The second thing that you need for guaranteed success is Accountability.
We (that’s you and me) are great at lying. We lie to everyone. We even lie to ourselves.
Okay, that’s a bit harsh.
I don’t mean we lie in a bad guy way, like what you see in movies. I’m talking about deceiving ourselves. Umm… little white lies?
What’s the personal nightmare for most people?
Public speaking? Romantic Rejection? Ridicule?
Actually, it’s to be revealed as a fraud.
We are afraid of public speaking because we aren’t sure we’re really the expert people think we are. We are afraid of being rejected romantically because we are not sure we are really as attractive as we would like to be. We are afraid of being ridiculed because we are insecure of who we are.
So what does that have to do with accountability?
When you are facing people, people who are going to assess you, to pass judgement on you, you are facing accountability.
And that scares us.
Believe it or not, that’s a good thing. Fear is a very big motivator. It will galvanize you to do things which discipline cannot. Discipline is the push. Fear is the shove.
Being accountable is being answerable. To whoever we have pledged a promise.
A promise to doing something, or delivering something, or being something.
A promise to a parent, a relative, a friend. To God.
Did we live up to that promise?
We don’t like being scanned. It makes us uncomfortable. We have to submit, in a certain sense, to someone else’s opinions.
Say we need to finish a certain project or task by a certain date for things to progress. If we are not accountable to anybody, that date can very easily slide. We are accountable to ourselves, but “hey, it’s okay, I can always do that tomorrow”.
In the meantime, the project delays. Things do not happen.
We tell ourselves it’s okay, there’s always tomorrow.
However, if you have to meet a deadline which someone else will be checking up on, things get a little bit different. You may dilly-dally, but at the back of your mind, you know you have to finish that project or task. The chances of your finishing what you set out to do becomes higher the more people there are who knows about your commitment.
That’s why public affirmations work so well. It’s much harder to back down on a promise when so many people know about it.
If you are having problems keeping to deadlines, and your discipline isn’t that great (- yet – don’t give up hope!), make yourself accountable. To someone else. Someone who’s disapproval means something to you. Tell that person what you are going to do and WHEN you will be achieving that.
This kills off a lot of time-wasting and procrastination. The clock is ticking and you need to show your results. Not excuses. But the results.
Does it add stress to the situation? Yes, it does. But stress can be a good thing. It brings out the adrenaline and gets you going.
Sometimes we just need to kick ourselves in the butt.