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Take Responsibility for Your Life

Anja Merret

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For me, Christopher Reeve personifies the idea of using personal power to take responsibility for ones life. Christopher Reeve, also known as Superman, was an American actor, director, producer and writer. He starred in many films besides the Superman series, performed in numerous Broadway plays and tried his hand quite successfully at directing. His autobiographies were published to great acclaim. What truly made him an outstanding individual though, was the fact that after his equestrian accident in May 1995, where he severed his head from his spine, he worked through rehabilitation with such determination that within the same year of his accident he could breathe without a ventilator.

Although strapped into his wheelchair, unable to move any part of his body, except one of his fingers many years later, and speaking through a tube, he continued to speak in public, direct films, act in movies, write books, manage his Foundation. Amongst other responsibilities, he became Chairman of the American Paralysis Association and Vice Chairman of the National Organization on Disability. His Foundation funded research into cures as well as rehabilitative procedures especially for spinal cord injuries. He also opened a Paralysis Resource Center to assist both patients and families in getting the best out of life.

For most of us, though, our life doesn't give us such a heavy knock as Christopher Reeve received. Yet we tend to bemoan our fate when things don't quite go as well as we had hoped. This got in our way, that person stopped us from doing better, the weather was against us, we couldn't see, hear, smell because of this that and the next. Do you hear yourself here? I can hear myself, loud and clear. We lay the blame everywhere else except at our own door step.

But that isn't the worst of it. What is even worse and what we do so often, is that we ask for advice from somebody else. Should we date this person, go for a job interview there, drive rather than take public transport, bank with this bank rather than the next, go to this University rather than the other one. And the list goes on. We let others make our life changing decisions for us. We allow others to take responsibility for our life. And why would we want to do that? Easy. It's so that we have an excuse to blame somebody else, when things don't work out right for us. Well I can't be responsible for going to this University which is really not right for me and that's why I am underachieving academically. My aunt Agatha advised me to go to this one, and she is hardly in touch with academic institutions. What could one expect. Then why ask and take the advice? Do we set ourselves up for failure then, so that we can't be expected to achieve? Whatever the reason, it certainly stops us from taking responsibility for our life.

What is the up side to taking responsibility for our life? Why is it a good idea? Because this is the prerequisite of being able to create a successful life. If you want to have a financially successful life, if you want to win in your relationships whether with a partner or other immediate family, be a great sports person or whatever will make you feel a success in your life, it requires that you take charge of your life. If you take charge, you have the means to be successful. If you allow somebody or something else to take charge, then you are at the mercy of external factors and will never have the success you wish for yourself and which is within everybody's reach.

As a further example of a person who took command of her life, there is Natalie du Toit. Natalie is a South African swimmer, who was a promising young swimmer until in 2001 at the age of 17 while riding her scooter to school, she was knocked down by a car and had to have her leg amputated at the knee. Not only has she made a name for herself winning in record time, at the paralympic olympic games, but she has won medals at abled-bodied games as well and is currently in training for the Olympics Games in Beijing where she hopes the 1 500m freestyle event will become an Olympic event which she may be able to qualify for in the abled-bodied category.

Natalie du Toit and Christopher Reeve are just two examples of people who took responsibility for their lives and approached their lives with a passion to succeed. We can all do the same. Sometimes this could call for some help or a mentor. For more information and inspiration to move forward to great personal power and achievements go to It will provide you with all the boost you need to get started.

Anja Merret lives in Brighton, UK. She has recently started a blog and writes on issues that interest her from self-improvement, wealth generation, motivational thinking and anything else that amuses her. You are invited to follow her journey on For more information on the mentoring program Anja recommends visit


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