Self-responsibility is one of the most important elements of building a free society.

Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Emma: Hi, Brittany.

Brittany: Hi, Emma.

Emma: We’ve talked a lot about personal responsibility on this show, and we’ve even done a few episodes about Jordan Peterson, who is huge on personal responsibility. So I thought it could be fun for us to talk about some practical, tangible ways that kids can implement this concept in everyday life. And I know Brittany, you and I have talked about all sorts of different habits, kind of scattered throughout other episodes that help us with our own personal responsibility Yes. And with our own lives and kind of keeping things in order. but I thought it would be cool to just have an episode where we only talk about sort of some practical tips. So I’ve got a few in mind. Maybe we can just kind of go back and forth and chat throughout about, what we do to embrace personal responsibility. One thing that I started doing this year, I’ve always been a fairly messy person by default. Same. but I am trying to take responsibility for that by fixing it and by not being so messy, rather than just as I, used to do when I was a kid, just saying, oh, well I’m messy. I’m just not a tidy person. I realize as an adult now that that is not a really good way to live your life. So I started making my bed every single morning. And I know that we’ve talked before, I believe that it was a general speaking at a commencement speech about the power of making your bed in the morning because you’re, tackling one thing that you probably don’t feel like doing first thing in the morning. And then the rest of the day you have that sort of thing that you’ve checked off your checklist and it gives you almost this momentum where you wanna keep doing productive things. You wanna keep taking care of stuff that needs to be taken care of. And I have never been a person who has ever made my bed just by habit. But I have to say, I’ve been doing this for, I think most of this last year. We’re almost done with 2021 as we’re recording this. And it really does work. I have to like, I have to give props to that general, who we talked about in an episode. I can’t recall his name right now. But that one little habit has actually kind of snowballed into other habits for me of tidying up behind myself, not waiting for things to get super messy before I clean them back up. And because I’m married, I live with someone else, it’s actually been good for that relationship as well because I’m respecting our shared space and I’m also respecting myself by tidying up. So that’s my one little tip. Try making your bed every morning, see what it does for you. Trust me. It’s awesome.

Brittany: You know, I wanna kind of piggyback on that for a second. So there’s a great guy, not the one that we mentioned before, but Jocko Willink, I think is Jocko. Yeah. and he talks about making your bed too. He’s incredible. He was a Navy Seal. He gets up at like five or 4:00 AM every morning. Really good inspirational person. But he talks about that as well. And I also wanna toot my own for a second. This was something that I had to work really hard at. Cause even as a kid, my mom didn’t make us make our beds unless like somebody was coming over. Unless we had come. Same. We didn’t make our beds. So I can’t remember now, and I’m very proud to say this, I don’t remember the last time. That hasn’t been a part of my life. So it’s been. Wow. Several years now. But like you said, that was something I just didn’t do. And it’s crazy how much more I like coming home from work now. Yes. Some sort of sense of ease. When I open my door and I see that my bed is made like I just feel slightly less disorganized. And, like you, Emma, I am not a naturally clean person. or not. I’m clean, I’m not dirty, but like, I’m not organized. My house is always has something, you know, like, oh yes. It’s very hard for me to do that. So I now make my bed in the morning. And the sense of ease that gives me is crazy. And I’ve also, I’m not perfect at this before I go to bed, I try to make sure things are done. So like the dishes are in the dishwasher. My house is tidied. Not perfect at that, but it just really helps set my day up for success. Yeah. I also do, so in addition to having like morning and night routines, which I’ll talk about, I also have day routines. So like on Sunday, so like after we’re recording on a Sunday, after we’re done recording, I’ll clean my house and I’ll just to give it like a big, you know, good weekly Yeah. Is to make sure that when I start my week, I’m setting that up for success. I don’t have to be stressed at work knowing I’ve gotta come home to a messy house or that I’m not gonna have the dish clean that I need to cook dinner because Totally. I didn’t do the dishes. So I think that’s important. I also think morning and night routines, you and I have talked about this that really keeps me grounded. The one thing I hate about going on vacation is that I’m all outta whack cuz I don’t have my routines. So in the morning, you know, and we will maybe link to our routine episode, cause we talked about this. I have certain things that I make sure I do every morning. And I will be honest to keep, some accountability. I have not been great at them lately. I usually fall out of them in the summer because sometimes I go out later cause it’s warm outside. I’m doing more things. I’m going on vacation more, so I have to get back into it. I notice I’m better at my routines in the winter because there’s nothing else to do. Holy. So, some things that I do though, I try to read before bed and then I do, after I read a little bit, I try to do like audio books of like a fantasy book or a fiction book to kind of, you know, wind me down. But I am always starting my bedtime routine at like nine, I am, like, I, you know, I start just winding down. I wash my face or I do this and that and those, that’s really important to me because it sets me up to not be stressed in the morning that maybe I didn’t get enough sleep. Yeah. And so, and then in the morning I have pretty strict routines. I get up, first thing I do is make my bed that comes before anything else. I’ve been waking up at five 30 lately, which that I must be getting old. Wow. Cause that’s not in my, yeah. That’s not my favorite thing to do. And I sit in bed and I play with my cat for a little bit and I put on, my Joe Rogan podcast that I love. And I just sit and try to like, get ready, mentally prepare myself for the day, think about, you know, make a to-do list. These are just a few examples, but my routines really help give me an anchor, something that I do every day. So even when the world is chaotic and bad things happen, or unexpected things happen, which they will, I still feel like I have some sort of anger.

