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Responsiblity and Accountability chapter

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destinycalls

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Hi, I just finished this chapter and I think I understand what he is saying, that you ultimately have control over your own life. But I think I need some help understanding a little more.

When he gives the example of his friend who got her purse stolen, and she left her bag wide open again on the table, I understand that he is saying she should have learned from her mistake if she didn't want it to happen again. But I'm a little confused, when he says it is completely her fault. She is to blame.

Is this in all cases? What about traumatic events? What if someone was sexually assaulted? I'm having trouble understanding that it was the victims fault for what happened to them, in this case, and they should take responsibility and accountability for it.
 

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MJ DeMarco

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Yes, if I leave my garage open all night because I forgot, and I wake up in the morning to find my expensive bike stolen, it is my fault.

1000%.

(The above is actually a true story)
 

Xolorr

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Hi, I just finished this chapter and I think I understand what he is saying, that you ultimately have control over your own life. But I think I need some help understanding a little more.

When he gives the example of his friend who got her purse stolen, and she left her bag wide open again on the table, I understand that he is saying she should have learned from her mistake if she didn't want it to happen again. But I'm a little confused, when he says it is completely her fault. She is to blame.

Is this in all cases? What about traumatic events? What if someone was sexually assaulted? I'm having trouble understanding that it was the victim's fault for what happened to them, in this case, and they should take responsibility and accountability for it.
I think I understand the frame you're looking at this from and how you're trying analyse it, but the entire point is that "Who's fault" it completely depends on your perspective, and as most things in this world, it is up for argument until the cows come home. (This forum isn't a place where you'd win that argument, but nonetheless)

I may stand corrected, but the point @MJ DeMarco is making is that when you take complete responsibility for everything that happens to you in your life, you are way more conscious about the situations you put yourself in, your actions, etc.

So while the mainstream narrative is that it's not your fault, it's only that way to make people feel better about making questionable decisions which create a chain of events leading to the bad event. If you take complete responsibility for what happens to you regardless of the situation and outcome, you probably wouldn't make the questionable decision in the first place.

Mainstream: Leave bag on table -> Thief steals it -> It's not my fault -> No change in action -> Something else stolen

Fastlane: Leave bag on table -> Thief steals it -> It's my fault, I should be more responsible -> Change in action based on experience -> Much less likely for the event to repeat itself.

You can't change what isn't in your sphere of influence, so regardless of the situation the best you can do to avoid the outcome is change your actions.

Nothing else will actually make a difference.

Traumatic events are a lot harder to stomach due to the emotional attachment but follow the same thought process none the less.
 
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destinycalls

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Aug 2, 2020
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Yes, if I leave my garage open all night because I forgot, and I wake up in the morning to find my expensive bike stolen, it is my fault.

1000%.

(The above is actually a true story)
Thanks for your reply. I completely understand your example. It is very similar to the example with the purse. Of course, if I did that I would say it's my fault too. But if you read my OP again, I'm asking more about traumatic events , more serious big crimes, like sexual and physical assault or abuse. Not about small crimes like theft.

Edit: I also didnt realize who commented. Not sure if you're actually the author or a team member, but still thank you for taking your time. Maybe my question is more of how do you separate the emotion and trauma from the event to be able to process it and understand to take responsibility and accountability for it?
 
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destinycalls

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Aug 2, 2020
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I think I understand the frame you're looking at this from and how you're trying analyse it, but the entire point is that "Who's fault" it completely depends on your perspective, and as most things in this world, it is up for argument until the cows come home. (This forum isn't a place where you'd win that argument, but nonetheless)

I may stand corrected, but the point @MJ DeMarco is making is that when you take complete responsibility for everything that happens to you in your life, you are way more conscious about the situations you put yourself in, your actions, etc.

So while the mainstream narrative is that it's not your fault, it's only that way to make people feel better about making questionable decisions which create a chain of events leading to the bad event. If you take complete responsibility for what happens to you regardless of the situation and outcome, you probably wouldn't make the questionable decision in the first place.

Mainstream: Leave bag on table -> Thief steals it -> It's not my fault -> No change in action -> Something else stolen

Fastlane: Leave bag on table -> Thief steals it -> It's my fault, I should be more responsible -> Change in action based on experience -> Much less likely for the event to repeat itself.

