Above and Below the Line - Personal Responsibility

In this video, Matt Clarke with Switched On Global discusses personal responsibility and being above or below the line. Please see the full transcript below.

Video transcript:

A meeting perspective that I share at the beginning of most meetings, which I think is extremely helpful is called above and below the line or personal responsibility. 

It was inspired by a guy called Marshall Thurber, and let me talk you through this perspective because it's the one I get asked to share more than any other for sure, so here we go. 

This here is the line. This is above the line and down here is below the line. Now what tends to happen for human beings if things don't go their way, is they tend to blame something or someone else for why that's happened. They can tend to justify as to the reasons that things are the way they are. They can make excuses or they could in extreme cases, deny that an event has happened all together, you know, like, "I don't know what you're talking about." 

On the flip-side of that, above the line is more about taking personal responsibility, not total responsibility, just personal responsibility for the current situation and what it is that you can do to progress or move it further forward. 

So let me add some meat to the bone. Below the line, you tend to hear reference to third person things or objects. It could be...in other words it's, "It was you" or "it was him" or "it was her" or "it was he or she, or it, or them, or they," more external reference, whereas above the line, you tend to hear more, I and we, and me, and us, and the list goes on. 

But it's not true in every case, because you could say, "I think it's your fault" and we all agree. So it's not hard and fast in every case, but more often than not, above the line, that's what you hear, "I, we, me, us" whereas below the line, it was more, "you, them, they, he, she, it." 

Also below the line is more of a reference to things that have happened in the past, whereas above the line, it's more a focus on what's going to happen in the future, what we could affect and maybe present is on the line. Again, not hard and fast just tends to be the case. 

So the trick here is, when you're aware of this distinction of above and below the line, the trick is, how do you get yourself up above the line, how do you find the energy if you're visiting below to get up above, because if you stay below the line, not a lot tends to happen, but if you get yourself up above the line, it maximises the chance for something new to occur. 

So find the human energy to get yourself above the line. Find the inspiration, find the physical health and well-being, find the mental health and well-being, be more emotionally expressed, feel strong in good social connections, and see what it is that you can progress going forward. If you want to learn more about human energy, there's a few other videos you could have a look at and see what they have to say. 

Thanks for listening, I wish you all the best, do it to do it, go for it, off you go.

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