It's my experience that "times are a changing". Everyone is so worried nowadays about their public image and how others perceive them, that they've forgotten one simple and honest concept called, accountability. Everything is about pleasing others, not "ruffling feathers", and being sure to always be politically correct. This world has become a heard of sheep, following each other around, consumed with fitting in and being like the others. Too many sheep, not enough sheep dogs. Remember the titans of industry? Andrew Carnegie, JP Morgan, and John D. Rockefeller pioneered the rise of industrial America. Not by politely tip toeing around, but going out and taking what they wanted. The only difference about then and now, they were able to be held fully accountable for their actions. For us today, it can be broken down into two easy concepts; where have you been and where are you going?
1. the fact or condition of being accountable; responsibility.
Where have you been? Looking back, can you say when you made decisions that led you to this stage in your life, that you have always excepted responsibility for your actions. Or was there times where you placed blame off on others, rationalized mistakes, or justified your actions? I have a friend, he asked me once, "Zach, what's the difference between justification, rationalization, minimization, and master-bation?". I had no idea. He came back with, "you only F*** yourself". Funny at the time, we laughed, but as I think about that jovial quote, it's all so true. The funniest things are in life are usually true, don't you think? We as humans don't want the burden of feeling guilt so we do whatever we can to trick our minds into not having to feel it. But when the time comes that your actions start affecting others, what do you do? Have you been the one to try to trick them too, or in others words, lie? Or, do you stand up and say, yes I did that, and this is why. I can honestly say when I was younger, I did that, lied, to myself, and others. You never want to look bad to your piers. But when those lies and rationalizations, and justifications start having other ramifications, that's when those little lies, turn into a big deal. And all along, down the road what happened? You got caught, and you had to tell the truth anyway. Not only did you lie, but then you looked bad for being caught in it as well. Not the type of perception you were trying to build at all. Maybe, if you took accountability from the beginning, you would't have come out looking so bad? Maybe you would have gotten what you wanted, and maybe so many people wouldn't have been negatively affected by your actions? A lot of maybes, but so the saying goes, "the truth will set you free".
Where are you going? With this thought and concept of accountability and the direct correlation to your success, combined, with how your actions will affect others in the long run, where you do you want to take your life? If your success and truth correlate directly, put into a graph, success over time, based on the percentage of truth told, would show to be linear. Your ability to stand up and take accountability for your actions will directly relate to how others respond to you. Nothing says I'm not a sheep, I'm a leader, like looking them in the eye and saying, "yes, I did that, yes, this is what I'm doing". You may not always be right, you may not always be on the same page as others, but if you can present a strong case, with factual evidence to back it up, and you stand by your word and actions, others will listen, and respect you. Setting forth from here on out, take a new approach. One where you're ideas are your own and you're not too afraid to reach a little further than you used to. Don't be afraid to ask new questions, propose new ideas, and make your life what you want it to be. If we were all the same, this world would never evolve. Don't just except what life hands you always, questions that authority and go out and take what is yours. Remember, respect, accountability, and responsibility will not allow you to fail, only lies will. Don't let anything stand in your way. Do what you feel is right and necessary, stand up for your actions, and create your success.
Where have you been, where are you going? I hope after this short article it has you thinking in a different direction. I hope that you maybe have seen, its not what people always think of you, but, it's how did they perceive your actions, and your ability to stand by them. There are so many different ideas, career paths, and events that can cause your life to become different from what you might want it to be. But, just always remember, you can always turn it into what you want, it's never too late. Be the designer of your own life. Make people hear and see you for the strength you are, the leader you are, not the complaints and excuses you give them. People respond to confidence. Look them all in the eye and say, "yes I did, and this is why". If for no other reason, than for your own self respect, because respect is really all we have in this life. I hope this was somewhat enlightening, thank you for reading, and as always, keep working hard.