Response-Ability And The Lack Thereof

The word Responsibility comes from the two words Response and Ability.

I visualize the lack of responsibility with the image to the left. As if a secret force would lurk in the dark behind someone. That force controls their entire life and is the steady excuse for things to go wrong.

It seems few people seem to know the origins of words such as responsibility.

Separated, the meaning of the word responsibility means:

Response and ability

This shows that we are able to chose our response to something.

Be it a situation, to an email or to a question. But 99% of the time we don´t chose wise.

Why is that?

My first suggestion is to make yourself aquainted with the power. That you are in the position to change a response.

The next thing is to consider on which set of principles your response is for. If you have no principles you can write some down as a mission statement for example. And the next thing is to set priorities.

If your priorities and principles are in sync your response will show that.

For example:

Let´s say your goal is getting better at drawing. Your principle has to be spendinding at least 10 hours a week on that.

If you have spent your 10 hours on drawing you feel better to say yes to a not so important request.

Simple as that.

Setting priorities is a challenge all in itself. There are some good strategies for it. You find them in books about GTD, Pareto principle or habits of highly effective people.

The Bottom Line is: Do Important things First!

Quadrant I is for the immediate and important deadlines.
Quadrant II is for long-term strategizing and development.
Quadrant III is for time pressured distractions. They are not really important, but someone wants it now.
Quadrant IV is for those activities that yield little is any value. These are activities that are often used for taking a break from time pressured and important activities.

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Oliver aka Fantasio is a creative blogger who likes to share his insights about art, marketing and social media. Follow Fantasio on twitter or facebook


  1. Fascinating post, I never thought about the origin of the word responsibility before- responsibility, response-ability, almost sounds like something from Osho's teachings. I would say that I choose wrong most of the time. And I have a bad habit of blaming external circumstance for the results of my own apathy.

    But this has made me think. If responsibility means choosing my own response to something, I have the power to respond to adversity in any way I choose. I do not have to allow my life to be controlled by dark, secret forces that lurk in the back of my own skull... and I don't have to live like I am at the mercy of external circumstances. I can choose my own responses, and choose wisely to further my drawing.

    Thanks for these words, they have been very helpful to me! Great signature quote, by the way. ;-)



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