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The Parable of Personal AccountabilityBrad is a young programmer. He has always wanted to be a video game developer, and figured that he was building a good ‘knowledge base’ by spending countless hours learning about (and playing) video games, all through high school. When he got to college, he took the advice of his counselor and started getting his base course work out of the way. These courses helped him brush up on math and other areas that are prerequisites for computer science, and eventually programming courses and internships, just before graduation. But Brad had already spent years preparing to be a programmer, right? He found it difficult to attend unrelated courses, when it was taking time away from his real-life experience with video games.

As you can imagine, as fall turned to winter, his grades suffered, and by spring Brad had dropped out of college. He was determined to make it on his own. He showed some resourcefulness by contacting numerous companies, and eventually ended up getting an entry level job in customer support.

Still, he knew that he was destined for -even deserved- a much better position, so he didn’t enjoy talking to the customers or answering their beginning questions. He eventually was fired for being unable to deliver the level of support that the company required. As you can see, Brad’s success was undermined by organizations and people who couldn’t understand his passion and determination, right? Wrong.

Brad has left his success up to others, to the environment, to chance, and to fate. Are you accountable for what happens in your life?

The Moral of the Story

Personal AccountabilityWhile it’s true that we can’t control everything, we still can be accountable. Here is how it works: If you believe that success is within your control, you will have more of it. It’s that simple. Let’s take Jenna and Greg. They are both real estate agents.

As Jenna leaves the house in the morning, she already feels defeated. The real estate market has been in a slump, and why would she be one of the few agents to survive this market? After all, there are plenty more experienced agents than her. Greg, on the other hand, knows that he has the world on a string, because he has a deep sense that his success is dependent upon his own behaviors and actions, regardless of what is happening in the economy, with his agency or the clients who just decided upon a different agent to represent them.

The kind of unyielding vision of personal accountability will carry you through. Greg chose to have a successful day, so he will. The good news is that Greg’s attitude is available to anyone, even you. Both Brad the would-be programmer and Jenna the down-in-the-dumps real estate agent have decided that outside conditions will determine their success, and so it will.

Here Is Your Part

Learn to let go of the guilt you may feel when your decisions don’t result in success. At times you will be to blame, and need to accept that you were off the mark. At least everyone can stop wasting time and resources trying to determine blame.

Your determination in advance that all will go well and you will succeed, regardless of outside forces, is what makes you the leader or expert that you already have become, and ensures that you will continue on your path to even greater success.

“People who live at peace with themselves and are fulfilled, at ease, and successful have a different definition of responsibility. They believe: If it works I’m responsible, and if it doesn’t work, I’m responsible.” ~Linda Galindo, author

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