Accountability is the wholehearted embrace of what you desperately want to ignore.
That quote popped up in my twitter feed this morning. I wrote it down but did not write down who said it. Isn't it just perfect?
Some of you already know this, but I was offered a job on Thursday for....how do I say this....my current salary + an extra zero. When I did the math, that's what the total salary would be.
I promptly turned down the offer.
As I said to one of my friends, my "Happy Factor" was 100% the reason for my decision. If you ever read my About Me page, you know that Mr. Tea and I started a company from the ground up. We survived the recession and have a healthy, fast growing company in a highly competitive market.
I thought back to the idea of accountability because of the years, we've done a lot right, but we've also made a number of mistakes. That's the only way to really grow a business. Take risks, make mistakes and move on.
Think about these situations.
A restaurant owner (A) is the only restaurant on a particular street. A new restaurant moves in. Owner A's business starts dropping off. He immediately blames Restaurant Owner B when he is in fact responsible for his own failings. Maybe he hasn't changed his menu in years. Maybe his prices are too high. Maybe the food quality is poor.
Competition moves in, and it's easier to blame someone else rather than turn the microscope on yourself.
A personal trainer loses a client. He starts complaining about the client when the trainer wasn't meeting the expectations of the client. Again, it's easier to blame someone else for your own personal issues.
Competition makes things better for the consumer. Businesses have to step up, improve their quality, or service to keep and grow a customer base.
A local coffee shop (here) went out of business last year, when we were talking to the owner, he said, "People just stopped coming in. I can't do anything about that." It was the only coffee shop in a 5 mile radius. When the store opened, people were excited. After awhile, they realized they could make better coffee at home at much better price. He blamed the lack of foot traffic on his business closure when it was his own business decisions that caused the business to close.
Now think about this on a more personal level. I'm sure this would never happen. A married Senator has an affair. When the news breaks, he and his wife blame "the other woman" for destroying their marriage. The Other woman was single. Right or wrong, she can sleep with whoever she wants including married men. The only person who destroyed their marriage was the Senator. But it's much easier to blame some innocent woman than to talk about the hard issues in a marriage.
How many times have you been driving, and some one cuts you off? Did you get mad? Did you want to speed around him and do it to him? Did you blame him for ruining your day. Did he piss you off? Newsflash: All he did was make a bad driving decision. He didn't make you mad. He didn't ruin your day. Maybe he did it accidentally. Maybe he did it on purpose, but his reasons don't matter. It's YOUR actions and thoughts that matter. He didn't piss you off or ruin your day. Something is going on in your life to make you feel like that. Think back to when that happened, there were things going on, weren't there? Maybe you were tired. Maybe you just had a fight with your spouse, but none of that had anything to do with the person cutting you off in traffic.
But it's easier to blame the random stranger instead of doing deep self analysis because when we analyze ourselves, we have to look at the unpleasant, the ugly the dark side of ourselves. That's not easy.
However, that's how we have breakthroughs. We aren't bad people. We are just people. When we accept the dark/ugly side of our personality, we grow and become confident and strong.
If there is no enemy inside, the enemy outside can do us no harm.
When we take accountability of our lives, when we take ownership of our actions, when we accept our whole self as it is, only then do we have the opportunity to become the person we want to be and reach our full potential.