Responsibility Quotes & Sayings

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Do you struggle with doing what you have to do? These responsibility quotes are a great way to refocus on your duties and embrace them with ease.

We are all responsible for doing things that are expected of us. Work and school, family obligations, and even how we are expected to behave in society all created situations that require responsible decisions.

We’ve put together this list of quotes to encourage you to be more responsible and value responsibility in others when you see it. So enjoy these responsibility quotes and put them to work in your life today.

Top 10 Responsibility Quotes

Responsibility is the possibility of opportunity culminating in inevitable fulfillment.

Sri Chinmoy

Responsibility is a grace you give yourself not an obligation.

Dan Millman
Churchill quote "The price of greatness is responsibility"
“The price of greatness is responsibility.” – Winston Churchill

A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.

Bob Dylan

With great power comes great responsibility.

Stan Lee

No man was ever endowed with a right without being at the same time saddled with a responsibility.

Gerald W. Johnson
Wendell Phillips quote "Responsibility educates"
“Responsibility educates.” – Wendell Phillips

You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Responsibility walks hand in hand with capacity and power.

J. G. Holland

Quotes about Responsibility

There’s no avoiding responsibility. We are all faced with situations that demand responsibility, but some people respond to these better than others.

Responsibility is our ability to do what we need to do when we need to to it, without delay or excuses. This response requires the maturity to make good choices and prioritize our obligations when faced with many tasks.

Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.

John C. Maxwell

Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility.

Albert Einstein

The responsibility of tolerance lies with those who have the wider vision.

George Eliot

A lot of responsibility is learned over time and comes with experience.

Macy Chow
Amanda Lindhout quote "With awareness come responsibility and choice"
“With awareness come responsibility and choice.” – Amanda Lindhout

Responsibility is demonstrated by actions and deeds; not by words or information inserted in some glossy magazines or corporate websites.

Samuel O. Idowu

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.

George Bernard Shaw

It’s in responsibility that most people find the meaning that sustains them through life. It’s not in happiness. It’s not in impulsive pleasure.

Jordan Peterson

Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.

Noam Chomsky

There is nothing negative about responsibility – except when it is a responsibility unfulfilled or neglected.

Robert C. Solomon

Responsibility’ is a fundamental legal concept, a basic building block of legal thought and reasoning.

Peter Cane

A prig always finds a last refuge in responsibility.

Jean Cocteau

If you want to read more about the consequences of being responsible or not, check out our Accountability Quotes too, and learn how to own your actions today.

Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.

Sigmund Freud

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.

George Bernard Shaw

Men who reject the responsibility of thought and reason can only exist as parasites on the thinking of others.

Ayn Rand

The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self- respect springs.

Joan Didion
Yeats quote "In dreams begin responsibility"
“In dreams begin responsibility.” – William Butler Yeats

A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.

James Allen

The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.

Denis Waitley

Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.


Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.

Adrienne Rich 

Freedom without responsibility is like weight without gravity in physics — a logical impossibility.

Robert C. Solomon

Distributing responsibility is an effective way to build proficiencies, increase personal accountability, and test how people handle their newfound freedom.

David Kahn

You can delegate authority, but you cannot delegate responsibility.

Byron Dorgan

With freedom comes responsibility.

Eleanor Roosevelt

In order to win and succeed in life, responsibility is so important. This is a part of being an adult and learning how to be responsible for everything.

Tonya R. Owens

Each one of us is responsible for the world – each one of us must give a hand to build our world in a humane manner, crossing faith, fate, and family.

Abhijit Naskar

There is always an alternative to the present urgency—and it’s not a vacation, it’s acknowledging deeper responsibility.

Stewart Brand
"Responsibility is the joy of knowing that you can find a way"
“Responsibility is the joy of knowing that you can find a way.” – Sharon Pearson

Responsibility is the thing people dread the most of all. Yet it is the one thing in the world that develops us, gives us manhood or womanhood fiber.