You can't change what isn't in your sphere of influence, so regardless of the situation the best you can do to avoid the outcome is change your actions.

Nothing else will actually make a difference.

Traumatic events are a lot harder to stomach due to the emotional attachment but follow the same thought process none the less.

Thank you for your detailed reply. I think I understand a little more. Like having the mindset of, "next time I wont do xyz, because that will help lessen the chances of 'bad event A' happening again'. Yes my question was more geared towards events that are severe in crime or traumatic, then a less severe event of something stolen.
 

WabiSabi

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You need to live life under the assumption that it's within your control. If bad things are happening in your life don't expect the world to change, YOU need to change. It's a mindset.

Ugly and can't get a date? Hit the gym. Got to work late? wake up earlier.

Yes, bad things happen and life isn't fair. Traumatic events suck, but it doesn't help to dwell on them or expect justice to come. making victim your identity doesn't help heal trauma, it makes it worse.
 
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destinycalls

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Aug 2, 2020
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You need to live life under the assumption that it's within your control. If bad things are happening in your life don't expect the world to change, YOU need to change. It's a mindset.

Ugly and can't get a date? Hit the gym. Got to work late? wake up earlier.

Yes, bad things happen and life isn't fair. Traumatic events suck, but it doesn't help to dwell on them or expect justice to come. making victim your identity doesn't help heal trauma, it makes it worse.
I think I get what you're saying: Dont dwell... so don't get stuck on the bad things since you can change your actions so there is less of a chance it happening.. right? And I am specifically asking about really bad events. Imo, not getting a date or working late is not a horrible experience. It sucks but it's whatever. That is easy to get over. Losing your purse is easy to get over. Getting your super expensive bike stolen is easy to get over. I'm asking about real trauma and crimes. Like I'm talking about attempted or actual rape, physical assault, and murder.
 

Xolorr

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I think I get what you're saying: Dont dwell... so don't get stuck on the bad things since you can change your actions so there is less of a chance it happening.. right? And I am specifically asking about really bad events. Imo, not getting a date or working late is not a horrible experience. It sucks but it's whatever. That is easy to get over. Losing your purse is easy to get over. Getting your super expensive bike stolen is easy to get over. I'm asking about real trauma and crimes. Like I'm talking about attempted or actual rape, physical assault, and murder.
I don't understand why you keep going back to the traumatic events when the same idea applies, but it's a very emotionally charged topic. Trauma & crimes may seem like wild events that can happen to anyone, but if you look at them objectively, most of them have a chain of events which the victim is somehow involved in/could've avoided.

Is it terrible that it happens? Yes, of course. No one should have to experience assault / rape / any other crime.

Does it help not taking responsibility? Not at all. Increasing chances of being a victim.

Let's play a little game and say, someone, unfortunately, did get murdered, how could it possibly be their fault?

Well, what got them in the situation / made someone want to murder them?

House-broken into?

It could be argued that they weren't serious enough about security.

If they'd installed a fence / burglar guards / an alarm it probably wouldn't have happened.

Mugged & killed?

What area of town were they walking around in? Were they wearing a Rolex and Gucci flip flops? Did they try fight the person robbing them? (Most likely)

If they'd thought about where they were going they probably could've avoided this, or even better, just given up the rolex and gucci. If it's a problem money can't solve, it ain't a problem.

Let's say a physical assault

What caused the other person to attack them in the first place? How could that have been avoided?

I agree with you that these things shouldn't happen and that it sucks to put the blame on ourselves and our loved ones, but when you do shift the blame you take control of your life and decrease the chance of negative things happening.
 
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destinycalls

PARKED
Aug 2, 2020
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NJ
I don't understand why you keep going back to the traumatic events when the same idea applies, but it's a very emotionally charged topic. Trauma & crimes may seem like wild events that can happen to anyone, but if you look at them objectively, most of them have a chain of events which the victim is somehow involved in/could've avoided.

Is it terrible that it happens? Yes, of course. No one should have to experience assault / rape / any other crime.

Does it help not taking responsibility? Not at all. Increasing chances of being a victim.

Let's play a little game and say, someone, unfortunately, did get murdered, how could it possibly be their fault?

