Attitude – Responsibility

Responsibility is being answerable or accountable for that which is within your authority or control. You may be answerable to other people. You may be answerable to other organizations or businesses. You may be held accountable by the court system. You should be answerable and accountable to yourself.

This is a core attitude for Life of Pookah. I propose that everyone is responsible for their actions and the consequences of those actions… UNLESS they were forced to take those actions.

An example of being forced to take actions is threats of physical violence.

The rule of thumb for responsibility is: Did someone hold a gun to your head and tell you to do it or die? If the answer is No, then you are responsible for your actions and the consequences of those actions.

In the news, we can already see what a lack of responsibility can do. Look at Madoff, AIG, Lehman Brothers, CitiGroup. They wouldn’t have ended up in so much trouble if they had conducted themselves with good responsibility. There were many opportunities along the way where these people, and individuals within these companies, could have exercised a good, responsible attitude towards their lives (INCLUDING THEIR JOBS) and avoided the whole subprime mortgage mess.

Failure to hold this attitude means that, even if you complete Life of Pookah Finances 101 and get out of debt, you will end up back in debt. It may take a few years, but I firmly think that it will happen as inevitably as taxes.

The reverse of this attitude is at least as damaging: Taking on too much responsibility.

Take cancer, for example. If you have taken good care of your health, consumed adequate nutrition, exercised regularly, and taken your annual checkups with a good doctor, you can still get cancer.

In this case, you are not responsible for getting cancer.

You are responsible for taking all necessary steps to care for yourself while you recover. Or if recovery is not an option, taking care of your estate and will settlements to reduce the burden on your heirs.

You are also responsible for taking reasonable steps for your own care if you are unable to take care of yourself. (This is why an emergency fund and insurance are a must!)

Always remember: Life Happens. There will always be unexpected bumps, delays, swerves, and (temporarily) getting lost. So don’t kick yourself when it does happen. Face it. Accept it. Ask for advice. Climb back out. Get back on the road to living life like Pookah.

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