Dr. Frank Crane

The more freedom we enjoy, the greater the responsibility we bear, toward others as well as ourselves.

Oscar Arias

Responsibility changes everything. The moment we decide that we are the ones who are capable of and responsible for changing things, everything shifts.

John B. Izzo

Skills can be taught and developed, but attitudes are difficult to change and ultimately are the responsibility of each person.

Gary Schulz

One of the older misunderstandings about responsibility is the idea that responsibility is a burden and that responsibility in business is largely a matter of liability for punishment. But responsibility is also a matter of pride and praise for a job well done. Responsibility is having a place in an organization and in a community as a full-fledged participant, and it is our responsibilities that also determine the perks and privileges of a position.

Robert C. Solomon

The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority.

Stanley Milgram

Taking Responsibility

Take responsibility, trust, and have faith in yourself that you can offer the world something that no one has ever known.

Paul Martens

You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.

Jim Rohn

It is only when you take responsibility for your life that you discover how powerful you truly are.

Allanah Hunt

Take responsibility for your own happiness, do not expect people or things to bring you happiness, or you could be disappointed.

Rodolfo Costa

Be active! Take on responsibility! Work for the things you believe in. If you do not, you are surrendering your fate to others.

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Will Craig quote "Take responsibility — it’s where your powers live"
“Take responsibility — it’s where your powers live.” – Will Craig

In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.

Eleanor Roosevelt

A man, as a general rule, owes very little to what he is born with — a man is what he makes of himself.

Alexander Graham Bell

Part of getting a second chance is taking responsibility for the mess you made in the first place.

Keifer Sutherland,
Jack Bauer on 24

The day you graduate from childhood to adulthood is the day you take full responsibility for your life.

Jim Rohn

To decide to be at the level of choice, is to take responsibility for your life and to be in control of your life.

Arbie M. Dale

The power behind taking responsibility for your actions lies in putting an end to negative thought patterns. You no longer dwell on what went wrong or focus on whom you are going to blame. You don’t waste time building roadblocks to your success. Instead, you are set free and can now focus on succeeding.

Lorii Myers

The day you take complete responsibility for yourself, the day you stop making any excuses, that’s the day you start to the top.

O.J. Simpson

Most relationships fall apart because two people get sick of blaming each other for the things they will not take responsibility for.

Nitya Prakash

The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, ‘I’ve got responsibilities.’

Richard Bach

For the moment we know the truth about ourselves, we can take both responsibility for our own lives and inspired action to create exactly the life which is our birthright. In other words, you were meant to win.

Jacob Nordby

No one gets away with anything, ever, so take responsibility for your own life.

Jordan Peterson
Sunday Adelaja quote "Do not wait for others to take responsibility"
“Always be the light. Do not wait for others to take responsibility.” – Sunday Adelaja

It is wrong and immoral to seek to escape the consequences of one’s acts.

Mahatma Gandhi

By choosing to take responsibility for your life, you will immediately gain an increased power to achieve your greatest potential.

Skip Downing

If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.

Teddy Roosevelt

You are responsible for your life. You can’t keep blaming somebody else for your dysfunction. Life is really about moving on.

Oprah Winfrey

Making someone responsible for your misery also makes them responsible for your happiness. Why give that power to anyone but yourself?

Scott Stabile

Accepting Responsibility Quotes

Accepting responsibility should be your default response to everything.

Pia Silva

Eventually we all have to accept full and total responsibility for our actions, everything we have done, and have not done.

Hubert Selby, Jr.

You must accept responsibility for your actions, but not the credit for your achievements.

Denis Waitley

Concern yourself more with accepting responsibility than with assigning blame. Let the possibilities inspire you more than the obstacles discourage you.

Ralph Marston

Until you accept responsibility for your life, someone else runs your life.

Orrin Woodward

Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.

Les Brown

The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny.

