Personal Accountability

Jules —  November 6, 2008

“What If Your Guy Loses?”
by John G. Miller

Author of QBQ! and Flipping the Switch

Well, every four years in America we vote for the POTUS (President of the United States), and every four years on the day after there is weeping and gnashing of teeth by the losing side. And the truth is, the losing side is just about as large as the winning side. Amazingly, there could be 60 million people who vote for the ticket that does not win on November 4th, 2008. That’s a ton of people who’ll have a choice to make.

The choice to whine, complain, bemoan, and blame – or simply bring personal accountability to their daily walk by asking The Question Behind the Question (QBQ), “What can I do today to move on?” “How can I be my best on the job?” and “What can I do to serve people?” These questions enable those whose candidate remains a U.S. Senator, to avoid the humanness of finger-pointing, victim thinking, and discouragement.

And for the slightly larger winning side, where does personal accountability come into play? Will this group think that now all is right with the world? It’s so easy to give a U.S. President too much power – in our minds – over our lives. It always makes me laugh when, with our massive, ever-changing, and complex economy, we think it’s all about the man in the Oval Office. The truth is, economies go up and they go down – and then they go up again. By their very nature they are cyclical. When they’re strong, the President gets too much applause, and when they slump he’s buried in way too much blame. And so, in that vein, for the winning voters on Wednesday morning November 5, how dangerous these thoughts would be: “Yes! My guy won! Now I’ll have a better job and more income and good finances and perfect health and a happier life and … !”

Really? Does the POTUS have that much power, influence, and control? Would we, in a democracy, want him to? Can he give and take away joy? Will he help me get my personal finances in order? Will his tenure improve my relationships or keep me in shape? Do I really need my guy to be in the Oval Office for me to excel at my work, love and provide for my family, and contribute to the lives of others?

My wife, Karen, gave me a t-shirt that reads: It’s All About Me! I don’t think it was a positive statement the day she handed it to me, but in reality, aren’t my successes and set backs all about me? Isn’t it about me taking ownership for my personal growth; me contributing; me setting and reaching goals?

Me loving life? Me loving my country?

Yes, regardless of who’s in the Oval Office and what political party is in charge of Congress, it’s really all about personal responsibility – individuals making good choices each day, and being accountable for those choices.

And for all of you who vote for the guy who doesn’t make it, I say TAKE HEART! There’ll be another election in 2012 and another round of advertising and debates. And that campaign will begin in January … 2009.

Meanwhile, I recommend using what we call the Ultimate QBQ! – “What can I do right now to let go of what I can’t control?” Remember, no matter who is elected as the next POTUS, for each American there is no debate: The answers are still in the questions, and personal accountability is still the secret to our success.

Edited by Kristin Lindeen
QBQ! speaker/workshop facilitator



13 responses to Personal Accountability

  1. I just love John Miller!

    What a great post for right after the election.

  2. I thought it was very appropriate for this post election time.

    I know I struggle with personal accountability in my life. Sometimes I’m tempted to blame you when things don’t go as we planned, even though we make our decisions together as a team. Sorry ’bout that. :(

    I think our culture has serious personal accountability issues, as well. It’s easy to blame other people or things and neglect to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions, etc.

    I enjoy John Miller, too. I hope we get his books soon.

  3. Marilyn alias(Punkie) November 6, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    That is good Jules, We can’t depend on the guy in Office to make us happy. Like Paul said, we should look for the good in whatever our situation is. The president gets blamed for way to much. Alot of the problems they inherit from past presidents. As far as accountability goes, not enough people are working on it as hard as they should. I’m sure I fall down in that dept. from time to time too, but am trying to be aware of it and work towards doing what I should. Love ya Jules and family.

  4. Great article and it is so true. I voted because I can, and studied on whom to vote for, but what can one man do? With the congress and senate and house telling him what he should do, we should be ashamed of sending one person in there to do the job. I sure don’t want it and I feel sorry for the poor guy who does.

  5. I cant wait to get his book. I understand our country is in trouble. When did this start 10 years ago, 20 years ago or 40 years ago. I think civilizations last at least a few hundreds of years then they collapse. Our civilization is in the direction of collapse. Another civilization starts all over then collapses a few hundred years…. I think we are in a cycle and dont even realize where history takes us and then ends us.
    We will see in a few years where this president takes us. I am sure the critics will pick him to death when new candidates are running.
    We as people need to be accountable and it is going to take a disaster to wake us up. I hope Ian has a better way of living but my fears dont see it. Look at all the civilizations before Christ and after. Look at how they rose and fell. We need to study the past and see how to control the future. This is all my opinion though.

