Author Joan Didion On Why Character And Responsibility Are The Source For Self-Respect

Literary journalist and controversial author Joan Didion, who is known for her introspective cultural influence and for being brutally frank about the American chaotic culture and the morality of the times. Her own anxiety and challenges were the catalysts for her head scratching ways of thinking and questioning society. This also enabled her to write in such an irony of paradoxes that get in a first person (who is self aware) view of the public life. That being said, let’s dive in to the quote she stated some years back regarding our character and self respect.

“Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.” – Joan Didion

Character is either the result, or the reward that comes from both taking and accepting 100% responsibility for our lives. There have always been and there will always be external factors that influence what happens in our lives. The question for each of us to answer individually, is how do we respond to what happens? It’s not what happens that makes the real difference, what happens, happens to all of us in varying different degrees and circumstances.

Where the real difference lies, is in our own personal reaction to what happens. If we don’t achieve our goals or attain the level of results we are looking for, do we look inside or outside for the answer? People who take responsibility always look inside first. They may temper their findings by further examining contributing factors, but the bottom line is they are not and will not attempt to try to blame their results on anyone or anything else, period.

When we take 100% responsibility for our lives and stop the blame game, we become empowered through our own actions to make real changes that produce lasting benefits for our future. When we say honestly to ourselves look, I didn’t accomplish what I set out to do, but here is what I learned along the way. I now know, that if I pay more attention to my results more often, I will be in the best position to make a course correction and change my outcome next time.

This SHIFT, not only increases self-respect, it increases self-confidence as well. When we move from being at the mercy of outside circumstances, to taking full responsibility for how we respond to circumstances, we once again are empowered to take control of the only thing we can, ourselves and our thoughts!

Everything we do or don’t do, first begins as thought. All action or inaction is preceded with thought. Therefore, to make real and lasting change, we must gain control of our thinking. Our thoughts about not only what we believe, but what we believe is possible for us, will have more to do with our results, than almost everything else combined.

Author Bio: Bobby Kountz

Bobby‘s a Quote Enthusiast, an Intrapreneur, and an Aspiring Entrepreneur with a Uniquely Positive Perspective on Life. He’s a Writer and Aspiring Author and Inspirational Speaker, a Dedicated Volunteer, and Socially Conscious Change Maker. He can be found on Twitter @bobby_kountz or on