Anais Nin

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

Joan Didion

Stop pointing fingers and placing blame on others. Your life can only change to the degree that you accept responsibility for it.

Steve Maraboli
"Accept the terrible responsibility of life with eyes wide open"
“Accept the terrible responsibility of life with eyes wide open.” – Jordan Peterson

The victim mindset dilutes the human potential. By not accepting personal responsibility for our circumstances, we greatly reduce our power to change them.

Steve Maraboli

When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself.

Louis Nizer

You are responsible for overcoming guilt by rising above it, by growing beyond yourselves, by changing for the better.

Viktor E. Frankl

Accepting complete responsibility for your life means that you refuse to make excuses or blame others for anything in your life that you’re not happy about.

Brian Tracy

Choices may be unbelievably hard but they’re never impossible. To say you have no choice is to release yourself from responsibility and that’s not how a person with integrity acts.

Patrick Ness

Success on any major scale requires you to accept responsibility. In the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have is the ability to take on responsibility.

Michael Korda

Accepting personal responsibility for your life frees you from outside influences – increases your self-esteem – boosts confidence in your ability to decisions – and ultimately leads to achieve success in life.

Roy T. Bennett

You always have a choice. Don’t ever imagine you don’t. Whatever you do, it’s a decision and you have to accept responsibility for it. That’s when honor becomes more than empty words.

Lynn Flewelling

All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you.

Wayne Dyer

The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it.

Lou Hotlz

Freedom without responsibility is like weight without gravity in physics — a logical impossibility.

Bill McDonald

It is only by acknowledging that you have created everything up until now that you can take charge of creating the future you want.

Jack Canfield

Responsibility does not only lie with the leaders of our countries or with those who have been appointed or elected to do a particular job. It lies with each one of us individually.

Dalai Lama

Note that political responsibility is wholly vicarious and inescapable. Although one may not have participated in harm-doing, one still shares responsibility.

Cassie Striblen
Kristin Moeller saying "Responsibility is a grace we give ourselves"
“Responsibility is a grace we give ourselves.” – Kristin Moeller

The productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker but of the manager.

Peter Drucker

It is a painful thing to look at your own trouble and know that you yourself and no one else has made it.


One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you do find somebody, it’s remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver’s license.

P. J. O’Rourke

The victim mindset dilutes the human potential. By not accepting personal responsibility for our circumstances, we greatly reduce our power to change them.

Steve Maraboli

Being Responsible Quotes

Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.

Colin Powell

You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think.

Marianne Williamson

You’re responsible for your journey in life, no one else. You have to know the destination to go there. Others can help show you the way, but no one can take you there.

Debasish Mridha, M.D.

Not responding is a response – we are equally responsible for what we don’t do.

Jonathan Safran Foer

No man is fit to command another that cannot command himself.

William Penn

A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make.

Denis Waitley

If you choose not to live self-responsibly, you count on others to make up your default. No one abjures self-responsibility on a desert island.

Nathaniel Branden

It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.

Josiah Stamp

Adulthood is defined by the willingness to accept full responsibility for where you are at in life; no longer blaming others or circumstances.

Joe Westbrook

Fully accepting, loving, and being yourself allows you to be 100% authentic. This means being fully responsible for yourself.

John Felitto
"The buck stops here"
“The buck stops here.” – Harry S. Truman

The Bible tells us that when we’re faithful in the little things that God gives us to do then He will bring increased blessings and responsibility into our lives.

Bill Vincent

Being responsible is an enormous privilege…. It’s what marks anyone a fully grown human.

Barack Obama

Exercising responsibility is a matter of constant interpretation, individual discretion and judgement. In other words, responsibility is not a finalised notion but rather an open one, subject to additions and alterations that change with time and place. One may encounter as many views on responsibility as there are periods of history, contexts, conventions, religions, laws, interpretations, not to speak of a variety of interests and objectives.

Edith Sizoo

Be Responsible Quotes

In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and eternity.

