I was recently reviewing the “Build YOUR Roadmap – Create YOUR World” workbook with a student. We we’re discussing Module 9 “Accountable or Victim” and the difference between accountable and victim type behaviors.
The student asked me if I thought the word “victim” was too harsh.
I paused for a moment and asked the student “do you like making choices that are easy or difficult?”
The student replied, “Easy.”
Let’s Talk About Life
We’re all born at zero. We might live to be 10, 20, 40, 60, 80, or maybe even a 100. None of us know for sure. No two people are the same and no two people will ever experience all the same moments, experiences and influences in life. That’s the way it is. Life’s not fair. It was never designed to be.
Today, we’re tasked to play our game of life in a world that moves at a quicker pace than ever. Our visibility to what’s going on around the world has never been more transparent while our emotions, feelings and thoughts have never been more tested. The games moving fast and we’re inundated with information, opinions and perspectives. We’ve never had more choices to consider and the game has never been more complex.
We Crave Simplicity
As we go through life, we learn. We often apply what we learn to the choices we make in the future. We gain a better understanding of the risk involved with our choices along with the potential consequences (good or bad).
Today, it can feel like every choice is important. Every choice feels like it can have a lasting impact. When the game is complex and moving fast, we crave simple choices and decisions. As humans, we’re instinctively self-centered. We look out for our own safety. Our self-survival.
In general, we don’t mind research and learning what we need to learn to help ourselves. Today, our capacity to learn everything we think we need to learn is threatened when information moves at the speed it does. Today, we’re inundated with competing messages and definitions and we simply don’t have the time to learn everything even when we know there are other options still available to explore.
We Crave Control
When we feel like we’re in rhythm of making simple decisions, we feel as though we have more control with how things will turn out and what the likely outcomes will be.
The world of neuroscience understands that our brains enjoy Yes/No type decisions. We enjoy understanding opposites. Our brain likes to clearly process both edges of the spectrum so it can determine how safe or not we are with whatever the next choice or decision is that we’re going to make.
To “Create YOUR World” it takes personal accountability, focus and organization. We also need to manage our fears. We need to understand both edges of a decision so that we can recognize when we are in the grey area (the middle) or when we are exploring outside the currently defined boundaries (beyond the edges).
In the “Build YOUR Roadmap – Create YOUR World” workbook, an individual goes through a process of identifying their Unique Strengths, creating a vision that feels authentic to them, identifying goals and steps to accomplish that vision. Individuals are empowered with the confidence to connect and enroll others in helping that vision become a reality.
In the process, individuals learn how to manage fears with increased confidence and reduce anxiety in the pursuit of their dreams. Individuals develop a definition of success that feels authentic to them. They walk away with a personal roadmap and an organized plan to build their future. A future they are passionate about pursuing.
We then support all of this with a set of lessons for leaders. Those lessons are designed to be simple rules and reminders that a person can choose to adopt or not. The words used to define the edges of these lessons are specifically designed to help an individual make simple Yes/No type choices.
We all know the opposite of Up is Down. We know the opposite of Left is Right. We understand that the opposite of On is Off. The point being that these are simple (unarguable) understandings which make for easy choices.
The game of life never stops moving. In every present moment, regardless of what has happened or where we’re currently at, we can only move forward. We can only go forward until our game is done. We literally cannot go backwards. The past is the past. Yesterday was yesterday. All we have is what we've learned and the choices we're going to make and the behaviors we’re going to demonstrate going forward.
To achieve our vision and build our world, we need to make choices that are in alignment and accountable to the life we're now building for ourselves in the current moment. If we need to make accountable choices and demonstrate accountable behaviors, we need a clear understanding of what is and is not an accountable choice or behavior.
What’s the opposite of being “accountable” to every moment in the present moment?
Well... you are either owning the moment or the moment is owning you. Owning the moment means that you are learning what you need to learn in that moment so that you can leverage and apply what you’ve learned going forward. When we look at every moment as a moment, we position ourselves to either own the next moment, or let the next moment own us.
Sometimes, unfortunate things happen to good people that are outside of their control. Sometimes, individuals are indeed a victim of a moment. None of us want to be a “victim” of the moment. It doesn’t feel safe. But… life presents everyone with unexpected moments and it’s up to each of us to reinvent ourselves going forward if we choose to continue to play the game of life. That’s what personal accountability and personal leadership looks like.
When we set out to build the life we want to build for ourselves starting from where we’re at in the current moment, we can either go forward demonstrating accountable type behaviors or victim type behaviors in the process. It’s one or the other.
When we create boundaries and definitions that are polar opposites, we're gifting ourselves the opportunity to make easy decisions.
I explained to the student that when we pause and look at each moment as a moment, we put ourselves in a stronger position to recognize what we’re learning in that moment. We put ourselves in a stronger position to determine our next step. When we decide to take the next step... we can either do so as the leader in our life, or not. It's a simple choice.
We can either demonstrate accountable or victim type behaviors going forward. It’s a simple Yes or No which makes the game easier to play. The reason we chose the word "victim" is becuase it's a clear opposite to what "accountable" behaviors look like. It's easy to undestand. We like easy. Everyone does. It satisfies our core instincts to feel safe and there's nothing harsh about feeling safe as we each play our game of life.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Make the game of life easy to play for yourself. You’re the only one playing your game. Take a moment and define what success means to you. Define the world that you are building for yourself.
Start with a copy of Build YOUR Roadmap – Create YOUR World.