August 18, 2019

Full Accountability (Part 1)

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a two-part series of job search and career transition articles. Part two is coming soon.

Change of any kind – a new strategic direction for the firm, pursuing a personal dream, reinventing ourselves after a job layoff, achieving a personal or business “stretch” goal – starts with a simple belief that the change we want is possible. Stake ourselves on a belief like that, and the doubts invariably come. Can we really get free of status quo and create something new?

Believe it or not, the answer is always positive. Not only can we, we already do. We already have exactly what we want. Right now. We created it.

No way.

Yes way. What we’ve already got is what we want. Or at least what we wanted. Our current circumstances reveal our past desires and beliefs, the choices we’ve made and how we’ve acted. They tell us what’s gone before, what got us to this moment.

We did all that. We are responsible for getting ourselves to where we are, right here and now. We created The Way Things Are. If we want to continue accepting it as status quo going forward, we can. But we don’t have to. We have a choice. We can choose to create something new, just the same way we created our current reality.

A friend explained this to me over coffee one day, and it didn’t sit well. I wanted to niggle about loopholes and exceptions. But then I thought, why would I want to? So what if I can find holes in this theory – what’s that going to get me? Wouldn’t I rather take responsibility for believing and behaving in ways that further my goals? If that’s what it takes to produce what I want, then why wouldn’t I embrace this way of thinking?

Besides, debate is pointless anyway, because full accountability doesn’t ask us to believe we can control everything. It only asks us to believe that we are in control of what we believe and how we behave, and that those things create our lives.

If we created what we no longer want, we can use the same creative power to do the opposite. That’s the principle of full accountability. Ready to give it a shot?  [continued]

Five years ago, Kevin Rhodes left a successful 20+ years career in private practice to pursue a creative dream. He recently reopened his law practice, while continuing to write (screenplays and nonfiction) and lead workshops on change for a variety of audiences, including the CBA’s Job Search and Career Transitions Support Group. His latest workshop, Work With Passion: Find Your Fire and Fuel It!, was held January 10, 2012. Watch for a follow-up program this spring.
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  1. Hi Kevin, great post – I agree with your total responsibility for your actions approach. The alternative is to give away our power to others – to make us happy or, more typically, to upset and aggravate us. This is no cake walk, but it leads beautifully to your other point about that over which we have control. Not much, really – there is so much uncertainty, but that’s what makes life on this planet so beautiful. I wholeheartedly agree with you about the control thing, and it reminds me of one of my favorite books – Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. What we do have control over is our attitude, which is – practically speaking, everything. Keep up the good writing!

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