Responsibility Can Really Suck…


by Bill J. McCarley

In December 1983, I decided to venture out on my own and left my job at Texas Instruments. My wife, Linda, had finished her doctorate program and had started a psychotherapy practice. We had a 9 year old daughter and a 7 month old daughter. After beginning my consulting practice, Linda’s business partner told me about a program being presented in Colorado called Money and You. It seemed like a good idea to do this program, so in March 1984 I flew there to attend it.

To my surprise, I discovered the most important information I have learned in this lifetime… The Responsibility Flipchart!

On Thursday night we played a wild game with Xs and Ys called, “Win as Much as You Can”. I knew the purpose of the game was to play Win-Win and that is what I did! When the game ended, Marshall Thurber, the program originator, collected the scores. He took a slow look at them; then turned and asked, “who got this minus 66?” My partner and I raised our hands and got singled out as the ones with the biggest losing score. Marshall next asked, “What happened?” I proceeded to tell him what was wrong with the other partnerships in my group, and he pointed to LAY BLAME on the chart. I moved up the chart to JUSTIFY and told him why I had played the game the way I did. He wrote the word RIGHT on a new page and let me know I was right.

For a moment I felt better knowing I was right, but then he added a few more letters… RIGHTEOUS. Now this guy I didn’t know was calling me righteous in front of the entire group. I was not happy and felt very agitated. The evening went on and eventually I was back in my room, pacing back and forth and ranting about how Marshall had mistreated me. Like a bolt of lighting, it hit me that he was totally correct, and I was being righteous in that very moment.

I lost the game… but got the lesson!

I became completely committed to the practice of personal responsibility and have made it a lifelong activity and study. I joined Money & You's Instructor Training Program and eventually became a promoter of Money and You. I also trained with Robert Kiyosaki when he was leading Money and You.

I continually teach people about personal responsibility and how freedom is impossible without it. It became completely clear to me that it is easy to assume responsibility when things are going the way you want them to go. However, the mind is totally committed to being “below the line” when something does not seem right. I began to see how trying to move up the chart and get past JUSTIFY leads a person to blaming themselves instead of others or the situation. I began to recognize this as Lay Blame on Self. About the time I began to consider this new distinction, we decided to promote Marshall’s new workshop on Dr. Deming’s material and when Marshall introduced “The Responsibility Flipchart”, he had added the word SHAME above JUSTIFY.

Trying to move above JUSTIFY mostly leads to asking ourselves the question, “What’s wrong with me?” Of course, this is not a very empowering question and still not “above the line”.

On my journey through life, I have found more teachers who offer key lessons in what personal responsibility really is and how to assume it and take it: Bucky Fuller, Dr. Deming, Tony Robbins, Esther Hicks (who channels Abraham,) the Dalai Lama, Lester Levinson (originator of The Releasing Technique and The Sedona Method), Dr. Hew Len (who teaches Ho’oponopono,) and others, as well.

I now define responsibility as “owning the power to create, choose, and attract”. You are in fact creating, choosing, or attracting everything in your life… ALL the time. As Abraham, through the voice of Esther Hicks, puts it, “It is all you… only you… no exceptions.”

When things are working, responsibility is great!

When things are not working, it is hard to own that you are the cause without stopping at Shame (laying blame on yourself.) Being at Shame is when responsibility really sucks. I teach that it is critical to skip right over that place on the chart and take 100% Responsibility…. not the Blame!

Then you can own the power that you have and be fully “above the line”.

About the author:
Bill J. McCarley is a long time supporter of Money and You and its powerful principles. He trained with Marshall Thurber and Robert Kiyoskai to lead Money and You. He even taught a slightly modified version in a corporate setting. He promoted Money and You, Creating Wealth and Powerful Presentations in Austin, Texas from 1987 – 1992. His company Co-evolution is committed to personal development, business development, and more recently Web development. Web site:

2 replies
  1. Donna Stockton Hicks
    Donna Stockton Hicks says:

    Love the reminder of Money & You! Learned so much at those seminars including Creating Wealth. Keep it alive, Bill

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