than you are willing to admit.

What would this mean? Let’s say that someone says – “Leo, I’m living in a really terrible country. I don’t have the opportunities that people have in first world countries. How can I start a business? How can I be successful? How can I self-actualize in this third world country that I’m living in? The infrastructure and economy are bad. I’m at a huge disadvantage. You’re saying that I’m responsible for this?”

The fact is, perhaps you were born in that country and you’re there now. However, you have to understand that you’re responsible and you’re the cause of the fact that you’re staying in that country.

That’s happening on a daily basis. You’re deciding to stay in that country because you could also decide to leave that country. You might say – “Leo, I can’t leave the country. I don’t have the right permits or the right visas and similar.”

Well, maybe you can’t leave that country to go to the US. Maybe you can’t leave that country to go to the country of your choice. However, you can certainly leave that country. That’s just a physical reality and a physical fact about you and your existence.

Whatever country you are living in, you can physically leave it. No one is really stopping you. There might be certain disadvantages. There might be some severe disadvantages. Maybe there will be some repercussions and punishments.

Usually, you can still leave that country, if only for a week or month. Technically speaking, you can leave that country for the rest of your life if you wanted to. I’m not saying that there’s a right or wrong here. I’m just saying that it’s possible.

When you say you’re not the cause of this, you actually are the cause of it. You’re not admitting the subtle things that you’re the cause of.

Let’s use another example. Maybe there’s a woman and she comes to me and says – “Leo, I’m in this really abusive relationship. My husband disrespects me, physically and verbally abuses me, he’s not treating me the way I want to be treated and deserve to be treated.”
He’s clearly doing the wrong thing here, right? He’s the wrong one, because it’s not right to be physically abusing women. That’s not right. Society says that it’s wrong. The law says it’s wrong.

How is she responsible for this? “I’m a model wife. I try to be sweet and nice. I try to do everything I can. I try to work out my problems with him. We went to therapy and nothing seems to be helping. I’m doing everything I can in this relationship. How can you say I’m responsible for this?”

Again, you’re not acknowledging the little causes that you actually are responsible for. The fact is that you can leave him right now. You can just get in your car, drive away and never see that person again in your life.

That’s an option for you. Whether that’s a good option or not, well, maybe it’s not. Maybe you have to weigh the consequences of what that choice will do to your life. However, that is an option.

Also, you have to look at the causes that led you to this relationship. How did you get into this relationship in the first place? Wasn’t that caused by you? Wasn’t this entire relationship caused and co-created by you? Didn’t you initially go on a date? Didn’t you agree to go on a date with this person the first time you met him?

Didn’t you agree to have sex with this person the first time you had sex? Didn’t you agree to move in together before you got married? Didn’t you agree to keep living together, even though you guys were having arguments?

You knew what he was kind of like after you were living with him. Didn’t you agree to get married to him? Didn’t you go through the whole engagement phase where you could have backed out of the marriage?

Didn’t you then finally, on your wedding day, say your vows and put the wedding ring on? Then, after that, didn’t you still keep the marriage going, even though you can get a divorce? You’re telling me you’re not responsible for any of that and that now this dysfunctional relationship just somehow fell in your lap?

It just magically fell in your lap. No, that’s nonsense. That’s exactly why this victim mentality is dangerous. That’s exactly why when you don’t take 100% responsibility, you leave a lot of causes under the rug.

This literally cages you and you feel very constricted and confined. Right now, there are probably over a million women in the United States alone who can hear this story I’m saying and say – “Yes! That’s me! That’s exactly me. I’ve been trapped for months or years. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to get out. I don’t know how to break free.”

This is because they didn’t take responsibility. Notice that this is very different from me pointing my finger at you and saying – “You’re bad! You did something wrong here!” I’m not interested in whether you did something wrong or not. I’m not interested in whether your husband is an evil or good person.

It doesn’t really concern me, and nor should it concern you. It doesn’t matter. That’s an ego game. That’s a very shallow and low consciousness ego game which distorts and really diverts your attention from the thing that needs to be fixed.

As long as you’re playing that game, nothing gets done. When you stop playing that game, then you can be very hardnosed and rational about the whole thing.

