Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Are you accountable for your actions?

Are you accountable for your actions? Sometimes, I have to ask myself this very question. Then, as I stop to ponder my thoughts, I realize that I need to delve deeper into the definition of the whole question; accountable for your (my) actions? What are the actions? Apparently, as I think about it, our actions are not just what we do, but it is also what we say we are going to do. Have you ever told someone that you were going to do something, but then you didn't do it? You know; make a call, send something in the mail, check something out or relay information to another. There are many examples, but these will suffice.

Why is it so easy to drop the verbal actions? Because they're invisible. People can't see you do them, and unless the other party, the recipient of your non-action, complains to everyone the two of you know, then usually you're off the hook. Or, you think you're off the hook, but that's really not true.

When we continue to offer something and then not follow through, we begin to set up a pattern. We make it easier to become more, and then completely, unreliable. The more often we disregard our promises (yes, verbally telling someone you will do something is as strong as a promise) the weaker our integrity, and eventually, the less we can expect to be productive for ourselves. It's kind of like the road to procrastination...you run out of people to disregard so you start disregarding your self. You tell your self that you're going to do this and do that, but you never seem to get around to it. Hmm! Is there a correlation?

Who's next? Your boss, clients, co-workers, parents, children, pets? Can it get to the point where man's best friend doesn't even trust your words? What about the gold fish floating at the top of the bowl? How much worse can it get? Perhaps it can get as bad as no one wanting to be around you, or when you speak, the first thing people think in their head is, "yeah, let me hold my breath while I wait for you to do anything."

If we could read minds, the thoughts of our friends, what would they really be saying to us? How does one make a comeback from a string of empty actions/promises? Well, the first thing to do, is to be true to one's self. Admit that one has dropped the ball but needs to pick it up and get back in the game. Start a recovery process; with each non-action you've taken, apologize with the next action and admit that you're working on being more reliable. It really is not that difficult to tell someone you'll be somewhere at a certain time, but as life happens, plans are sometimes thwarted. If this should happen, don't forget that your integrity is on the line; make the call to let the person know you're running late or why you won't make it. It only takes a moment and the other party can at least go about their business. Sometimes, this is also called, being respectful.

If you've ever uttered the words, "life is difficult," rest assured, you're doing something that is a contradiction to the self, but that's a blog for another day.

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