How Is Accountability Different from Criticism

Photo by Andrea Tummons

Accountability comes from a place of love. It shows understanding of one’s circumstances and it asks for transparency on both parts. The person being held accountable would have to perceive it as a positive intervention rather than criticism. The person who takes the power must use it with respect and kindness.

Why Not Self-Accountability?

Being able to set rules and implement them in your own life is a superpower. It takes practice and discipline and putting something on the line can add to the level of commitment. We can go quite soft on ourselves when we planned to get out of bed at 4AM and we need to face the cool air. Negotiating with ourselves in the moment is challenging – because winning in the short-term is not winning in the long-term.

Here is where an accountability partner comes in. Someone who we respect for their commitment and care, for their interest in seeing us improve. It can be someone you’ve met on a forum, the hotel reception or a good friend. People care about people and that’s something we can use to our advantage to practice self-care and self-discipline.

‘You Won’t Be the Same Person One Year from Now’

Photo by J-S Romeo

That’s what I was told when I started a new job. And it’s true, I wasn’t the same person one year from then. Was it due to the role? Maybe 10%, yes. But being in that place as part of my journey played a great part in what I wanted to outgrow – my limited beliefs, the power that I allow people to have on me and daring to want more and ask for it.

We hear of people traveling who are hoping that the experience will change them. Instead, they take their biases, views and assumption everywhere they go. A luggage costing them their own development. A place or a story can only touch us if we allow it. We tend to count more on other people’s views and discount the learning from simple things – people watching or observing different cultures.

What I’ve learnt is that growing is important, but the direction of growth adds more value to our life and to what we have to offer. Knowing that you won’t be the same person one year from now, tell me, what direction are you planning on growing in?

Seeing Value in People

Photo by Sam Manns

‘Friends for life’ is a concept that doesn’t account for how time and experience might impact a person. There is consideration to be given to selecting the people in our lives on a regular basis. Do they bring the best in you? Do they share ideas and views you otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to? Are they respectful and supportive of you?

Friendship means less boundaries, which in a time of growth and trying to understand yourself can be detrimental. With people being busy projecting their first impressions or an idea of you, they fail. They don’t observe, understand and appreciate how you have changed, how far you have come.

The expectation of friends for life without putting in the effort to understand people and revive relationships is flawed. Anything that lasts a lifetime is happening in the present moment and will happen every single day to come, until you can sit on the edge of a beautifully lived existence, look back and appreciate people. Friends for life are people who’ve left their mark on you, friends you’ll carry within with gratitude. Friends that were friends enough to know when they’ve met their purpose.

Why Working Hard Isn’t Enough

Photo by Dino Reichmuth

We often feel entitled to receive recognition. Putting in an effort and hoping to be appreciated for it is natural, but expecting the feedback is detrimental. Effort leads to growth – we grow in understanding, mental performance, endurance, it helps our synapses link stronger bonds and it trains us for a longer active life.

What doesn’t happen as often is putting in a bit of extra effort as a one-off and expect a bucket of money to be poured over you. But we sure hope so. We ask for a 0.01% raise, put in some extra hours for extra pennies, get excited at the annual raise of 0.005% in recognition of our value. We allow what we don’t have to control our life and the way businesses are built, they take control over our needs by meeting them just enough to make it through the year.

Working hard and being delusional that you will get financial compensation in an industry or company that is not known for fair treatment is like getting into a relationship with a infertile partner and expecting children. It would take a miracle. Do you really have your whole life to wait for one? If you don’t, start working hard and smart and make your own miracle happen.

Intelligence Requires Constant Work

Photo by Conner Baker

There are a few things that we’ve based our idea of intelligence on:

  • how others perceive you
  • what other people told us
  • saying the right thing at the right time
  • having answers
  • being self-confident and not admitting vulnerability
  • likeability
  • what we tell ourselves

What we tell ourselves defines our level of intelligence. How come? Well, it actually defines how much we allow ourselves to grow. If we expect answers and innate abilities it means we’re settling for what we achieved due to circumstances. By acknowledging ways to develop we feed into the growth mindset.

A growth mindset is not magic. It’s recognizing that we can do more than we did before. More than we did our whole life. Through discipline and work anyone can turn their interest or hobby into a powerful attribute which others will then refer to as ‘talent’. Fixed mindset cannot recognize growth, but people growing can see the difference by measuring themselves against who they used to be. Get to work. Growth starts with a shift of perspective.

Start Mondays with a Smile

Photo by Hybrid

Every day is another chance to make a move and decide to put in a bit of extra effort towards what you want to achieve. And yet, we associate Mondays or workdays with lower mood after an intense weekend.

Blue Monday earned its recognition for being the day when the rates of suicide are skyrocketing. That is the third Monday in January which was a week ago. There is a combination between the limited liberty that Mondays remind us of and the abrupt transition from a quiet two days into what feels like a busy week, rather than a busy day.

Mental sanity on Mondays

Mental health is often times within our control. On Mondays we can remind ourselves about the things we have to look forward towards the week. Despite its bad fame, Monday is our ally. It reminds us of a cycle that has familiarity, but just like anything else, it’s a cycle we can break.

If it is work flexibility or overall freedom that we want, there are options. Those options might be different for each one of us and it takes self-development to see what’s best for you. But don’t limit yourself to what institutions and employers told you that you can and can’t do. Use the template of your life as an anchor habit and build around it. Build excitement, passion, knowledge. These attributes will transfer over in challenging situations, as part of a challenging day or week ahead.

Wanting to skip the work week and dive straight into the weekend will rob you from time to grow and learn. Every second you have the power to shift your reality. Take a look at your life as a whole and get to work.