You can say – “You know what? Maybe I made some mistakes. Maybe some of the stuff I did wasn’t even my fault. Maybe this person tricked me into getting married. Maybe I didn’t really know what he was like. Maybe I was just naïve, or maybe I knew and I still went in and made these mistakes.”

Whatever it was, it doesn’t really matter. The fact is that there was a string of your behavior, actions and thoughts which created this situation. The situation you are in right now was created by you.

In fact, if you really think about it, every situation in your life that you’re in is always created by you. This is so even though if there are causes which are out of your control. The very fact that you are right here, right now, standing here and listening to this, means you’re co-creating this moment.

You can choose to close your eyes, close your ears, walk out of the room, and turn your head or whatever. You’re choosing to be here. You’re choosing to listen to me or read me right now. That’s you, actively creating your life.

You have to see this. You have to really see this. It’s a very important idea. The first point of responsibility is just that you have to acknowledge all the little causes and not just the most dimidiate causes, but the whole chain of causes.

Life is a chain of causes. From here you are right now, we can track back all the causes to when you were born and to a million years before that. There’s a whole convoluted and complex chain of stuff that has happened.

Not all of that stuff is in your control, but that doesn’t matter. You’re still responsible for it.

Commit To Never Blaming Anyone Or Anything

Number two – The next point is taking 100% responsibility for me means you commit to never blaming anyone or anything else for the stuff that’s happening in your life.

This is like a contract, covenant and commitment that you make with yourself. You make this commitment simply because you’re tired of being a victim and you never want to be a victim again in your life.

This is the solution. The solution to it is to make this commitment.

You can say – “No, Leo. You know what? I would rather go and cast blame on people and say that those people are evil. I’d rather say I’m good and those things over there are good. I’d rather do that and continue living my miserable existence and getting the bad results that I’ve been getting. I don’t want to make this commitment. I don’t want to take responsibility.”

You could also say – “You know what? I don’t want that. Why? That’s a really stupid way to live. It makes no sense. If I look deep enough, I can see that it’s just an ego game, it’s this whole blame game. Nothing needs to be blamed. I don’t need to get angry at anyone. All I need to do is focus on the right actions I need to be taking every single moment of my life and I’ll trust that it will fix all these problems that I have.”

While there’s no guarantee that it will fix those problems, it’s a pretty good chance. There’s a pretty good chance that you can fix a lot of your problems there. You have to cut out the stuff where you’re saying – “If only that one person was cut out of my life, everything would be fine.”

If only he had done something different, everything would be perfect. If only she behaved in a different way, if only I had a little better education when I was growing up or if only I had grown up in a better country, if only my health was a little bit better, everything would be fine.

If only I looked a little prettier or a little more handsome, everything would be perfect. If only I was a little more muscular, everything would be fine. This is the kind of stuff that I meant. What you’re doing here is blaming.

You blame circumstances and people for the place that you are at right now. You’re not taking responsibility for all the chain of causes that led you up to here. You’re also not taking responsibility for all the actions you could do from this point forward to change all that.

A lot of these things can be changed. Don’t get me wrong. This video is not a black and white video. This video is a very grey video. I’m not saying that you can change everything about your life. That’s not the case at all.

There’s plenty of stuff you cannot change. Let’s take a disabled kid for an example, who doesn’t have the use of his legs from birth. You might ask me how that kid is responsible for that. How is he going to change that?

Should he go and work his whole life to get the motion back in his legs when doctors tell him no? That’s a very extreme case. In that situation, maybe you can’t change it. Maybe he cannot change it.

Maybe he can work his whole life and still be unable to change it. Okay, that could be the case. The first thing you have to recognize is that this is not usually a good and representative example of how you play the victim.

In situations in your life, where you do play the victim, it’s usually in areas where you actually do have control. You have more control than you think because you’ve ignored all these hidden causes that you don’t want to take responsibility for.

Usually, there are many different ways to fix your situation. It’s just that you haven’t thought of them yet, you haven’t researched them yet or you don’t want to take those actions. Even with this kid, he should still take responsibility for the fact that he is in a wheelchair.

He should still take responsibility. First of all, maybe there is a solution that he’s currently overlooking and he could get the use of his legs back through some sort of chain of causes. Also, I’m getting to some other points here which are going to answer that objection.

