Responsibility means doing what you’re supposed to do even when you don’t feel like it. ~Patricia Ortega, Mental Health Counselor.
Responsibility is a habit, a powerful habit. It is a habit that I strive toward daily in my life’s journey and I know I am not alone. I don’t think anyone gets up in the morning and says, “Today, I’m going work hard to build bad habits.” On the contrary, we all genuinely want to become better individuals. We all want to make our good habits better.
Here are my five ways, in no particular order, to build the powerful habit of responsibility.
Be polite: People may not remember what you did, but they will remember how you made them feel. You don’t have to know someone to say good morning, hello, or share your smile. Hold the door for the person behind you. Let someone else go ahead of you in line. Wake up each day and vow to be polite.
Be a good listener: Fight, fight, fight that urge to interrupt. In our family, we regularly interrupt each other. We definitely have to work harder on this one! Don’t finish other people’s sentences, unless you’re a mind reader and know what they want to say! Watch that wandering mind and bring it back to the conversation.
Be “present” in the company of others: Have you ever noticed how someone picks up his/her cell phone while in the company of others and proceeds to have a conversation or exchange texts? If you’re expecting an important call or message, state it ahead of time. All other calls, tweets, texts, or updates can wait. Enjoy the human interaction. Recently, I was at a restaurant and every member of a family of four was on the phone or other electronic device while they were waiting to be served.
Dress appropriately: I firmly believe that we ought to dress to suit the occasion. I don’t wear a blouse and slacks to the beach, so I certainly won’t wear a low-cut top and ripped jeans to a meeting with my child’s teacher.
Be reflective: One might ask, “How can being reflective help me to be responsible”? Reflecting on our day, an event, a situation, or even a moment can help us to focus on what matters. Reflecting keeps us thoughtful, grounded, and balanced.
As an adult, when I keep these five points in mind and act upon them, I know that I am doing what I’m supposed to do even when I don’t feel like it. I’m working toward being more responsible.