Emma: Totally. I completely agree. And I think kind of in that vein too of routines, exercise has helped me a ton. Oh yes. with focus, because I’m someone that does struggle a lot to be focused, especially at work. I work on a computer, which is not ideal for me. it’s so easy to get distracted when you’re working on a computer, but exercise really helps me get out that excess energy that I have and it actually allows me to kind of tap into a more relaxed focused state. So talking about routines, exercise has really, really helped me. And I know especially as kids, PE class can be really helpful. But if you are homeschooled or you’re unschooled or you go to a charter school where maybe PE isn’t a part of it, I would really recommend that you even just try to get one good walk in per day or go play with your siblings in the yard or play catch or whatever it is that you wanna do. I would really recommend, just having some sort of exercise element to your routine. Because especially if you’re anything like me and you struggle to focus when you’re reading or when you’re working on a computer or typing or writing, it really, really helps. So, that’s another one that I would recommend. Another element of personal responsibility that I think is really important. And we’ve talked recently in an episode about, being truthful and having integrity and not lying. I think a really big one that’s very powerful and very freeing is owning up to your actions. That is such a huge element of personal responsibility is taking accountability not only for the things that you do, right, and taking your credit but also the things that you do wrong. And I think there’s a tendency sometimes, whether it’s at school or when you have a job at work, to try to blame your mistakes on either excuses or on other people. But something that’s very powerful is actually owning mistakes and telling your teacher, telling your parents, telling your boss, I’m sorry I messed up. This is my bad. I will do what I need to do to fix it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. That is such a powerful thing and I’ve really found that in my work life, the times when I mess up and I actually own up to it, I usually am thanked by my bosses. Yes. Or by whoever I’m talking with for just owning the mistake and promising that I will correct it. And then actually following through and fixing it is a huge deal and that’s a huge part of personal responsibilities. Just the integrity of owning mistakes, owning your actions, and being, because at the end of the day, that all falls on you. You’re the only person who is fully responsible for you. And it’s a powerful thing. But you also have to remember if you do an action, if you do something, you are the one who needs to answer for the outcome. And that can be really positive. It can be good, it can mean credit, but it can also be negative. And when you own the negative aspect of it, I think that’s super, super powerful.

Brittany: Yeah. And another thing I really think about a lot is using your time wisely, because that’s something I didn’t use to do at all and I’m learning how to do it now. It’s really easy to sit on the couch and watch Netflix and be like, oh my goodness, has 12 hours gone by? Yeah. Did I just waste a day of my life? So I try really hard to use my time wisely. And as somebody who again, has a hard time focusing, it’s very, very hard for me to do this. So it’s something I have to practice at every single day. You know, your free time is important and you should have free time. I think there’s a big thing about balance. Yeah. But don’t let you know, don’t waste time where you could be doing something great like reading or learning a new skill. You know, building things, learning. There’s so many things you can be doing. And since this is something I really struggle with, this really resonates with me. So yeah, I think using your time wisely will help you be responsible cuz it’s gonna set you up to be responsible. You’re gonna learn how to manage something, how to manage your time. And then you can learn to manage, you know, something else. Maybe by being messy, you can learn to manage cleaning.

Emma: Right, exactly. And also too, using time wisely does not have to be boring. You don’t have to be doing stuff that you hate. Maybe sometimes that means tackling things that you don’t wanna do as much, but you can be reading an awesome book that’s interesting to you. And even the silliest book reading is gonna be better for your brain than watching something on tv. It’s still increasing your focus in your attention span. but also you could be learning a skill that might be interesting to you. So as a kid, I spent a lot of time learning how to cook and it’s really benefited me as an adult because I spend less money on getting takeout and that sort of thing. You can take passions that you have or interests that you have and actually channel them into a tangible skill that can help you later. So my last encouragement as we’re wrapping this up is when you’re exploring personal responsibility, look for things that you care about, that you’re passionate about, but that also can serve you in the future and serve a purpose. So we’re gonna wrap it up here. But thank you for listening guys, and we will talk to you all again soon.

Brittany: Talk to you soon.