You Always Have Some Control

Number three – This brings me to point number three. You always have at least some control. At least some, no matter what situation in life you find yourself in. You have at least some control even in the direst situation.

The reason that this is true is that, at the very minimum, you have control of how you respond to this situation. Let’s come up with the most extreme example.

You might say – “Leo, what if someone kidnaps me, ties me up, locks me up in solitary confinement and handcuffs me? There I am, with no food or water. I’m sitting there and I’m about to die in a couple of days. They locked me up. I cannot see anything. It’s a pitch black room.”

In this situation, is there still at least some control? Granted, you’re very limited in that situation. There’ still control. First of all, you’ve still got a little motion. Even if you are handcuffed, you’ve still got a little motion.

You can still move your eyes. You can probably still move your head. There’ still stuff you can move. Even physically, there’s stuff you can do. More importantly, there’s your mind, and the way that you’re reacting and thinking about the situation.

There, you have almost unlimited control. No one can ever force you to think or believe whatever you don’t want to think or believe. It’s actually interesting because it happens when you’re unconscious.

If you’re sitting there and watching TV or you’re growing up and being indoctrinated by media, society, your parents and all of that, it is happening by default. However, if you take conscious control of your mind, then you can decide what you want to think about, where you want to focus your attention and how you want to interpret the external circumstances which are happening around you.

This is very critical. People who are starting personal development don’t realize how critical this point is – the point of being able to control your interpretations and reality. This is huge. This is everything.
Even though you might say – “Leo, rather than controlling interpretations of reality, why don’t I just change reality into the way that I want? Isn’t that better? Go and give me some real and physical stuff. I want a nice car. I want money or a great relationship. I can bank on those things. Now you’re taking about this silly and airy fairy controlling of emotions and thoughts?”

Why is this important? Maybe you can change an interpretation, but is that really meaningful? It’s not going to change reality. However, it actually does severely affect your reality. It affects how you behave.

It affects how you interact with other people. It affects your motivation levels and what you will do in your life. It affects what you create, build and how you react to a situation. It affects your mood, your emotions and how you feel. It affects your happiness level. It affects all your emotions such as sadness, fear, anger, depression, misery, suffering and loneliness.
All of these emotions are created through your interpretations of reality. These are not created by physical reality itself. This is very powerful and I have a video named How To Control Your Emotions which talks more about how these interpretations work.

I won’t go into all that depth, but you have to acknowledge how powerful this thing is.

Your Current Response Matters The Most

Number four – the fourth point is about what I mean when I say to take 100% responsibility. It means that you acknowledge that your response in the present moment is the thing that matters most.

People really get hung up about the stuff that happened to them in the past. You might say – “But Leo, I was born in a bad country. My parents didn’t have money. Our family was poor. I had some bad disease or some bad condition. I had bad schooling or this horrible relationship that I was in.”

Because of this, you now feel somehow limited. When you’re saying all of that, you’re creating a very convenient situation which relieves you of responsibility in the present moment. This is what Osho was talking about.

It’s your ability to respond right now and to take action, to think new thoughts or have a new interpretation. Let’s go back to that rape example. People say to me – “Rape! How can you say that the victim needs to take responsibility for the rape? That’s an offensive and horrible thing to say!”

It actually is the case. If you believe that, you have to account for the following scenario. That one person can get raped and then five years later, that person is still very bitter and angry about it and has difficulty getting into intimate relationships.

This is because she’s afraid, nervous and resentful. She has all of this baggage from the past. This is scenario A.

Scenario B is that you’ve got pretty much the exact same person that went through the same rape experience, but this person is living in a great family five years from now. She has a healthy relationship and is doing great financially and in other areas. She’s emotionally healthy, fit, great and happy.

She isn’t miserable at all. Both people experienced the exact same traumatic event. The B person has interpreted this traumatic event in an empowering way. Yes, it was a bad event. Yes, she would never want it to happen to her again. Yes, the person who was the perpetrator, the rapist, should be locked up or put in jail.

He deserves whatever punishments he deserves under law. Right now, in the present moment, she can choose how she wants to respond. She recognizes that if she holds on to this incident and keeps being bitter and resentful about it, she’s choosing a very un-resourceful response in the present moment to something that doesn’t even exist anymore.

