Who doesn’t love accountability? Well, at first thought, probably no one! The thoughts that run through my head are “I have to tell someone my secrets” or “I don’t want to have to answer to anyone else!” You might even be thinking, “I’m successful, and I don’t need to be accountable. I’m accountable to myself.” Well, if the thought of accountability isn’t the favorite thought you have, let’s explore the idea further.
I was on the airplane travelling to a speaking engagement a while back. When I am on the plane, I either like to relax or I read my current book or even a periodical. I left my book in the overhead bin because I had planned to relax, but for some reason I opened the seatback pocket and pulled out a magazine. I read about a high school runner who eclipsed the 4-minute mark for his mile and won the race that day. For a world class runner, that is a big deal – but for a high school runner, that’s amazing! But when you look a little further, you see that the second place runner also broke the 4-minute barrier, too! When the winner was asked how he did it, he said, “Well, I was being pushed every step of the race. When I thought about pacing, there he was – right behind me. I would have never achieved this had it not been for my competition.” When the 2nd place finisher was asked how it felt to lose the race but break that milestone, he said, “I never could have done it had I not been chasing my opponent with everything that I had. I wanted to slow the pace, but he kept me accountable and I just ran!”
Accountable means “begin responsible for some action.” Being accountable means to take responsibility for your actions; or equally responsible for your inaction. And let’s face it; it’s usually your inaction that keeps you from your dreams and goals!
The second place finisher may not have gotten the gold medal, but he got something even more incredible – the achievement that most runners never see – a sub 4-minute mile! Who cares if you win or lose if you are that successful? I can’t sit here and say that if I had 10-million dollars that I would regret not making eleven!
Another situation can be seen on The Biggest Loser during my season of Second Chances. I had accountability out the wah-zoo! And when people ask me how I lost 239 pounds in 210 days, I always cite the accountability factor. First, there was Rudy. He lost 234 pounds and 52.94% of his body weight. I beat him by losing 239 pounds and 55.58% of my body weight. When asked how I did it, my quote on the finale show was, “I’ve spent most of my time trying to catch up to this guy <pointing to Rudy>!” And in fact, it is touted as the greatest race in the history of The Biggest Loser. On any other season except season 7 and 8, Rudy would have won – just like that 2nd place finisher in the mile. But we needed each other to keep each other accountable and to accomplish what we did.
You see, accountability is not a bad thing; it’s the thing that will get you what you want the most – success! And you need someone pushing you or you’ll never go as far.
In the Journey Training, we help people set goals and visualize dreams, and then they gain people in their own class to help them achieve those dreams – but only if they’re willing to be accountable! Remember, accountability = responsibility. That means that not being accountable = victim mentality! As for me, I welcome accountability – will you?