Accountability and Responsibility

One of the site’s contributors, Shaun, sent me the quote below. I quickly shared it with my team and other athletes I train along with Artie at Athletic Revolution. It reminded me of college when heading into my 3rd year, our team’s theme was “Accountability and Responsibility” to ourselves and our teammates. It is amazing the things you can accomplish when you truly take hold of the reins and are willing to be truly accountable and responsible for your actions and to help keep your teammates on task as well. I wrote those two words on a piece of paper and hung it on my wall so it would be the first thing I saw when I woke up and the last thing I saw before I fell asleep. It helped. Because I had the confidence my teammates were holding up their end of the bargain and I knew I had to do the same because I didn’t want to be the weak link. So honor your commitments big and small. If you’ve watched The Wire, you know “All the Pieces Matter” when you’re working towards a goal.

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What pledge have you made to yourself recently?

OGP #ThrowbackThursday: When did you begin to realize what makes you special?

As Jayson knows, I love me (LOL) some The Wire. The Corners concept is one I could talk about all day. Since it’s Throwback Thursday, I’m thinking about how this  concept became core to my outlook on life before I could recognize it for what it was. As I continue to grow, gain more perspective and become more purposeful about the direction of my life, I realize how core to my philosophy this concept has been.

When I was 8 years old, I signed up for youth football. In the days between mom signing my permission slip and the first day of practice, I revelled in visions of grandeur. I ran, not walked :-), just about everywhere I went during those days. As I ran, I saw myself juking defenders, breaking tackles and running for touchdown after touchdown… Oh yeah, I was just days away from becoming the world’s next football hero. Up to that point, everything I’d seen and heard about football told me that scoring touchdowns was the only way to go. So that’s what I was going to do.

America’s next football hero!

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Corners

“I want my corners.” -Avon Barksdale

I was watching clips from The Wire and I was reminded of the quote above and I started to think what it meant on a deeper level. Two things came to mind when hearing it. The first was Stephen Covey’s quote, “The Main Thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” While the second was the hedgehog principle highlighted in Jim Collins book Good to Great. And deep down, I think that is what drove Avon to simply “want his corners.”

Hedgehog Principle

Hedgehog Principle

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Living by a Code

As Bunk said in The Wire, “A man must have a code.”

The Virtuous Life
Art of Manliness ran a series of Benjamin Franklin’s Pursuit of the Virtuous Life, a challenge originated by Aristotle. After reading about his pursuit and personal finance lessons, it strenghthened my need to continually evaluate myself across a set of principles. Establishing the principles is the first step, holding myself accountable on a daily basis is what makes it work. Franklin used a small book of 13 charts to record his daily progress in his quest for moral perfection. When he violated a virtue, he placed a dot next to it. His goal was to minimize the number of marks each day. The key for me and Franklin made this point hit home, is to minimize the number of “marks” against my code. It is a daily challenge, but one I am willing to do in an effort to better myself for my family and friends. It also helps me to set an example for my children to follow because it is never too early to develop one’s personal code. And when one has a code, it provides a base for any tough decisions that arise. Thus providing a sense of freedom because the decision was made ahead of time when the code was developed.

The Code of the West
A co-worker let me borrow the book, “Cowboy Ethics“. As I flipped through the book, I landed on the page that listed the 10 convenants for the Code of the West. The first one, “Live Each Day with Courage“, sets the tone for the rest of the list. More importantly, living each day with courage gives us a chance to make each day great. As I went through the list, I thought about how many of these I already do and what I personally needed to do to accomplish the rest. It was good reminder for me to look at all I do to make sure it is in line with my code, which helps me finish things and not take shortcuts. While the Code of the West might not be for you, it is important to have a standard that will guide and enable you to live you life to the fullest each day.

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