“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.” — Dalai Lama
It was a hot summer, 16 years ago, I still see the image in my head. I think about it frequently, especially when I reflect on what I’ve become.
I was laying on the couch, playing my video games on my Gameboy Advance. That was my ritual after school or after work.
My older brother came back from work and saw me there. He looked at me and said this sentence I can never forget:
“You’ll never do anything in life.” — nameless brother
But he wasn’t completely wrong though. After all, all he was seeing was this kid “wasting” his life playing video games on the couch every single day.
From that moment, I decided I would do something with my life. I had to prove him wrong. It’s been 16 years, and every time I think about a new achievement in my life, I think of that moment and can’t help but think to myself: “Ha! Proved you wrong!”.
I’ve actually never told him that story. He probably doesn’t recall telling me this anyway.
My point is, I had something to prove to someone, and that has carried me far.
Accountability in the More Recent Years
I was in a similar dip a little over a year ago when I was still working at my 9–5 job. It was a great job, but I really needed to satisfy my entrepreneurship itch.
Everything changed when I received a grant to work on Soul Reaper, my company’s first ambitious game project. And around the same time, my wife was about to start a new adventure and go on her first Medecins Sans Frontiere mission. That meant we would be apart for 6 months.
It’s around that time I started making all my goals public, with the people around me at coworking spaces, but also publicly on Medium.com. By telling people about what I set out to do, I couldn’t let them down. I didn’t want to be perceived as someone who’s all talk and no game.
Essentially, I started being more accountable for my actions and goals.
In the short span of six months, I was able to accomplish the following:
- I learned 18 new skills, including fiction and non-fiction writing, drawing, NGO photography, storytelling, public speaking, day-to-day Spanish conversations, learning to learn, eComm management, and more;
- I got involved in more than 7 projects, most of which I’ve started;
- I met prolific writers and other personalities;
- I gained 7kg of muscles;
- I wrote and published 2 books;
- I released a video game;
- I opened up the world’s first and only story-driven online store;
- I diversified my revenue sources, getting paid for 4+ different projects;
- I got published by top Medium publications like The Startup;
- I contributed to Entrepreneur Magazine, Thought Catalog, and Thrive Global;
- I became a top writer in 15 categories on Medium;
- and more!
That’s the power of accountability!
How YOU Can Be Accountable Too and Get Out of Bed
Step 1: Low-risk, low-effort, low-effectiveness
Involve a friend in you weekly and monthly goal-setting. Meet weekly and discuss what went right, what went wrong, how you can do better, what your goals are for next week, and what actions will you take towards these goals.
Step 2: Medium-risk, medium-effort, medium-effectiveness
Make your goals and progress public, just like I did around the coworking space and through my writing on Medium. No one wants to look like a fool in public.
Step 3: High-risk, medium-effort, high-effectiveness
Join an accountability program. An accountability program is a system that puts incentives for you to do things. There are many different approaches to this, including gamification, fear of loss, social recognition, coaching, and more.
Being accountable changed my life forever. I went from a completely unambitious kid to a serial entrepreneur. I went from having no credibility to being a mentor to people.
If you feel stuck in life, start being accountable. It’s a great first step towards taking back control of your life.
Start by involving friends. Then make your goals and progress public. When you’re ready for the next step, give an accountability program a try.
Like me, you CAN get out of bed and achieve more!
You can do this!
Thanks for reading, and sharing! :)
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