Excerpt from the benefits section, below:

The benefits are too numerous to list fully here, but the bottom line is greater happiness.  And the idea that responsibility is hard is completely not true!  It’s actually easier!

DefinitionAble to distinguish between right and wrong and to think and act rationally, and hence accountable for one’s behavior.  

Response:  Something said or done in answer to something or someone.  It occurs in physiology, psychologically.   Any biological reaction or behavior resulting from the application of a stimulus.

Core objective: To have us live responsibly.  This is the core objective of many of the teachings in the current “growth” workshops and in the great thinkers over the ages.

But the teachings have a few differences (or distinctions) above the dictionary definition.


A primary distinction (difference) comes from Werner Erhard:  "Responsibility begins with being willing to be cause in the matter of one's life..."

Paraphrasing further, responsibility begins where we make a "conscious choice",
where we choose to be "at cause over one's life" versus where something else has, in our beliefs, cause over us (i.e. we hold ourselves as the "effect of" something else) rather than our being the one who chooses - and because of having made the choice creates a consequent effect that he/she has caused. 

Responsibility is not a standard to live up to (as that is in the realm of right/wrong) but a viewpoint and a decision about how you will live your life.  (End of paraphrase.) 

And it leads to a much, much, much, much better life.

Conscious = aware of one’s feelings and thinking and what is happening. 

Choice = selection, the right or power to choose an option.  (As a human being, we each have the ability to choose, uniquely among all animals.)

The opposite of that is passiveness, being a victim, being at the effect of something more powerful.  Non-responsibility is signified by saying such things as “I just couldn’t help myself” or “you make me mad” or “I’ll be happy when you do x” or "my past determines how I am". 

Non-responsibility is believing that one is simply a bundle of responses that automatically happen when there is a stimulus or cause.  Responsibility is seeing that one does have a choice of how one responds to any potentially initiating event.  It is using the thinking brain that we have so fortunately evolved to have.

Non-responsibility is simply a choice to attribute cause to something outside of ourselves.  Responsibility is to choose to be accountable (i.e. recognized as the cause of) for our response – we are recognizing our full ability to respond by choice, i.e. response-ability.


The difference between being at the effect of a stimulus and not being at the effect is illustrated by the difference between an animal (without thinking capacity) and a thinking human being:

        Animal            -->          Stimulus               -->-->-->-->-->-->-->-->              Predetermined
                                                                           (nothing occurs in                            Reaction
                                                                              this space)

  Thinking human     -->         Stimulus     -->   Conscious, think, choose   -->       Desired

All end-responses of a human being are a result of thought about the stimulus.  It is never, I repeat, never, someone else who “makes us mad.”  Since another person might react differently to that same stimulus, then it must be something we are doing/thinking that actually created the end-response and the stimulus was only the “initial” happening.

The difference is that the “victim” who is “at the effect of” the other person actually interpreted what the other person did and thought that it was a threat to his/her self-esteem (and, possibly below his/her awareness, that he/she had better get mad so that he/she would have the energy to fight – and that is how we evolved in our caveman days in order to survive).   The person who is not operating from the victim viewpoint and who  had no negative reaction might have thought “Oh, this person is upset.  Such a thing cannot hurt me.  This is a potential problem, so what needs to be done about this?”


It is the thought that makes the difference and is the actual cause of the reaction.  Since we have a conscious ability to choose our thoughts, then we have the response-ability to cause the response we desire (a positive one).  We are the ones with the control - the person or event outside us does not have the control over us.  We get to choose.  

The languaging of the person choosing to operate from the responsibility viewpoint is “I made myself angry” (and now what do I do to create what I actually want?).  The language is totally from the viewpoint that I was and am the cause, that I chose the cause.  


After some of the growth trainings, individuals will sometimes use something like the phrase  “I am the cause of it all.”  A person unfamiliar with this viewpoint who has a non-accepting viewpoint might judge this as   strange, weird-sounding, airy-fairy appearing.  But it is actually valid.