The rape doesn’t exist anymore. It’s in the past. The past doesn’t exist. In the present, you can decide what you’re doing. A lot of people will sabotage their present ability to decide and act, because they dwell so much on the past.

They create this self-fulfilling prophecy effect where they’re so focused on the past that it literally perpetuates in the future. This largely accounts for the difference between these two people here that we talked about.

It’s your ability to respond right now that’s the most critical thing, no matter how bad your past was. You can see examples of this. You can see celebrities and successful people who have really bad initial experiences in life. However, they went on to succeed. The only reason that it happened was because they interpreted these situations in an empowering way.

They actually drew strength from this. Believe it or not, it’s actually possible to draw strength from rape. It’s not the case that it always makes you weaker. In fact, there are women out there who have become stronger by it.

This doesn’t mean that they would want to subject themselves again to the same situation. I’m sure you’ve had experiences in your life which were very difficult, trying and traumatic that you wouldn’t want to happen to you again.

However, they have made you stronger. They’ve made your character stronger. They’ve toughened you up. That’s the key there. When you take responsibility for the now, you’re always ensuring that you’re able to pick the most resourceful response and therefore create the best possible life that you can create.

This doesn’t mean that you can create any kind of life that you want. There are hard limits. However, you can create something much powerful than you presently believe. This is only if you take 100% responsibility for your life.

This is my suggestion to you. I think you can see all the detail in this definition. There’s really a lot to be said here. It’s nuanced. This is a nuanced definition. We’re talking about shades of grey, not black and white.

The Paradox In Personal Development

There’s this interesting kind of paradox in personal development. On one hand, you simultaneously both are the entire cause of your entire life and you are also not the cause of it at all. You both are, and you’re not.

If you’re very comfortable playing the victim right now, then you need to swing your pendulant to the opposite side. You need to say you take 100% responsibility for everything. This is going to be how you progress.

After you do that and you move from victim to creator, after a while you are going to get comfortable and say – “Wait a minute, there’s some deeper stuff here.” You’re going to research personal development even deeper. Maybe you’ll start with meditation. Maybe you’ll start looking into enlightenment.

What you will discover there is that you actually don’t have as much control as you thought. It’s going to be interesting because it’s going to fuck with your mind. This is because your ego likes to assume control over stuff.

First, you will feel like you’ve taken all of this control in your life and you don’t want to give it up. What’s actually going to happen then is that you’re going to swing your pendulant backwards and give more of it up.

However, you’re not going to be the victim anymore. You’re going to be moving from victim, to creator, to this very advanced stage called acceptance. It is total acceptance of reality, exactly the way it is, without needing to judge it or blame it.

However, if you’re a victim, that’s a far distance away. Don’t worry about that right now. The most productive mindset for you right now is to assume that you cause everything, literally everything.

You choose to be here, right now. You choose to be living in this country, this state, this city, this house that you’re in right now, the work that you’re going to, the relationship that you’re in, the family that you have, the amount of money in your bank account, how you look, how much hair you have, how much fat you have on you or how good your teeth look.

You’re responsible for all that stuff. You’re responsible for all of it. That’s very powerful. If you have the courage to accept that, you’re going to feel a new sense of strength. If you actually take responsibility for stuff, this is a good thing.

People sometimes say that it’s not their fault. This relationship, this dysfunctional family, the bad job I have or my boss isn’t my fault. Look, it’s actually good. First of all, forget the fault thing. That’s blaming. We already talked about blaming.

Instead of fault, we’re resorting to responsibility. It is your responsibility, but it is a great thing. Even when something is your fault, it’s still a great thing because this means you have the control and power to change it.

It’s nice when things are your fault. In your mindsets, you need to get yourself up to the point where you’re very comfortable admitting that stuff is your fault, even if it’s not your fault. If something isn’t your fault, instead of bickering about it and saying it isn’t, you should say you will take responsibility for it anyway.

So what? Even if it’s not my fault, I’ll just assume it’s my fault. That’s a really healthy mindset to take. Why? Because for me, I actually like that stuff, right? I like things to be my fault because that means I can change it.

I can grow myself over that problem. If something is not my fault at all and if it’s totally outside of me, that’s actually the scarier thing. That’s scarier because then you have no control at all. If I’m co-creating my toxic relationship or the bad relationship I have with my boss, if I’m responsible for the low amount of money I have in my bank account, my crooked teeth or the amount of fat I have on my gut, those are all great things.

