How To Be Accountable and Live in Peace and Balance
We all fall short of expectations and make mistakes occasionally. When there is a misunderstanding, confusion, a missed meeting, something that is not going right or a
mistake, simply fess up –– take responsibility –– and move on. When it’s all over, take stock of what went right and what went wrong. Evaluate what you could have done better, jot down your thoughts, and then put the problem behind you.
People who aren’t accountable tend to blame others or deny that they were responsible. You may be tempted to offer one of the classic copouts: “I didn’t know,” “I wasn’t there,” “I didn’t have time” or “It’s not my job.” But using those excuses creates more anxiety and doesn’t take you toward personal or institutional success.
Embedded in the commitment to be accountable is a commitment to do what you need to do to take control of your life and to become your best. I want to share with you strategies and tools that can help you understand how to live with accountability as an individual and as a leader.
1. Control what you can control. Focusing your energy on what you can control empowers you to move away from criticism, complaints and condemnations and forge ahead to become your best and achieve the highest levels of success. By controlling your response to challenges,
frustrations and aggravations, you can greatly enhance the quality of your life.
2. Develop relationship agreements. These documents clearly define the vision, the reward system, the expectations and the accountability in any relationship, personal or professional. What’s important is that you focus on your sphere of influence, and that will carry over to others.
3. Eliminate procrastination and follow through. There are specific actions that you can take to improve your accountability: eliminate procrastination and follow through. Do what you say you will do, and do it in a timely manner. If there is a problem or a good reason to withdraw your commitment, make sure you communicate with the people involved so that they can make adjustments if necessary. l
Apply the Power of Knowledge
Your actions and your behavior follow your thoughts. If you thoughtfully engineer what goes into your mind and your heart, these factors of change will have an enormous impact on your ability to achieve your dreams and realize the best you can be.
If we really want to learn to apply the power of knowledge, it’s important that we approach learning with these characteristics: a hunger to learn, humility and a willingness to try new things. I have several game-changing invitations that could have a dramatic impact on your personal and professional life:
- Develop the habit of reading at least one book a month.
- Invest 3 percent of your income in acquiring more knowledge through seminars, training, books and personal development courses.
- Surround yourself with people who inspire and lift you.
The second part of this principle is to regularly assess the external environment. These are things that are outside of your control. They include natural disasters, disease, the death of a loved one, an accident, the economy, government regulations, your spouse or partner, children, people you work with, setbacks with your company, competition, changing markets and bad weather. Make an assessment by getting out a sheet of paper and drawing a large circle. You
are on the inside, and the external environment is on the outside. Now, write down all of the external forces on the outside that could possibly have an impact on your life.
Once you finish thinking about the various factors, circle or highlight the two or three threats or opportunities that can have the biggest impact on your life. Then develop an action plan for taking advantage of opportunities or avoiding the threats to you and your organization.
This is a powerful way to gain knowledge, which then allows you to effectively apply it.
Four harmonizing principles of peace and balance can help you clear your mind during even the most chaotic times at work or at home. They can be especially helpful to leaders who are striving for the highest levels of success.
- Increase balance in your life.
- Increase your peace through meditation.
- Laugh often.
- See yourself in a positive light through self-affirmation and positive self-talk.
Finding peace and balance requires inner strength. The more self-reliant and balanced you are in the different areas of your life, the greater your capacity to work effectively while making a difference.
Let’s try a simple assessment called the Circle of Peace and Balance, which divides our lives into six areas that need our attention and consistent care. When each of these six areas is properly cared for, it’s like balancing the wheels on your car to keep it running smoothly.
1. Your physical and emotional health.
2. Your mental health and your intellect.
3. The financial aspects of your life.
4. Security and safety.
5. Social life and relationships.
6. Your spiritual life.
With all these elements in place, the Circle of Peace and Balance resembles a wheel with six spokes. Each spoke of the wheel represents one of the six areas that are critical to maintaining balance in your life. Write a scale of 1 to 10 coming out from the hub in each of the six areas, and rate yourself by circling a number in each. Then connect the numbers that you circled. If you have a nice balanced circle, congratulations! However, most people rate themselves
high in some areas and not so high in other areas.
The Circle of Peace and Balance is a simple way to assess whether your life is in balance, but make no mistake, it can be a lifesaver if you use it to identify areas that may need additional attention. Once you identify those areas, you can go to work and make the necessary adjustments. You are the master of your fate. Finding peace and balance during the journey, both personally and in your organization, leads to greater health and happiness and an
increased capacity to sustain excellence and fulfillment.