  6. We discussed this election a lot with our sons–each candidates views and voting records, our views and voting records, God’s views, etc. After the election, their main question was: what will happen to the country now? I think what they really wanted to know is: how will this affect our lives? Not so much as we think….we’ll still have each other, work, learn, love, go to church, serve God and one another, make choices. Our taxes may go up or down, our income may go up or down, milk and gas prices may go up or down, but the core things that make our life what it is will still be constant….and in God’s hands.

    Great article! And good to see you back in blog-land.

  7. I agree wholeheartedly, Debbie!

    Kandis, we are blessed to know the Lord and be able to put our faith in him and not in our government. I do worry about what my children will inherit, but I really just need to pray for them and trust the Lord.

    You made an interesting point about studying history and learning from it. If what I’m hearing about history in schools is correct, I think there is a problem there. History in our schools is being replaced by progressive thought / modern thought. History is a great compass for us. Just a thought. I don’t think that’s a healthy road.

    Aunties, good to hear from you. I’ll be back on your blogs soon. I’ll be very busy through today and then not so much.

  8. Marilyn alias(Punkie) November 7, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    This is another issue we will be facing. I heard it on the radio yesterday.. Some circles are dropping the question “are you married” to “who is your partner? Trying to drop the marriage thing all together. That is troubling to me. One more institution God set up that is being torn down.

  9. Sin is a destructive thing, and we shouldn’t be surprised when people who don’t have Christ do sinful things. We just need to keep praying urgently, as we are called to do, and loving God and loving others.

    I’ve tried so hard to teach our boys that following God is not a lot of yes/no rules just for control sake on God’s part. God truly loves us and wants so much to spare us from the hurt and separation from him and others that is caused by sinful choices. Our nation, our world is so torn and hurting because of that sin. And as His people, we need to keep doing what it says in 2 Chronicles 7:14 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” He’s talking to His people–the church, us. It would have taken only 10 righteous to spare Sodom…how many righteous calling on God, will it take to continue to spare the U.S.? I heard so much fear and discouragement during this election and after the results, and fought it in myself as well. We need to keep walking in faith, day by day, keeping Him Lord of our lives, keeping Him on the throne of our hearts, and not succumb to fear, which is the absence of faith.

    OK sermon over. (I’m preaching to myself too) As I heard on the radio the other day…every day we choose to live Godly or our own way. I don’t want to be Debbie-ly, I want to be Godly!

  10. Good sermon, Debbie! James and I talk often about not living fearfully or making decisions based on fear. It is the absence of faith. I know James has especially fought fear this year (I have too) and we have tried hard to fill ourselves full of hope and encouragement. There’s a lot of negative stuff out there. We’ve turned toward a lot of motivational stuff like Zig Ziglar and others to counter the negative and help fill us full of hope and encouragement and get our thoughts going in the right direction.

    Good stuff!!!!!

  11. Very interesting. I think it kinda glosses over the power the President truly has though. Supreme Court Justices are appointed by the President and 3 are retiring soon. So by the end of 4 years we could be looking at a Democrat president, Democrat Congress, and Democrat Supreme Court. Where are the checks and balances in that? President Bush invaded Iraq with Presidental authority, that is a huge power. Yes, the president is only one man but he has an immense amount of power and influence. Personal responsibility doesn’t really exist in our country anymore. We want someone to just take care of us so we don’t have to make any decisions. We’ve had people assume that we will go on welfare and Medicaid so I can stay home after Maggie is born. We could do that but we chose to have a baby and we are responsible for taking care of her. As much as I wish I could stay home, I know I have the responsibility to provide while Joseph is in school. Went on a little bit of a rant, didn’t I? We are pretty passionate about the issues. I am just in disbelief that people refuse to learn to history. I came to the realization that people are like my students. They are only going to learn by making mistakes. Hopefully our country won’t be destroyed by the time people come to their senses.

  12. I agree, Ashley, the Supreme Court appointments are EXTREMELY serious.

    Don’t even get me started about he rights of the unborn. Unborn children are our present day slaves. They are people who have absolutely no rights. I am extrememly passionate about that issue. Why is abortion the “popular choice”? Why don’t we hear much about adoption being a more virtuous choice or even much of a choice at all?

    I think for me the point was that it’s out of our hands now. The best we can do is take responsibility for our own lives and make the right choices for ourselves.

    Good to hear from ya!

  13. The checks and balances come from the voters–every vote counts!