Yes, it’s a little painful to admit at first. Once you admit it, it’s great because you have this sense of relief. Then you can change it and do some stuff to actually remedy those situations. That’s where the power lies, right?

As soon as you project and embody your courage, you make it real and accept this stuff. Then, so many possibilities open for you. It’s amazing.

I think that if you honestly look at this principle of taking 100% responsibility, then you have to say that it’s probably not totally true. It’s not totally true that you literally create every single situation and every single moment in your life.

However, I think that this is a very healthy attitude to take, at least for now, if you’re at the point of your life where you’re stuck and you’re not getting the results you want. Later, you can distance yourself from that, once you outgrow it.

Right now, you haven’t even touched it yet. You need to touch this principle first. You need to swim around inside and see how it affects the way you live your life. For me, this has been very powerful.

At this stage in my life, right now, I’m actually doing some work with meditation and enlightenment where I’m kind of letting go of control and responsibility. That’s actually a very difficult thing to do when you do it consciously and properly.

When you do it unconsciously, then you’re just being a victim. At this point, I’m not really suffering from any victim mindsets. I was a lot in the past. I fixed a lot of those. I’m kind of evolving.

I definitely got a lot of value out of this principle of taking 100% responsibility. I’m still reaping the benefits of that. There are still areas in my life where I can be playing a victim. I’ll fix those areas by applying the principle of 100% responsibility.

Do you know what it really does for me? It allows me to see all those little hidden causes that I could change. It also allows me to create an empowering and resourceful interpretation. If I want to get better at dating and I think it’s not my fault that I’m not good at dating, I’ll accept responsibility.

I’ll say that it is my fault. Then, I will take the burden on myself to learn how get better at dating. I’ve done that and it’s worked really well for me. The same thing happened with my nutrition, fitness and weight level.

I will take full responsibility for that, even for things that are potentially out of my control. Maybe I can’t literally change my genetics. Maybe it’s true that I have a gene that predisposes me to being more obese.
You know what? I’m going to take responsibility even for that. This is because I don’t want to miss any little chance that I have to control this situation. When I do that, I get amazing results, and I have.

I’ll do the same thing with my career, my boss, my lack of energy in the morning when I’m waking up, my bank account, my friendships and my hobbies. I will do the same thing with Actualized.org and the videos that I shoot.

Take extra responsibility. That’s what you need to do. For example, I was shooting videos for a while when I first started and there was one thing I was disappointed by. YouTube has this compression algorithm. When you put a video into YouTube, it tends to sort of compress it down and reduce the quality of the video.

When I started, that disappointed me at first. I wanted my videos to be as sharp as possible. Then, I took responsibility for that. I said – “You know what? I’m going to take full responsibility, like it’s my job to make my videos as sharp as possible, regardless of any compression algorithms that YouTube has.”

I’m going to take full responsibility. What I did over the months was that I made them sharper and sharper because I actually discovered hidden causes of the lack of sharpness in my videos, which weren’t YouTube related. See, I wouldn’t have seen those if I had said that it was all YouTube’s fault. Damn them and their damn algorithm!

My videos would have stayed fuzzy. I said no, and took full responsibility. Then I found a bunch of hidden causes. I upgraded my camera and ultimately bought a much nicer camera. The clarity of the videos was very important to me.

It’s stuff like that. I want you to become more mindful of that in your own life. Find examples where you do that yourself. The reason that I like to take more responsibility than necessary is because I think that the greater danger isn’t taking too much responsibility for stuff that isn’t in your control.

That’s not really dangerous. What’s going to happen is that you will experience some emotional discomfort, right? You’ll experience emotional discomfort because you have to go outside of yourself. You have to kind of shake free of your ego for a little bit and take responsibility for something that potentially might not be your fault.

That’s good. That’s healthy. That’s actually good for you. Nothing bad comes of that. When you undershoot and don’t take enough responsibility, then that really creates a big problem. That means you’re stuck forever.

If I have to choose between risking and not losing anything at all, and getting stuck in my life forever, what do you think I’m going to lean towards? It’s a no brainer. There’s no question about which one you should lean towards.

