Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Don Osmond: Irresponsible accountability

"You are so lucky!" a married friend said to me. "You can do whatever you want; no responsibility."

Although I agree with half of that statement, lucky is hardly the word I would have chosen to describe "no responsibility."

However, he's right. Single people are accountable to no one but themselves. If we want to make a large purchase, we buy -- even on credit. If we want to travel to Europe, we set the e-mail auto-response message to "away." Sky's the limit.

Sounds like the life, right? (Every married person is daydreaming right now.)

Unfortunately, a lack of outward accountability creates a problem. There is no definitive sense of consequence, not necessarily to be taken as a negative connotation.

Accountability creates drive and reason for projects we set out to do. For example, when starting a new business, that person reports to investors to make sure the business is profitable.

Changing pace, and without getting too personal... a couple months ago, I set goals for myself: bobsledding, personal finance, self improvement. I kept these goals to myself, and didn't share them with anyone, figuring I could do it on my own.

Unfortunately, those deadlines are coming to term at the end of this month, and it's looking like most of my goals will not come to fruition.

The only person to blame is myself.

If I had only informed a friend or family member of my intentions, a better sense of accountability could have encouraged me to work harder on obtaining my goals.

Oops! Lesson learned.

So, to my married friend, even the irresponsible need to be accountable. It's by those "small and simple things... great things" can be accomplished.

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