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Consequences from the acceptance of tasks

 Since in principle every conceivable task can (and should) serve the further personal development of a person, in the next section we want to consider the acceptance of tasks from this point of view. Everyone can decide for himself whether he wants to accept and carry out a given task. Before someone accepts a task however, it is essential that he checks that the task is suitable for him, i.e. on the one hand whether it is compatible with his personal goals and on the other hand whether he has the necessary abilities for carrying it out. Here we mean not only manual skills or intellectual abilities but also especially awareness. He who takes up a task is responsible for making sure that he has the abilities to solve it.

This is a consequence of self-responsibility: Everyone must be able to freely and independently decide whether he wants to take on a given task or not. It is after all impossible to force someone to carry out a task and then afterwards to make that person responsible for the consequences!


If a person does not carry out, or carries out dishonestly the test as to whether the task matches him or not, he runs the risk of accepting a task for which he is not suited. Or he may take on a task which contributes to goals which are not compatible with his own goals, and therefore negatively influences his personal development. This person is then however fully and completely responsible for the consequences of his decision to take on the task (principle of self-responsibility).

In the previous section we used the example of jumping off the rock without knowing how far below the ground is, and of driving a car with a totally misted windscreen for this purpose. In these examples the respective people must have been clear that they could not see what they were doing or that they could not assess the consequences of their current action. Thereby they ignored their basic common sense. These people are themselves responsible for this.

Let’s return to our comparison with a school or university: If a schoolchild takes part in a lecture at the university about the theory of relativity he will learn nothing about it because he doesn’t have the necessary basic knowledge for this. He will possibly however also miss what would be for him an important lesson in the primary school. Instead of accelerating his personal development then as intended he wasted his time by being intellectually overtaxed. Perhaps he even occupied the place of a «valid» student in the aforementioned lecture so that this student has now missed part of his education.

In the pyramid model in which we compare human development with the building of a pyramid, it is also easily possible to illustrate the acceptance of tasks which are too difficult: This corresponds with someone who wants to leave out some layers in the pyramid. Instead of laying the next layer of stones on top the existing one he tries to build a layer further up. It is easy to see that this cannot succeed…

It is therefore enormously important to check whether the tasks assigned to us «match our needs». To say that merely because a task has been offered or transferred to me it also matches my needs is certainly untrue. Every task requires both particular manual skills and also intellectual abilities or knowledge as well as a minimum awareness by the person carrying it out. This person is finally responsible for checking whether he has all the abilities – including especially the ability to peceive the consequences of this task.

With the execution of these tasks the person carrying them out automatically contributes to the goals from which the tasks arose. If these goals are compatible with his own objectives then the solving of these tasks contributes to his personal development, if not they will impede his personal development. In the latter case it would be better for him not to take on the tasks.

ΞBook ABC of awareness | personal growth | self-determination | self-responsibility | task