I am always going to swing my pendulant to the side of always taking too much responsibility. It’s not a problem. If I swing it this way and take too little responsibility, I’m stuck. I never want to be stuck. I’ll always swing it this way.

That’s the gist of it. I recommend you watch my other video about victim thinking. I recommend you watch my video about how to control and master your emotions. They will dovetail nicely with this one.

Wrap Up

This is Leo, I’m signing off. Go ahead and post me your comments. I’d love to hear what you think. Click the like button right now. Like this video. Share it on Facebook or with a friend so that more people can see them.

I can then keep releasing more free videos for you. Speaking of free videos, come and sign up to Actualized.org. It’s a free newsletter. I release new videos every single week. I have a lot of cool bonuses already for my subscribers that are exclusive. You can only get them there.

Over the next six to twelve months, I’m going to keep releasing more bonuses for my subscribers. You want to stay on track with that. The most important reason that you want to follow Actualized.org is because I want to give you all the mindsets you need to really master your life and create the kind of life you’ve always dreamed of, but also always struggled to create.

I know why you’re struggling to create it because I’ve struggled to create that kind of life for myself as well. It’s all because of these kinds of mindsets that are not in place. When you put these mindsets in place, things clear up a lot. You won’t believe how your reality changes.

I don’t mean just your perspective of it. Your reality literally changes when these stronger and more empowering mindsets are put into place. This was a really critical piece of it here but there are many other pieces I want to share with you.

This is a long term project. I have hundreds of videos that I’m going to be releasing. The best way to master this stuff is not to watch one video, but to stay on track and watch one video every single week or so.

Keep on going with it. Keep doing the exercises. Keep studying this stuff and your life will gradually improve until a few years from now, it will be something extraordinary. You can get extraordinary changes.

I’m really excited about sharing those with you. Sign up, and you’ll be all set.

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amanda says:

Wonderful video. The truth is so freeing. To know that one has self control is serious empowerment.

Dennis says:

Leo, great video! I enjoy that you don’t “deadpan”….but turn your eyes and face away from the camera as you speak periodically.

I thought about the victim mentally seriously after watching a previous video you created. I take the blame for what happens to me. By reviewing what the cause/effect is which caused an incident, I am able to make corrections to my thought pattern. I have made changes to my behavior. With these corrections, many situations have never repeated again.

I email chosen videos from your channel to persons on my e-mail list.

Julia says:

Hi Leo!!
Another wonderful video you have made!!Congrats and thank you bro!!
About two months ago my exboyfriend dumped me. But just two weeks before the breakup, he was still talking about moving to live with me. So the breakup was all of a sudden and at that moment I thought I was a victim because he treated me like a fool.
Then these days I’ve watched almost all your videos and they do inspire me and help me a lot! Especially “how to stop being a victim” and “how to deal with a breakup”!! I’ve begun to take all the responsibility and started again to achieve a new level of my life.
Thank you so much Leo!!

Talya Price says:

Thank you Leo for this video. I agree with most of what you said. I believe that there are many people who arrogantly think that racial discrimination, sexism, and rape is the fault of the victim. And there was a comment by a user on YouTube that made a comment stating this. I completely disagree with this user’s comment and I believe that this user made that comment just to start a YouTube fight (a la troll).

However, I believe that what you said about taking responsibility for ourselves is completely spot on. Most of us live with this victim mentality. Many of the people I am surrounded by see themselves as victims of their own lives. It takes “balls” to take full responsibility for your own life and your own circumstances. But it is not impossible. I am learning this now that I have been dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts. I am telling myself everyday that I am responsible for my own life and my own life circumstances.

Thank you for this Leo, and thank you Universe.

rami says:

how many houres a man need to sleep in one night to your opinion?

john says:

8 hours/ Plus take a 20 min nap in afternoon for greater alertness

Colin says:

Hi Leo,

Excellent video.

Watching this really got me thinking.

I have, had, this need to blame others to have my sense of justice validated. Realise now all I have done is create a roadblock for myself. Its not about the past its about this moment, letting go and moving forward. In accepting responsibility I open up choice


Kim says:

You never disappoint. Thank you!

