Skill 13: Accountability

Who do you respect? What type of character do they have? Are they a jerk, or just firm when they need to be? Do they let people tell them how to feel, or do they own their vulnerabilities? Do they cover up their mistakes, or do they take responsibility and move on? And do they strive for money and power at the cost of those around them, or do they go about it differently?

Last week you got a better idea of who you want to be. Now you get to decide why you want to be that person. Give yourself purpose. At Choose Movement we believe that forming a community of strong, empowered and fulfilled people focused on creating an environment that includes long term planning and true consideration for others will strengthen communities and encourage positive decisions everywhere. We have all learned these ideas since childhood, and we have seen them work. But it is up to us to hold ourselves accountable to keep these goals in mind during our daily lives. By choosing to hold ourselves accountable, and using all the other skills, we can be the people we want to be and that means being the change we want to see in the world. This is how we choose to live in a world worth believing in: by being that world.

So think about what you really want to see in the world. Do you want people to be kinder, or more polite? Maybe you think there should be more trustworthy people? Or reliable people? Does that match the type of person you want to be? My bet is that it will. The respect, pride, and self-esteem will grow as a result of being that person, knowing why you want to be that person, and holding yourself accountable to keeping at it. Don’t expect anything in return. You are who you are because of what you believe in.

Remember to do your best at being who you want to be. Nobody is perfect, but those of us that keep working at it get farther than we ever imagined. Go after your passions and your dreams, either as a hobby or profession. It will always be a source of joy in your life. Realize that you never get anywhere on your own, so focus on working together, and working for the good of the team. Make sure you stay aware of how situations make you feel, and that regardless of what happens you always have a choice on how to respond. You don’t have to blow up in the moment. You don’t have to feel powerless. You can figure out a different way, and channel your energy into that. If something scares you, figure out why. You can always ask for help. 

Don’t forget that making a difference in the world means you need to take care of yourself. Developing balance in your life will give you a strong base, but don’t forget to let loose from time to time. Take the time to pause and appreciate the good things you have going for you. I guarantee you there is someone else that doesn’t have it, and you don’t know how long you do. By seeing the good in the world you will realize there is more of it than the bad. We all experience troubles and pain. But don’t let yourself run. Pain will happen. Suffering doesn’t have to. Look for the root cause to find real lasting solutions. 

Don’t be afraid to open up to new people, and jump at the opportunity to invest in the trustworthy. By extending trust you can increase it. By seeing things from alternative points of view you will be able to make more connections, take things less personally, and have a better handle on interaction and negotiation. If it takes less than 5 minutes, jump in and help. Be that person that helps pick up the fallen papers, and don’t ask for anything in return. Be who you want to be, and know why. Then use all of these skills to help you stay that person.

As you get to know people you will begin to recognize their core values as well. When they begin to waver, give them strength and hold them accountable to keeping to their values. Those values may not be yours, but you can respect them. If it appears that decisions are being made that will be harmful, begin to ask questions. Understand the situation. If appropriate hold the decision makers accountable to making constructive, long-term decisions.

With practice stepping through each skill week by week you will start noticing little changes. Those changes will be both inside you and in the people around you. In time those changes will grow and it will be easier to notice them. Maybe you have started to notice them already. But if you keep up with it, after a while you’ll notice that things just don’t bother you as much. You know you can handle what comes your way. And you stop worrying as much about what others might think. You’ll be proud of where you’re going and who you are. You will be happy being that person.

And never forget to look up at the people around you.

Practice Suggestions

  • Think of the type of world that you think is worth believing in. Check that it matches the type of person you want to be.
  • When you have the opportunity to be the person you want to be, be that person. Remind yourself that you are doing it to move the world one step closer.
  • Listen to the people around you, but do not be embarrassed for being who you want to be.

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