The Freedom of Accountability

We’ve talked a lot about mindsets, attitudes and beliefs these past several days. You should have been able to draw connections to how you are viewing the continuing stream of news as well as how you view your current situation. There is another piece to address: personal accountability.

A decade or so ago, we saw many of the institutions we thought of as being “solid” and “well-managed” collapse under the weight of some less-than-effective decision making. A lot of people lost a lot of money, and saw their retirement nest eggs shrink, if not disappear altogether. People lost their jobs, and while the employment news has been encouraging, some are still out of work. There has been a fair amount of finger-pointing and laying of blame, as well as a reluctance to accept responsibility for those decisions – on both sides of the coin, so to speak.

Should banks and lending institutions have offered unsecured loans, based on a real estate market boom that had nearly run its course? Probably not. Should individuals have taken out those loans, based on the hope that property values would continue to rise, knowing that they did not have the means to repay the loans? Probably not. But does that mean we need to back up our dreams or discard them altogether?

Definitely not. We all need dreams, because we do move toward and become like what we think about. And, those dreams need to be turned into goals to achieve. But we also need to remember that sometimes, the answer is, “No . . . for now.” In the example above, the goal of owning your own home is a noble goal, and one worthy of achieving. Just remember that some goals take a little longer to achieve.

The old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” has become, “If at first you don’t succeed, fix the blame fast.” Until each of us takes accountability for our own decisions, we labor under the weight of blame and pessimism. We effectively deny ourselves the freedom to move forward, and that has no place in a world with challenges to solve.