Well, what got them in the situation / made someone want to murder them?

House-broken into?

It could be argued that they weren't serious enough about security.

If they'd installed a fence / burglar guards / an alarm it probably wouldn't have happened.

Mugged & killed?

What area of town were they walking around in? Were they wearing a Rolex and Gucci flip flops? Did they try fight the person robbing them? (Most likely)

If they'd thought about where they were going they probably could've avoided this, or even better, just given up the rolex and gucci. If it's a problem money can't solve, it ain't a problem.

Let's say a physical assault

What caused the other person to attack them in the first place? How could that have been avoided?

I agree with you that these things shouldn't happen and that it sucks to put the blame on ourselves and our loved ones, but when you do shift the blame you take control of your life and decrease the chance of negative things happening.
I keep bringing it up because I feel like these events are slightly different. Or else you would go insane with paranoia trying to figure out what caused it and preventing it!!
How can you say because I did xyz, event A happened? When there were many factors into play, including many things you did. I feel like it's different because a normal event does not result in the same outcome as trauma, and traumatic events are more complicated.
If a girl was being kind and helping someone with their bags in their car but the guy drugged and kidnapped her to traffick her, is it her fault she was nice? Should she not be nice and never help anyone? If someone is on a plane that get hijacked, what did they do to cause it? I don't understand.
And How do you separate paranoia with accountability? The other reason is, I guess you can already tell, is that I've had trauma in my life and am trying to make sense of it.

What if you dont know what the cause is?? Not trying to go into detail with telling true stories, but I'll tell part of this story: I was with my friend and a guy, my friend has known for some time and I met him before. We were in his restaurant that he closed for the night but he wouldnt let me leave when I told him I wanted to go home. He said he would drive us, but to his place first. I didn't want to go home with him so I kept trying to run out and he ran after me and would grab me and choke me and slam my head against the wall. Eventually I kept fighting him and he let me leave. He was really drunk but I dont know the responsibility part I need to take in this. Idk what I did... should I have not tried to leave and obey him to avoid physical assault? He never displayed such strange behavior before, so I never would have guessed. He was always kind and polite.
 

AnneC

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First of all, @destinycalls, I'm so sorry that this happened to you. It was not your fault, and you did not deserve to be put in that situation.

It's been a while since I've read the book. I think that frameworks are built to be useful most of the time, but there can be instances where it won't apply 100%.

In a case such as the one you described, you DID have responsibility in the outcome. You chose to fight back, escaping with some bumps and bruises. Obviously, there's no way to know what would have happened if you had chosen to do something differently, but you could have easily been raped or murdered in this situation.

I think the big takeaway here is that you should be proud of yourself for being strong enough to survive such a viscous attack. And instead of playing the victim card of "there's nothing I can do to prevent this from happening in the future" you can take the proactive stance of what you learned from the situation that you'll use for next time. It could be something like "I'm glad I didn't drink to the point where I'm not aware of my surroundings or able to fight back." Or "I'll never get stupid drunk with someone in a non-public space."

I like Tony Robbins' quote that "Nothing has meaning except for the meaning we give it." Bad stuff is going to happen, and what's important is if we take the victim (passive) path, or adopt the responsibility (proactive) mentality.

Here's another example: My friend passed away from cancer, leaving behind 3 young boys. Clearly, what happened was not those boys' fault. However, when those boys get older, they could easily play the victim card of "My mom died, and that's why I'm scared to commit, have no empathy, bad with dating, etc..." Or, they could take responsibility and say "because my mom died when I was really young, I learned how to self-nurture, and I have more compassion for myself and others."

Some of the strongest women I know are the ones who have survived brutal attacks. They learned to take traumatic events and turn them into proof of their resilience. They could have easily went the victim route, and continue to suffer through a scared and traumatized life. I hope you find some closure to what happened to you.
 

SteveO

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I also didnt realize who commented. Not sure if you're actually the author or a team member, but still thank you for taking your time.
That is MJ that responded. He is active on the forum. All the moderators on this forum have their own names.

As for your question, nothing is without the gray areas. Every situation is different. The example is intended for you, the reader, to accept responsibility for things that happen to you. But there are obviously things that are out of your control. It is up to to make that distinction.
 

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