stock-illustration-17536509-little-princeOne of the – justly – most famous stories about responsibility is that of The Little Prince, who performed extreme care and caution to protect his rose. Earthlings are capable of feeling such responsibility, too; consider what a parent is willing to do for their child, how proud they are of their child’s success and how many times they may wonder whether they have made a mistake. On the other hand, we rarely take responsibility for our own actions and the way our own life turns out.

The Little Prince puts the flower under a glass globe every night and has a muzzle drawn for his sheep. If the sheep ate the rose – which would make all his stars darkened – who would he blame? Not one single time does it cross his mind to say “If the damned sheep eats my rose…” Instead, our prince takes precautions so it does not happen, as well as protects the plant from wind and caterpillars. There might be threats on his planet he has not anticipated but could destroy the flower in the blink of a eye, such as a baobab thrown off from another planet or the extinct volcano erupting. It would be silly to blame the baobab – or its owner – or the volcano for what happened to the flower, when there might be equipment available to protect against flying trees and hot lava  – “one never knows”…

Many people go to great lengths to find someone to blame after an unpleasant event. Some might even “blame” others for their own success, saying “It really was nothing, all I did was my job. It’s all down to X.” However, taking responsibility for all your actions and whatever happens to you will give you a clearer picture of what works and what does not, what you excel at and what you need to improve, what brings results and what does not – i.e. what you will have to do next time you decide to plant a rose. This knowledge will empower you in similar situations in the future.

Coaching encourages clients to take responsibility for all their actions whether they bring positive or negative results, by this means strengthening a feeling of having control over their lives. This will result in planning and dreaming with more confidence and insight. External advice weakens the inspiring power of the goal, as it is so much easier not to do something you do not feel responsibility for, knowing you might as well ignore it. And how easy is it to blame someone else for your own failure?

We are not – of course – in control of everything in life. But how we deal with the impacts is entirely down to us. It is your responsibility to make a decision to spend your entire life being angry with the wind, the caterpillars or the sheep, or accept that they only do what they see best, so next time you can take more care of your rose.


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