It's Not a Priority
Over the past few weeks, I have been thinking a lot about accountability and excuses.
This was brought on by a conversation my wife and I had had with our children.
As a family, one night we were discussing our day and if we had completed everything we needed to. A few days in a row we kept hearing the same comment from our children.
“Sorry, I forgot to do that.”
It’s Just an Excuse
After this had gone on for a few days, I quickly said to them, “that is just an excuse.”
They seemed a little stunned and a bit defensive at first. They proceeded to promise me that they really had forgotten.
I believe they had forgotten, but that wasn’t the full truth behind the issue.
The truth was that they were not trying to remember it because it wasn’t a priority for them.
As I explained a few things they could have done to remember – such as setting a reminder on their iPad, making a hand-written note, asking for help to remember from their mom or I, etc. - they started to realize that it was just an excuse, and they would have made the effort to remember had it been more of a priority.
How many things in our lives do we have a “good” excuse for, but if examined more closely, we would realize that we are not doing it because it isn’t a priority.
In many cases, this may be a hurtful realization, as these things we “value” may not be – if examined closely - as big of a priority as we thought they were.
Teaching the Truth is the First Step
Teaching this important truth has had a significant impact in our home.
We refuse to sit back and do nothing while others teach our children incorrect truths.
When I see my kids try to shift blame, or make excuses, I simply ask them if they are “making and excuse or if that thing is just not a priority for them.”
This has helped them be more accountable and honest with themselves.
The first step – if you want effective change – is understanding the truth and how it can positively affect your life.
The Elephant in the Room
This turned out to be an elephant in the room for me, as it has caused me to reflect on the excuses I am making – and unfortunately there are plenty of them.
As I taught this principle to my kids, it personally crystalized this truth for me.
The sad reality is that I can do much better when it comes to personal accountability.
It has helped me realize that some of the things that I thought were important, really are not – and now I can let those things go without guilt.
It’s also been liberating because we often carry a lot of weight and worry around aspects of our lives that are unimportant and unnecessary.
Conversely, it has also haunted me a bit; because there are a few things that are important to me that I am neglecting. I am making excuses and not executing them like I should be – and that needs to change.
The truth is life-changing – but only if we are humble enough to accept and implement it.
Final Thoughts - Tied back to Freedom
Is it our goal to have freedom in our lives?
For me, freedom is what I try to pursue in every aspect of my life – even though I often fall short.
It ALL starts with this principle of accountability. Am I following the truth or making excuses?
When we discussed this truth as a family, we had a choice to make – both as individuals and as a family unit.
Were we going to accept it and abide by it, or let excuses and pride stop our progress – and thereby steal some of our freedom(s)?
I am grateful that my children were more interested in bettering themselves than being upset when confronted with hard truth. They taught me an important principle in the way they responded.
As we strengthen our own personal accountability, our excuses will slowly lose their power over us.
We will also better understand what really is important and what needs to be abandoned.
We all have a choice, what will you choose?
As for me and my house, we have chosen to pursue freedom!
Thanks for reading,
Founder of Freedom Elements