Your Responsibility

I have read the book Zero Limits by Joe Vitale a couple of times. Okay, to be honest, I listened to the audiobook a couple of times. I have long been a fan of what Zig Ziglar calls Automobile University, and I try to listen to all sorts of audiobooks or programs in the car. I was drawn back to Vitale’s book for a reason I don’t quite know yet.

Vitale is a bit of a controversial man in the new age/spirituality movement because he does spend a lot of time talking about money and manifesting rare cars for his collection. This seems like more base materialism that many in the “spiritual” community think is a no-no. But he has a lot of followers as well.

Well, Zero Limits is a book that only adds to his controversy. Zero Limits starts out talking about how Joe found the Hawaiian guru who used a practice called Self Identity Ho’oponopono to heal the patients in a criminal psychiatric ward without ever seeing the patients. The practice teaches that you are responsible for everything that enters into your life. So if you encounter a sick person, you are responsible for the sickness. And to heal the sickness, you work on yourself and not the other person.

So this is how Dr Hew Len healed an entire ward of criminally insane patients without ever seeing them. He would sit in his office, review their files, and do a cleaning technique from ho’oponopono on himself. Patients got better, the ward got better, and eventually, they closed it down due to lack of patients.

Now, this idea of you being responsible for everything in your life does seem to mesh well with the people who believe that you create your own reality. So a lot of people out there have latched on to the ho’oponopono mantra like it is the charm of making from Excalibur.

I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

Sounds harmless right? I mean even if you do it wrong, there really isn’t much harmful from saying those four phrases, right?

Well no, this is harmless, but there is another side to it all. This whole “you create your Universe” can and does get turned on its head. You see when good things happen, “you create your Universe” is a good and positive thing. But if bad things happen – like getting sick, then it goes south big time. There is even a bit of shaming that goes on. Something you did must have created that sickness in you. They even point to ho’oponopono practice and say you are responsible.

Except… that’s not what he is saying at all. I know, I read (listened to) that part of the book. The sickness does not come from you.

“But wait a minute, Randy, you just said I am responsible for it!”

Yes. I did. Responsible. Let me explain.

If you are stuck at the bottom of a hole, you are RESPONSIBLE for getting you out of the hole.

If the hole is too deep, the sides are too slick, or any of a hundred other reasons you can’t get out on your own, you should ask for help. But even if you get the help you requested, you are still RESPONSIBLE for getting you out of the hole.

HOW you got into the hole is irrelevant to this. You are RESPONSIBLE for getting you out of the hole.

The HOW will come up later when you try to learn the lesson and avoid falling into that hole – or similar holes – in the future.

Regardless of how you ended up at the bottom of the hole, you are RESPONSIBLE for getting you out of the hole.

If you took a shovel and dug yourself into the hole; if you came across the hole and jumped in; if you came across the hole, tried to avoid it but slipped and fell in; or if you came across the hole and was pushed in it; none of it matters. You are RESPONSIBLE for getting you out of the hole.

There is no blame and there is no fault. People want to blame something or someone, yes even themselves. Some people will blame the shovel (or the person who gave it to them); some will blame the fact that there is no light in the hole to see that jumping into it is a bad idea; some will blame the circumstances that led you to slipping and falling in; and most definitely, people will want to blame the person who did the pushing.

And yes some people will even blame the hole.

But here is the thing – none of this will get you out of the hole or avoid falling into one again. Even if the person who pushed you admits it and “takes the blame,” there is practically no chance he is going to climb down into the hole with you, tie a rope around you, climb back out of the hole and pull you out of the hole. Remember, he wanted you IN the hole.


Once you get out of the hole, then you can look at the reason you fell in the hole. You might find that you made a lot of poor choices that started adding up. There were signs along the way to tell you to stop and get out of the hole before you got too deep, and now you can recognize them.

Or maybe you just made on big bad choice and jumped. Again, there are a lot of factors that could tell you things were likely going to go bad for you. When you see something like this in the future, maybe you can lower a light into the hole to see what is there, or at least have a rope ready to help you get out.

Or if you slipped and fell in, there were signs that it could happen. Signs you could recognize and avoid in the future. And quite obviously, if someone pushed you in, there is a lesson about that person and other people like him.

All of these lessons are only relevant after you get out of the hole. And to beat a dead horse, ONLY YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR GETTING YOU OUT OF THE HOLE.

So, if you are sick, yes you are responsible for getting you well. If you need to see a doctor or take a prescription (forms of help), then you should definitely do it. But you did not create the illness in you. Thoughts of blame and fault are useless. And there is DEFINITELY no shame in your illness.

I mean seriously, guys, the book gives this exact example of someone getting sick and Dr Hew Len saying they did not create this illness. I don’t know how anyone could have missed it. Unless they never actually read/listened to the book.

Being responsible does not mean you caused it. Being responsible means it’s your job to resolve it. Your road may be tougher than others, or it may be easier than others. Neither absolves you of responsibility.



  1. Great post Randy.

    Sometimes we get so caught up with things that won’t help solve the problem (like finding who or what to blame)…

    That we don’t focus on solving it!

    And like you said…


    Good stuff brother, great reminder!

    • Randall Hall
    • September 11, 2018

    Thanks for stopping by, Phillip. Always happy to hear from my friends and colleagues.

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