Want to become a bigger, better person in the world?
Take on more responsibility.
As human beings, we all crave a deep sense of meaning.
And our sense of meaning often comes down to the amount of responsibility we have taken on in our lives.
So if you want to grow as a person, find the most challenging thing you can do and take ownership of positively impacting it, or carrying it forward in some manner.
The Power Of Positive Constraints
In Jonathan Haidt’s book The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan states that the single greatest determinant of an individual’s likelihood to die by suicide is the number of constraints in their life.
People often assume that this would mean that if someone has too many responsibilities then they would inevitably feel crushed by them and take their own life. But most commonly the opposite is true. The more ties you have to others, the more psychologically healthy you are and the less likely you are to engage in suicidal ideation.
We are a social species. Our bodies, minds, and hearts thrive when we are consistently getting the feedback from others that, yes, we are needed.
How To Grow As A Person
So if you are to take more responsibility in your life, what are some examples of what that could look like?
Over the past few years I have personally grown by taking on the following things:
– Leading a men’s group of twenty men that meets in person every Monday night
– Mentoring up and coming writers, coaches, and entrepreneurs in order to help them get their messages out into the world, while helping them build successful self-run businesses
– Committing to reaching a minimum of 1,000,000 people every month with my writing
– Sending out an extended gratitude bomb to someone I love at least once per week
While each of these tasks has had a toll on me (at minimum, each one has taken time, focus, and dedication), they have all helped me to grow into myself and have helped me to give my gifts to the world more freely.
So what responsibility can you take on in your life? How can you step up into yourself more fully?
Consider taking on one of the following things in your life:
– Volunteering with an organization that you care about
– Being a mentor to one or several younger people who you deeply believe in
– Being a more active, loving, attentive parent to your children
– Making a concerted effort to give your time and attention to someone who you know may be struggling (someone who is lonely, or heart broken, or isolated, or in pain, or recovering from a chronic illness perhaps)
– Telling a painful story of yours to someone, or to a group of people, who you believe might benefit from hearing it
– Start hosting a weekly dinner, or book club, or social gathering, or special interest group. Take full responsibility for it. Manage the guest list. Get people out. Connect members with other members so that everyone gets the most out of it as possible. Be a connector.
However you decide to step up in your life and take on more responsibility… just know that you will grow from it.
As Dr. Jordan Peterson once said, “The alternative to valued responsibility is impulsive, low-class pleasure.” In other words, find something important to take responsibility for, or forever spin your wheels in the mud of living in a shallow manner for only yourself.
The more you take on, the more you will be. Now go forth, and grow.
Dedicated to your success,