It is said by the great thinkers:  “Choice is the greatest power in the world.” 

Once one looks underneath this and removes any filters of it sounding weird, one can see that they are completely true statements!)

So, the responsibility viewpoint is simply that the human being has the ability to make, and makes, the choice, in all cases, of the thoughts and perceptions that are the cause of his/her response.  Besides recognizing that truth, the responsibility viewpoint person chooses to operate in such a way as to create what works and choose no longer to do what doesn’t work. 

The teachings again are that we humans do not operate from a “stimulus-response” mode but from a “stimulus, thinking, then response” mode. 

We can “choose” our thoughts, our beliefs, our viewpoints, our “ways of being” (enter that in the search engine and read about the effect) – that is totally “doable” – and it is the point and purpose of The Site :  “Understand this and do this and you’ll achieve what you really want” and “it isn’t ‘too much work’ if done the way suggested.”

A little side note:  Of course, given our physical vulnerability, we do not choose all physical events and impacts on us.  And, yes, our mind has automatic thought processes (i.e. generates neuronal patterns) and by the time we are aware of the feeling, the response has already happened (i.e. a stimulus-response event).  It is at the point we are aware of the response that we can then make the choice.  However, the primitive mind is a bit like having children, we are still responsible for their behavior - plus we can train them and not let them rule our lives.


The benefits are too numerous to list fully here, but the bottom line is greater happiness.  And the idea that responsibility is hard is completely not true!  It’s actually easier!


A sense of peace.

A sense of confidence.

Worry free (I will know I have done all I can and that I will respond to any undesired outcomes by producing happiness from that point forward - in that point of view, we find "fearlessness".)

Knowing you can create happiness regardless of the circumstances. (Trust of self --> confidence)

A virtual fearlessness.

Exercising "power in life" --> An immense accumulation of long term benefits and things you want.

Saved effort by only controlling what is controllable and no longer attempting to control the uncontrollable or less controllable.

Not relying any longer on unreliable sources. (Eliminating the accompanying frustration.)

No longer any need to engage in manipulation of others to get what you want (manipulation is a sink hole of effort with a rather low payoff for the amount of effort)

Fewer unsolved problems.

And many more.  You can probably, if you think about it, list 100 more.




The ideas/concepts above  reflect the viewpoints of the top training organizations in the world who train individuals on how to create better lives for themselves.  Ones I know of that work are:

     The Landmark Forum and Advanced,
     The Option Institute,
     Klemmer And Associates

For descriptions about these and/or to find additional helpful workshops, see also the Resources section of


The following books reflect this also.  The first one listed has the point in it but some people still seem to miss the points expressed above.  The first book, however, is a good foundational book to read anyway, as it helps set the stage for much of the thinking on The Site. 

    The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey.

From the Resources, Psychology section of the site (go to it to see the comments and evaluations of them):

     To Love Is To Be Happy With, Barry Neil Kaufman 
     The Science of Happiness, Stefan Klein 

Contents/Links page:  Responsibility, Victimhood, And Power In Life - For perspective and to link to pieces of interest.

Responsibility Vs Victimhood - A Look At Being Powerful Or Not - Be clear on this.  That clarity will dramatically affect the rest of your life!


Where Are You On The Victim Vs. Cause Scale - You might be surprised.

SEE THE LEARNING RESOURCES, at the bottom of the page.

"I choose to "
"I will..."
"I am the master of my life" "I am the creator of my life." 
See "I, The Generator"

You do not use any of the victim statements, such as "I have to...", "I must", "they made me do it", "I couldn't help it..." or any excuses, reasons why not, long explanations and/or justifications, etc.  Victim statements are imbedded in any talk about the past, they are looking back. 

Responsibility conversations are strictly for forwarding purposes (all conversations about the past are.only engaged in for progression purposes).

The rule:  Engage in No Negative Conversations!

For those who want to be great victims, repeat these: A Great  Supply Of Excuses.