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Question of the Day: Want better results than what you’ve been getting lately?

 Perhaps you’ve been pressing hard to make things happen and even working harder than the average bear to develop your career, business or even make an important relationship with someone better but just can’t seem to get over the hump. There are usually lots of factors in play in the context of life and career, although many are beyond your own control. A critical choice in making the most out of your life, work and relationships is to determine your priorities and focus on those priorities to make incremental progress towards success over time through a consistent investment of your thoughts and actions while keeping in mind that you may not control the wind but have the power to adjust your own sails to adjust to optimize changes outside your control.

 That said, it is easy to fall into a trap of focusing on the things that “happen to you” which may push your dreams and ambitions back a step or create an obstacle in your planned path. This is a part of life which everyone faces on a regular basis. The primary differentiator between those who overcome and achieve versus those who determine that life just won’t let them succeed because of all the things preventing success is one simple thing…mindset. In other words, the “lens” which you choose to view your life, circumstances and opportunities through, is almost certainly to play a major role in the eventual outcomes you will experience. The single biggest step in my mind towards a winning mindset and creating positive change and growth is personal accountability to control the things you can, not dwell or be quashed by the things you can’t control, and take full ownership and accountability for your own missteps that led to an unfavorable outcome. Simply stated, learning from your mistakes, taking responsibility for your own actions and making good choices based on what you’ve learned and observed through your lens of personal accountability is likely to lead you on a path of better outcomes.

 The following poem, An Autobiography in 5 Short Chapters, by Portia Nelson nails the concept and provides an opportunity for reflection on approaching positive change and taking accountability.

“Chapter 1

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place
but, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit.
My eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.”

There is an amazing sense of peace and empowerment once we make the decision to look through the lens of personal accountability in our lives, accept our past decisions and life events for better and for worse, and determine to own our decisions and actions for the future.

Author- Joel Goode

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This Personal Development article was written by Joel Goode on 5/2/2010

Executive Development Career & Life Coach helping people find clarity and purpose to leverage their strengths to achieve significance at work and in life. Joel is an experienced Sales and Marketing Leader with 15 years experience in key roles at two Fortune 500 companies in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.