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By Danny Pettry (Certified Success Principles Trainer) through Jack Canfield’s organization.

Success principle: Take 100% responsibility


You can use this to improve your own life. You can also teach this principle to patients/ clients who you provide recreational therapy services for.


Guy applies for a job.
Interviewer asks him if he is responsible.
Guy quickly says, “yes, I’ve been told that I’m responsible.”
Interviewer asks him to provide an example of him being responsible.
The man said, things were always going wrong at my job. It was a total train wreck.
Mangers and co-workers often pointed fingers at me and said that I was responsible.

(Insert laugh aloud here)

The truth is:

You are the only person responsible for your life.
You’re responsible for all aspects of your life: physical, spiritual, emotional, interpersonal, financial, and on and on.
What if you gave this responsibly to someone else and they did a bad job? Where would you be then? It’s your life.

Jack Canfield teaches the E + R = O formula for taking responsibility.

E = Event
R = Response
O = Outcome
Event + Response = Outcome.

Radical acceptance

We can’t control the events that happen to us.
We do have the power to respond in the best possible ways.
Better responses to events in life can give us better outcomes in life.


  • Event: Waitress tells a customer they’re out of chocolate cheesecake.
  • Response: There are many responses. The person could respond by assaulting the waitress, cussing the waitress out, or possible there is a better response.
  • Outcomes: Assaulting the waitress would result in being arrested and possibly taken out in handcuffs. Cussing the waitress out could cause interpersonal conflict that isn’t going to make things any better.
  • Another response might be to be patient and kind (while frustrated) and ask what else can be done.
  • Outcomes: Waitress might discount the check or give a free dessert.

Application Questions:

  • Event: What event is happening or has happened in your life that is causing you to have problems or issues?
  • Radical acceptance: What parts of this event are out of your control?
  • Response: How are you currently responding? how is that response working for you?
  • Outcomes: What outcome do you want?
  • Problem-solving: What responses would get you closer to the outcome you want? What are things you can STOP doing to get what you want? What are things you can START doing to get what you want? What is something NEW, that you’ve never done, that you could try to see if it would help get you closer to the outcome you want.



In a nutshell:

Better responses can bring about better outcomes.
You can’t change the events that happen in your life.
You are 100% responsible for how you respond to events.

I hope you’ve learned today to stop, think, and make an educated response that will get you closer to the results you want to achieve in life.


Danny Pettry (Rec Therapy Today) provides innovative self-study continuing education courses to help Rec Therapists to earn CEUs needed to renew national certification and/ or state license to practice. 

Click here to view self-study CEU courses

Danny Pettry provides inspirational keynote talks for organizations and associations.

Contact Danny Pettry if you’d like to hire him to speak for your organization.

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Do you want to teach success skills to children?

Danny Pettry has a children’s book that teaches success skills to children through a cute story about a girl who learns to skateboard.