Define Accountable: undeniably obligated, fulfilled promise, divine purpose, doing the right thing, unselfish, centered with one’s core values; present, commitment, hard work; courage; endurance; overcoming fear....
Define Unaccountable: avoidance, defiance, irresponsibility, recklessness, immature, noncompliant, self-serving, hiding from one’s trueness; detached from reality; stagnation….
What acually is accountability? To find out its true meaning, one must delve inward deeply into her psyche. The answers already exists within each of us. Still unsure? Go deeper. When we are born, we are gifted with all of the qualities and traits we need to get through this life successfully. It’s like we are given at birth a metaphorical suitcase, and inside of that suitcase are all the tools to deal with life’s challenges. It’s never too late to find out what’s inside your suitcase; no matter what age you are, or what stage you’re in. All you have to do to open it, see what’s inside. These gifts all belong to you. They’ve always been there for you, and are ready to be there for you when you reach for them. Sadly, there are people that go through an entire lifetime without even opening up their suitcase.
Is it the knowingness that we need to do the work to achieve our goals. Work doesn’t get done by itself. Work doesn’t get done by taking credit of the achievements of others. As human beings, we all have to choose to be accountable or not. We all have had times in our lives when we have suffered embarrassment for being unaccountable and pride for being accountable. The choice is up to us, and there will always be that tendency to choose to stay present in the face of fear.
What will you choose today?
A Story of Milk
A woman goes out to the grocery store to buy a carton of milk. She makes the purchase and returns home placing the milk in the fridge. The next day, she pours herself a tall glass. The milk looks fresh. The woman proceeds to drink the milk only to find out its spoiled. She spits the milk out, and pours the remaining milk down the drain. What went wrong? She forgot to look at the expiration date, and assumed the milk would be fresh. She trusted the store would only sell fresh milk. Her assumption led to disappointment. She leaves the carton of milk in the fridge and forgets to throw it out. A week later, she absentmindedly makes herself a bowl of cereal with the rotten milk. As she takes her first bite, she winces. She remembers now that the expired milk should have been thrown out a week ago.
Before we enter new situations or relationships, pay attention to details. Don’t assume because you are a trusting individual, that others have your best interest in mind. What might look safe may turn out to be an experience that results in a trail of destruction. Once you know the situation or relationship is toxic, be accountable to protect yourself. Don’t deny the writing on the wall. Dismissing red flags early on only leads to messy entanglement that becomes harder to get out of.
It’s one thing if you didn’t know that you were in a compromised situation and stay in it for some time. However, once you realize that the situation is no good, you are accountable to reposition yourself to a healthier place in your life. Knowing the situation is bad and staying is only going to cause you more grief in the long run. Just like a carton of milk having an expiration date, so too relationships that are not right for you have a finality. Staying longer in a situation past the expiration date is simply demonstrating a lack of accountability.
- Pay attention
- Look for warning signs
- Notice what is going on around you
- Take precaution
- Be discerning
The Lion and the Cage
Consider this....If you go into a cage with a lion, and you get attacked, what do you think would happen to you reconsidered entering the lion’s cage a later date?
When we compare the level of risk and consequence between drinking spoiled milk or being attacked by a lion, the answer is obvious. So, just like we may be more likely to check the expiration date on a milk carton in a grocery store before purchasing it, or see a lion behind a cage, why do we find ourselves in situations or relationships we need regret entering? What is holding us back from looking at the warning signs, and taking appropriate action to prevent disappointment, unneeded heartbreak, aggravation, lost time, or even potentially danger. This idea is something worth to thinking about.
Regardless of one’s age, its natural to make mistakes. It’s the lessons we learn from them that make us stronger and wiser. The brightest people in the world didn’t get there without making several mistakes. It’s the learning process that makes us grow into who we were meant to become.
The moment of truth…how does accountability play a crucial role in our lives today as we begin to face a new normal when it’s safe to reenter society after the threat of COVID-19 has diminished?
We will have accountability to separate fear from facts. We will need to make educated decisions using our logical reasoning as opposed to our immediate emotional reactivity. Gathering data, and assessing the pros and cons of our daily choices are what will be driving our basic behavior going forward. There’s a time to be still, and a time to move ahead. Knowing when that time is right will be something each and every one of us will be accountable for. Reentering society will be filled with many unknowns, rapid changes, inundation of information from every direction coming at us at once. We will be accountable to experience adaptation as we transition into what is waiting for us. As we remind ourselves that we have all the qualities and traits inside ourselves to cope with change, to rise above fear, to endure under pressure, and to sustain hope for the future, we find our accountability.