MicroMoment Monday: Self Accountability
How to Keep Ourselves Accountable with Jeff Thibodeau
By the time this week is done we will be 1/12th of the way through the year.
My topic today is self accountability and now more than ever, in a world full of distraction and a real lack of public accountability everywhere, it seems like the skill of self discipline and self accountability is more important than ever.
Before we get started I wanted to read a quote that I absolutely love from John Wooden, who is the most successful NCAA coach in history. John says…
"Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort, to so your best, to become the best that you're capable of becoming.”
Success… and by its very nature… happiness - is the direct result of self-satisfaction and therefore self-awareness. At the end of the day the only thing that really matters is if you are satisfied that you put in the work to get what you wanted out of life. This is true on a micro scale day-to-day and task-to-task - and also on a macro scale - when you look back at big projects, decades of work and you feel satisfied in what you have achieved.
This is an incredibly personal thing - since most finish lines and goal lines are fake - by that I mean they are just made up - the only thing you should ever judge yourself on is how happy you are with the effort you gave.
I was raised with very little accountability - and I made me into a very entitled and lazy young man. It took me having a family and becoming an independent commissioned sales person to finally learn the effect of self accountability could have on my success and achievement. Suddenly there was no-one left to blame if I failed, and nobody to pay my bills either. Once it was all on me - results had to happen. Those of you that listen to me talk a lot have probably heard me talk about a safety net actually being a ball and chain.
So here I want to share with you some of my own personal notes on self accountability.
1 - Be brutally honest with yourself - it’s okay - nobody is perfect - we all screw up and everyone is pretending to be much happier and more successful than the really are. Hiding behind excuses and complaints is losing behaviour - owning a problem or a loss lets you start to fix it. Journal your loses, shortcoming, and lessons learned.
2 - Even when it's not your fault - it’s your responsibility - it really doesn’t matter why something happened - all that matters is what you are going to do next. Let that one sink in. While everyone else is looking for who is to blame - just get on with making things better.
3 - Really start to comprehend the power of choice. You can say NO to just about anything - we choose not to for a million reasons - but it’s still your choice. You don’t HAVE to do anything - sure there are consequences to every choice - but you still have the power to choose.
4 - It’s okay to change your mind. New information shows up all the time. So many people get stuck in - “stay the course” mentality rather than being objective. The deep psychological reason is that changing our minds means admitting we were wrong - perhaps for a long time - get over it - we are all wrong - all the time - then we learn stuff and we get less wrong.
5 - Teach yourself to do things you don’t like - we have been raised to believe the ultimate life is one of comfort - it’s a huge lie. Your mind wants challenges - your body only works under load and stress. Liking or not liking things is completely manufactured in your mind. Thanks to Darren I now like cold showers…. It took a few weeks of forcing in through my choices - now strangely my body craves it the cold rinse.
6 - It’s only future you that you're helping or hurting - Somehow I honestly didn’t really comprehend this until the last few years - I think all that childhood nagging “you’re only cheating yourself” messed my brain up. Every crappy choice today makes future you’s life crappier - every good behaviour and choice makes future you’s life better. It’s almost too simple to be true - but we are so now and short term focused we tend to not make great long term decisions. Remember it’s only you in the future - so start doing yourself a future. Imagine if 10 years ago you made some better choices - lol.
So how do we put this into practice. The best way to start is when something goes wrong…
Stop yourself from complaining and ask yourself: "what could I have done?" and "what can I do?"
Take responsibility to make the situation better - and forget who’s “fault” it is.
Stop being passive - make choices and own the AND don’t be scared to change your mind when you get new info - that literally how all science works!
Realize you can make yourself do anything - it’s just choices - and them more you choice to do things you don’t want to the stronger that skill gets
And take some time to do future you a favour - everyday in every situation - that’s how life gets easier and better - not through ignoring problems and procrastinating on solutions.