Vicky says:

Thank you for all your inspiring videos! They are wonderful reminders that help keep me on track in my quest for a good life. With a major depression a few years back, I am working hard to get rid of all my unhealthy ways of thinking. It has cost a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but none of that compares to the suffering I would have gone through if I had just kept going the way I used to. I often tell myself: “The day I stopped feeling sorry for myself was the day I truly leaped forward”.

Thank you for being a strong source of motivation. Wish you all the best. Keep up the good work!

marc says:

You said it very well Leo, really people can tie your hands but they cannot tie you mind. As long as our mind is free to think, we can empower our minds to take charge and be responsible in our life ‘s journey. Thank you for reminding me these things… Always here to hear you, saluti ! ciao !

someone says:

interesting concept. So we can run from situations all our life’s to avoid them ,we can learn and grow from them? Or we can be victims and allow people to bully?

Pam says:

Fantastic Video Leo!
I just found you the other day and am enjoying all your videos!
Great stuff!

Asaiahpowers says:

Proactivity…great strategy

Great video. Really. Nice to see the progression of your success. I use many of these to explain different self-development concepts in my classes. I really enjoyed this one! Thank you.

Ashray says:

I finally understand the meaning of ‘I am enough’ and it’s relation with self responsibility and self acceptance

Billy says:

That is a awesome revelation in itself. The ability to accept myself for who I truly am enable me to step up and take more responsibility.

Kathy Germany says:

I think it’s a good way for understanding to be picky with the words. ‘responsible’ in german has the exact same meaning ‘verantwortlich’.
“antwort” is “response” and the more you are aware the more you can control your direct response to all things that happen.

All people who have access to your videos are privileged, in my view.

They are able to realize their dissatisfaction and this is the first step. Like an alcoholic. The first step is to realize that one has a problem respectively to realize that one is not in the flow with one’s deepest ‘wishes’ or one’s ‘truth’. As you realize your situation you have to respond and make the next step towards your truth. That’s how I understand you, pls correct if wrong. ThX!

Kathy again says:

I am happy about this distinction and – wow – I had sooo many arguments with my parents when I just wanted to mention a situation without rating it, just saying: ‘oh, look, I see that happend because of that – how interesting – cause and effect – now I understand!’

But everytime my parents they just hear blaming, equal how I try to choose my words and explain that I don’t want to blame them cause blaming doesn’t help anyone. I have to accept it otherwise its too exhausting…

Leo, do U have an advice how to talk with parents?

dave says:

another awesome job leo! this really is some of the best explanation i have heard on taking responsibility. you are empowering others to truly take charge of their lives, ty, ty, ty!

dalal abdallah says:

Great job leo , this is the strongest action can person take . But u know i have another senario that is smoother and logic , whatever habens to u accept it and do not blam at all any thing ,and work ,to get the best always ,and there is no if because if open the door for low self to work ,wich is sadness ,excuses, objections …etc
and know what happend to u will not mistaken u and what do not happend to u will not be happen ,,
This is how i understand it in away that is convienent to our life understanding ,
The problem with your explantion is we are human being ,we cannot be that superman u try to teach us ,so l think this is more logic to accept what happend and work on it to make it better and creat from it the life and dreams u want ….
thanks u are the most rational life coach that i see and listen to …..

Bade says:

I have seen all your videos this one is the best. it is practical easy &infromative.
I always say one word It is your choice .
Thank you .
You helping so many human by your comments.

Denise says:

Thanks so much for putting out such empowering thoughts for free.

karo says:

Intense – love it

Billy says:

Ya know I had an experience happen today where I loaned someone my truck with specific instructions on my gas vs needs for the end of the week. Of course they didn’t do what they said and drove my truck all over the place which put my gas in question. I found myself becoming irritated and aggravated but once I did my meditation I seen that my own hand caused the problem.I was responsible for everything that happened with my truck because it was my choise to loan it out.

Leo Gura says:

Nice work! Yeah, we set ourselves up a lot, don’t we?

Billy says:

Yes we do but its not intensional. We try and help people and they
Take advantage of you , because your so nice , but I have to fall
Back the the video you made on stop caring what people think
About you. Same person borrowed money and acts broke?
I’m tired of playing poor me victim , and don’t care to be a dick ,
But sometimes we just do what we think is right, because regardless someone is gonna be upset and its better
Them than me? Is that a bad attitude or ego talking. I will never
Be as good as you Leo where people shit all over me and I meditate and pretend it wasn’t real. That’s just not reality.

