If you focus and prepare, you will succeed. This page just might help you get motivated enough to get the job done.



Have you ever paused to reflect how, in life, when you have taken total responsibility for something, it got done? At times it was surely something small. Planning a party perhaps. Or a trip. Or cleaning out a messy old room. At other times it was larger. Completing an important project at work. Being there for a friend who needed help at a critical time. It might even have been a major life issue. Raising a child. Moving to a new city.

The moment you decided to take full responsibility, made the commitment to do it, there was no doubt in your mind that you would do otherwise. Sure enough, you did it.

And likely as not you can also remember a number of instances where neither you nor anyone else took total responsibility for something people agreed they'd like to achieve. It never happened, of course, because no one took responsibility. The neighborhood park that never got beyond planning. The class reunion that fizzled. The local theater group or auto racing club that never materialized. The new charity that would help working mothers get off welfare that never got off the ground.

The examples will be different in each of our lives, but the principle remains the same. When no one takes responsibility for an idea, it remains just that an idea. No one develops a vision, a will, a determination. Action is half-hearted and uncoordinated. There is no persistence. Critics and doubters are listened to, chipping away at everyone's motivation. Momentum fades.

When you compare those moments when you took responsibility and ultimately achieved something, to those other moments when no one took responsibility and nothing was achieved ... you begin to appreciate the dramatic power of that one single act taking total responsibility.

Unfortunately too many of us have become accustomed to letting others take responsibility for the things we want to happen. In fact, we expect things to happen without our taking responsibility for them. And when they don't happen, we are quick to lay blame on others.

At the larger level of society, you can see this in several ways. Here's one recent example. We all want low gas prices. But after the crisis of the 70s, no one took responsibility for either finding competitive sources of fuel or designing vehicles and heating methods that would consume less fuel. Efforts were half-hearted, uncoordinated. There was no persistence. Critics chipped away at motivation. Momentum faded.

The result? The popular SUVs now consume more, not less, gas than vehicles of a few decades ago. As people are caught with higher heating fuel and gas tank prices, what do they do? They complain. They blame others. OPEC, perhaps. Or oil companies. Or auto manufacturers. They take no responsibility themselves for the choices they've made in the marketplace or their failure to support the development of alternative fuels.

But what of instances where one individual or a small group did take responsibility to achieve something? MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, is one example that comes readily to mind. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is another. Mother Theresa is still another. AmeriCares is another. And there are countless examples you can read about in your local paper, where a single person took responsibility for starting or building a charity or social agency, and succeeded beyond anyone's expectations, except perhaps their own.

So let us turn now to you, and your quest for not just a new job, but one in which you will be challenged and feel fulfilled, one that will be an important part of your career progress. Who needs to take responsibility for your success?

Let's assume for the moment that you may not have an easy time of it. Let's assume, for example, that one or more people have expressed doubt about your ability to make the move. They've pointed to some of your limits, and said they think you ought to lower your expectations, or be content with what you have.

Should you assign them responsibility for your success? You do, of course, at any moment when you accept their beliefs about you and what you're capable of. At that moment, you change your beliefs to fit theirs. Your vision fades. Doubt enters. Motivation lessens. Momentum dissolves.

Perhaps you do indeed discover the fact that you need some additional training to get the credentials required for the job you want. Who is responsible for your getting that training?

If you complain that you should have gotten it in college but didn't, you're assigning responsibility to educators in your past who failed you. Too bad. You never achieve goal. Or you can blame the employers who require that skill but don't offer to train you. In that event you've done a good job of blaming, but you still fail.

If instead you forget about the past, and take responsibility in the present moment for your own success, you will find a way to get the training you need. You will persist. You will keep your vision. You will succeed. It is as simple as that.

Another example. Let's assume you've got all the requirements, a good resume, you've made hundreds of contacts ... but still no positive results. You can give up at that point. In such a case, who is being assigned responsibility for your success?

It is the three or four or however many hundred people who did not get back to you, or told you they weren't interested. And they failed their responsibility. As a result, you're not successful. They are doing just fine, of course, but they have caused you to fail.

Or maybe you blame someone who said you could succeed if you sent out hundreds of resumes. Or if you didn't write it yourself, you blame the resume. Who gets the responsibility there? Why it's that person who dared to suggest that you could win the type of job you want with just your existing experience and talents and knowledge. Or the person who wrote a good resume, but not a great one.

Or you may choose to blame economic circumstances, employers bias against you because of your age, the fact that you come from a slow moving industry, recruiters and employment agencies who do not get back to you, friends who don't introduce you to the right people, or the rude attitude of all those employers who never responded when you answered an ad.

Who has responsibility in all these cases? It's all those people who aren't stimulating the economy more than they have, biased and rude employers, uncaring recruiters, unthinking friends, and nameless people who somehow caused your industry to be viewed as slow-moving.

Once again, they failed in their responsibility for your success. You gave them the responsibility and they just didn't handle it well. The difficult and perhaps unfair part of it? They get to go on enjoying life as usual, but you are stuck with failing to win the job you want.

At any point, of course, you could choose to take total responsibility for your own success. In that case you'd get back to the person who wrote your resume and suggest that the two of you could work together to improve it. You'd review with the person who said you'd be successful all the reasons why he or she felt that way, and you'd spend time identifying even more reasons.

You'd remember how Colonel Sanders received 1005 rejections before finding someone who'd pay him for his fried chicken recipe, and you wouldn't stop at making 300 contacts, or 600, or 900. You'd get back to people and follow up.

You'd evaluate your techniques and the way you're approaching people, the targets you're choosing. You'd identify new ways of finding opportunities, do more research, get more feedback. You'd examine your beliefs about yourself and what you think is possible for you to achieve.

You would do whatever it takes.

And you'd be doing it with a vision and a confidence that surely you would be successful, no doubt whatsoever. That confidence would keep you going and going and going. Until you win the job you want.

Why would you do all this?

Because you have taken total responsibility for your success. You know that if you were not to achieve goal, there is only one person to blame. So you're not going to let that happen.

With the certainty that you will eventually be successful, with the beliefs and vision to support that certainty, you're out of the blame game. You realize that for the most part, people are out there doing the best they can to get along in their own life. That most people feel good when they can help someone, or when they use their talents effectively and someone benefits.

Because you're not preoccupied blaming them or anyone else, instead you encourage them, thank them for what they have done, share your vision with them, show them how positive you are that the best results will surely come eventually, and inspire them to do more and to do better, in order to help you achieve your goal. You expect them to respond positively and they do.

Those who can't or won't help you, you ignore. When you have total responsibility for achieving something, you intuitively realize that you can't waste time and energy with those who aren't interested. You know that will simply drain your energies and cloud your focus. So you apply your energies and vision and expectations with those people and organizations that show they are interested, and they do indeed respond.

Not because they are responsible for your success. But because they enjoy being part of a winning effort. They feel fulfilled contributing their part in the personal victory that is surely to be achieved by someone who has taken total responsibility for that victory.

They buy in to your vision. One good effort follows another. Momentum builds. You are where you want to be ... simply because you took total responsibility for getting there.