Abraham Lincoln

We become responsible for the actions of others the instant we become conscious of what they are doing wrong and fail to remind them of what is right.

Suzy Kassem

Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.

George Washington Carver

We are not put here on earth to play around. There is work to be done. There are responsibilities to be met. Humanity needs the abilities of every man and woman.

Alden Palmer

Men must necessarily be the active agents of their own well-being and well-doing… they themselves must in the very nature of things be their own best helpers.

Samuel Smiles

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.

Anne Frank

Be more receptive of your responsibility than you are of your rights.

Amit Kalantri

To be morally responsible, a man must be a free, rational, moral agent.

Archibald Alexander Hodge

It strikes me there is some difference between holding a man responsible for an act which he has not done, and holding him responsible for an act that he has done.

Abraham Lincoln

Remember, you are responsible for your future, so take charge and turn your life into whatever it is that you want it to be.

Sharlene Snow

Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself.

Henry Ward Beecher
"Freedom is the will to be responsible for ourselves"
Freedom is the will to be responsible for ourselves.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do.


You are never responsible for the actions of others; you are only responsible for you.

Don Miguel Ruiz,
The Four Agreements

When we have begun to take charge of our lives, to own ourselves, there is no longer any need to ask permission of someone.

George O’Neil

Quotes on Responsibilities

No matter what we do in life, we always end up responsible for something. As responsibilities pile up, they may feel like burdens to be dealt with.

However, these quotes show how to view responsibilities as the blessings that they truly are. Not mere obligations to do certain things or act certain ways, but a way to improve ourselves by living at a higher standard.

The way we accept the responsibilities we are presented with is often a big part of what defines us and our character and reputation.

Responsibilities gravitate to the person who can shoulder them.

Tom Stoppard

In the moral and social duties of life there are responsibilities resting upon us which, if neglected, become so great a burden that we fall under their oppressiveness.

Annie E. Lancaster

Let us not shrink from the responsibility which comes down upon the age in which we live. The great and mighty problem of the universe has been given to the whole human family for its solution.

O.M. Mitchell

Every man and woman ought to feel their own individual responsibilities.

John T. Guthrie

The game is my life. It demands loyalty and responsibility, and it gives me back fulfillment and peace.

Michael Jordan

He who weighs his own responsibilities can bear them.

Julius Nepos

One of the things about having positions of responsibility is that with that comes even more responsibility.

Bill Haslam

Big pay and little responsibility are circumstances seldom found together.

Napoleon Hill

Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.

C. Everett Koop

The secret ingredients to true happiness? Decisive optimism and personal responsibility.

Amy Leigh Mercree

Sometimes one has to take on responsibilities that weren’t those one imagined.

Carles Puigdemont
"To the victor belong the responsibilities"
“To the victor belong the responsibilities.” – Al Bernstein

Since the days of Greece and Rome, when the word ‘citizen’ was a title of honor, we have often seen more emphasis put on the rights of citizenship than on its responsibilities.

Robert Kennedy

In times of difficulty we all have to understand our responsibilities.

Genanro Gattuso

Failure is nature’s plan to prepare you for great responsibilities.

Napoleon Hill

Responsibilities are given to him on whom trust rests.

James Cash Penney

If anyone thinks he has no responsibilities, it is because he has not sought them out.

Mary Lyon

We need to learn from our experiences and take responsibilities for our actions and drive on.

Gen. David Petraeus

We hope these responsibility quotes leave you ready to take on anything. Instead of viewing your responsibilities as shackles, think of them as proof of your ability to focus and achieve when you need to.

Let us know below how you’ll be more responsible in the comments below!

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Quincy Seale

Quincy is KIM's lead editor and content writer, and has collected and shared inspiring quotes and stories since 2005. Quincy holds an MBA from the University of Dundee and an MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and lives in San Antonio with his wife Natalie, son Alex, and his dog Oban.