Leo Gura says:

Hahaha… the pretending is what you do now. The reality is that no opinions are real and no opinions matter. But it will take you some amount of inner growth work to see it. Stay with it.

Billy says:

I suppose Leo ,
I don’t know what it is going to take Leo? I have really tried to apply what you teach to my life , I stay positive , work hard, treat people good ,but nothing seems to be getting any better in my life.
I have really focused on ego deflation but I have days that seem like the entire world is against me. I want to attract positive people and things in my life. That’s what I focuse on but I feel so empty inside and overwhelmed with being lonely.

Leo Gura says:

The #1 reason people don’t get results is because they don’t take consistent action. You need to ACT! You need to build positive habits over long periods of time. Nothing gets fixed in just a few weeks.

What is the #1 thing you can do a bit every day to remove your loneliness? Decide and then start doing it every day for the next 3 months.

Billy says:

Leo I have been searching for that answer for 7 months now! Don’t you think if I knew it I would do it ? Who wants to be confused about life? I thought my life was grate. Good girlfriend ,awesome job, nice friendships, was really enjoying life . then from one day to the next it was gone and I was left trying to figure all this out. Wish someone would just tell me what they want out of me? If things were not good enough for my gf why won’t she just say what’s broke ? I was married for 22 years to someone I didn’t love and I found someone that I could make smile and we made plans to grow old together. Can’t figure out how she could text and say I love you and then won’t respond for days if not weeks and the text never say anything. I am 100% responsible for my own happiness. I have worked on changing all kind of stuff in my life ,personal growth , that has not changed the fact that I want to spend the rest of my life with her. Am I suppose to force myself to settle for some other chick I don’t have feelings for? I have lots of options ,I’m not needy , so if you have a cut and dry answer that I don’t see please just tell me .

Leo Gura says:

You’re too attached this girl. Forget about her and move on. Go have sex with 5 others girls and you will forget all about her. There is no such thing as soul-mates. There are thousands of even better girls out there for you. Stop being hooked on this one.

You might want to watch my video How To Deal With A Breakup.

omaid says:

talk about paranoia and anexiety pls

Alison says:

I know that 100% responsibility is an idea whose time is come. Control and responsibility;- interesting differentiation. These are strong things to accept and to get over blame, just very well spoken.

Grey video, yes to change within reason!

Change your attitude, change your life.

Billy says:

Leo had an amazing weekend with this girl you said forget. Things changed quickly once I got to the point where I could care less. She has even took a trip to see me and I had to pretty much hold her off of me the entire evening! Yes she is that special.

Carolyn says:

You are so right! The blame game is so easy to play! It takes energy and courage to take responsibility. To self actualize. It’s super ADULT. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood,but one has to stop blaming the past, your genes, society, prejudice,for where you find yourself. But,it’s hard!I guess that’s why
so many people like playing the blame game,because it’s easy,but after a while,
no one wants to wallow in self pity.

Billy says:

That was good reading. Your absolutely right but when life has you beat down its so easy to get caught up in poor me. I thought at one point I was suffering from clinical depression but what it really was ,I was stuck in self pity mode. Depression is a nice way of saying someone is feeling sorry for their self !

Eileen says:

Dear Leo,
I have just found your site and it is very timely and exactly what I needed.

Many Thanks and keep up the good work.


Marjorie says:

I had problems get mixed up with my emotions and could never find a solution, which made me have anxiety, pain, and after that, guilt. My mom once said to me, watch what you say, because you can never take it back, once said. Finding fault in others was always easy, but now with the lessons i learn from your videos, i want to change all this. I believe in the ego factor, and i believe in you. I have come to conclude, how important it is to interpret reality in the present moment, how i choose to think can set me free.
And to all the people who watch this video and all the others, “Hear, Hear”.

Karen says:

Leo, how wonderful would it be if your videos were a required course in the public school system!? This is all so important. Thank you.

Warren says:

Hi Leo, inspiring and truly taken to heart.

I read this today after currently going through bad trauma and loss:

“Everything that is not forever is forever pointless”

I blame myself for loss and am grieving badly. Your words give the light more meaning.

Thank you


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