The Value Series: Accountability
“Your values become your destiny.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
In an effort to elaborate on what the Boss Your Life Up movement means to me, I elected to start The Value Series. These additional posts will serve as a complement to my other articles, in which I will share my personal struggles with upholding the values. This Value #1: Accountability.
Value #4 Accountability — we believe that a turning point is when you decide to accept full responsibility over your life.
Since launching the BYLU website in February, Danny and I have frequently been asked about our motivation behind the movement. Although many factors played into our decision, one that I want to highlight is our desire to hold ourselves to a higher standard and influence those around us to do the same. Personally, holding myself accountable has been a challenge. Often I’ve found myself planning but failing to execute a task, or starting but neglecting to finish a project. Moreover, the BYLU values are my gold standard–they are how I evaluate myself daily, and what I want to live up to. Our hope is that they can serve a similar purpose for you.
The desire for perfection serves as a catalyst for many successes, whether it’s pulling an all nighter to complete a group assignment or working all weekend to finalize a proposal for your job. Yet, despite a perfectionist mindset aiding you to the finish line, it can also serve as a hindrance in reaching your desired goal.
The former is true when we are completing a task/job for another individual, because at the root of a perfectionist mindset is often the desire for affirmation. However, the latter is true when we are completing a task/job that we decide to undertake. Creating BYLU was not an assignment given by a professor or boss, but we knew in order to have a successful movement we had to establish a high level of personal expectations.
Most of us know what it takes/the skillset we must acquire to meet our personal definition of success, whether it be taking a coding class, getting a new certification, learning how to be an effective public speaker, etc. However, because these tasks are not assigned to us, we seldom take them on. The lack of structure and certainty surrounding the outcome, in combination with our fear of judgement often keeps us stagnant.
Before launching BYLU, I promised myself to release two articles a month. Shortly after the launch when people asked how often I planned to release articles, I never gave a straight answer. I wanted to maintain the illusion of perfection. I feared hearing, “Nathan you only wrote one article this month, what happened?” I didn’t want to seem fake or uncommitted, although my response made it clear that I wasn’t all in.
Whenever you put something into the atmosphere, your level of commitment will be tested. Let’s remember the person who made the New Year’s resolution to eat healthier. Initially things are going well until one day you visit grandma’s house and see a plate of fried chicken and mac and cheese waiting for you on the table. Will you pass or fail the test?
My test was my job. The beginning of March was extremely busy due to the fact that I was now assigned to work with two directors. I got so caught up with my work, that I was only able to put out one article.
This led to a tough conversation with myself. I said, “Nathan you can’t be a victim of life. Yes, you were working late nights and some weekends but you still had some free time. You went out a couple times and laid in bed until 12pm on a few Sundays. Nathan, you can’t be okay with working for someone else for 9, 12, or 14 hours a day, and not be willing to spend that same amount of time and energy working on yourself. You will never be the person you want to be having this mindset. You will always be a follower and never a leader. You will never have your own table, and instead beg for a seat at someone else’s.”
For this reason the BYLU values are my accountability partner, a set of values that I can read every day and reflect on. The BYLU movement as a whole is my journey to a better self. We hope that the BYLU community can provide a space for you to grow and develop as well.