Accountability: a principle on the path to success

Self-motivation is good, but you cannot always ride on the wings of motivation, then what do you do when you’re not motivated.

Life is a phenomenon that contains the alphabets B, C, D, which respectively stands for birth, choices, and death. We start making choices when we become conscious of who we are and what we want. Many times we think we make choices but in reality the choices make us. You become what you choose, and as such you need to be held accountable of your choices.

Now let’s do a quick conceptual clarification. What’s is accountability?
Accountability in its simplest form means responsibility to someone or to some activity.

What is responsibility? It means a duty or obligation for which a person is held accountable. And lastly, what is an activity? It is any specific behaviour or action you carry out.

A question that keeps ringing in the ears of many is “What can I do with my life?” This question is the number one inborn trait of inquisitiveness in every human, the more reason we are called the rational animal by the philosopher Aristotle, our reasoning faculty drives us to know more about ourselves and our place in this vast world.

Life is not meant to be lived in solitude, and of course for a man to survive and find meaning to his life he has to do so within a social setting.

In a social setting, when it comes to self-development, something of great importance is stepping out of your comfort zone, or let’s call it stepping out of your shell. One of the things that could stand as your comfort zone is your behavioural pattern, for example; you being an introvert can make you tend to hide yourself and not share your thoughts with others, this is not to say that being an extrovert guarantees you a ticket to being in the right fold either.

Many a times, we don’t know what next to do, we get hung up, and the road to our decision making seems to have a huge amount of quick sands on it that swallows up any effort from our part to move forward and achieve.

The mistake many of us make is thinking our lives can and should go on autopilot, living life as it happens. As safe as it sounds, living life as it happens feels like putting your hands on the plough and looking back, not facing front and being wary of what could hit you in the head.

And there is also that voice that whispers to you that you’re self-sufficient, that you can do it on your own. No one builds a lasting legacy single handedly, remember the cliché “No one is an island of knowledge.”

Being accountable means finding and establishing the right relationships. It has occurred to many that most times the right relationship they crave is not in their immediate environment, namely house or family. But here is the thing, we live in the world and not our house building alone.

Going out (not only physically here, but also internet-wise) intentionally is key to finding the right partners. Being accountable to others is a by-product of being accountable to yourself. This simply means you have to first learn to be truthful to yourself before seeking to be truthful to others.

Before seeking partners to be accountable to, one thing to note is if you have clearly spelt your goals. Now this is not only about putting pen to paper and pouring out the things-you-wished-to-do-list. An understanding of what you really want in life is required. What you want revolves around your values, beliefs, things you like and can’t seem to get enough of.

Let’s take a practical example, you’re a student that values “academic” success. If you do then you’ll like reading, if you like reading then you’ll want to set goals to meet up with a certain amount of reading daily, weekly or monthly. With this in place let’s say your goal will be to reach your reading goal.

The key is just to be with those who are doing and excelling in what you want to do or become, you want to be a writer, move with other writers and select one or two that can help monitor your development into the better you, same goes with any other thing you want to do.

An accountability partner is someone who you discuss your goals with and who you have saddled with the responsibility of checking up on your goals from time to time, someone who you have permitted to know your plans. You can see an accountability partner as a reminder that beeps every time, calling you to re-examine your stand, giving you a much needed wakeup call whenever it seems you are slacking.

Life is a race, but even while you’re at this race there are some people you train with, record your development with and they strengthen your resolve to achieving the “better life goal”. These set of people you train with are your accountability partners and they can come in any form. It could be your friends, teachers and even your family members, it all depends on the kind of relationship you find yourself in.

You first have to discover yourself, what you love and would do even in your sleep, what you value and the goals you intend to achieve. Self-discovery is the first line of action, then when you have discovered yourself you proceed to walk with people that will help you keep discovering yourself. Just see yourself as a project that needs to be completed within a timeframe.

Consistency is key to achieving a particular thing, being accountable to someone is a step in the direction of attaining consistency in whatever it is you set your mind on.

If you want to make a good habit stick, you need an accountability partner who would always check up on you, if you want to break a bad habit, you need an accountability partner who you won’t be shy to discuss your flaws with.

Finding an accountability partner depends on what you want, such person must be someone of good report, someone who loves getting better and is trustworthy, also the reason for having an accountability partner is for you to share your strengths and not hide from your weakness.

Not being truthful to your partner isn’t a good sign, you need to be open and ready, never escaping from your responsibilities and faults plus always sticking to your goals no matter what.

Accountability partners are like the cloud of witnesses that you have allowed to monitor your day to day activities. Don’t be a passive spectator, don’t just watch as people make things happen around you, get up and develop plan of your own to impact your society.

Iron sharpeneth iron they say, you and your partner stand to benefit a whole lot from this intentional union, which won’t allow room for excuses, but instead strengthen your commitment.

In the words of C.Wilson “You wouldn’t be who you are without the help of others…” so get up and find your significant others that will help move, push and drag you to the finish line.

Remember, every good goal needs a time frame in other for it to be achieved, every time frame needs a reminder, so find that good friend that won’t be afraid to correct you and stab you in the front. Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.


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  • Adekunle Oluwatobi

    Adekunle Oluwatobi is a poet and a writer with a profound interest in discussions aimed at building a productive society and fostering peaceful coexistence.
    He is friendly, amicable and also an ardent sports enthusiast. A lover of books and quality information, he is on a quest of reaching out to people by improving the quality of information they receive.

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