On Being an Adult

One of the four (4) steps in the DREAM4 Maturity Model is the Step of Self-Accountability.  In other words, the step of “being an adult.”  What is so hard about being an adult after all? Well, it must be difficult or the coffee pot would always have coffee, the trash cans would always have more room at the top and the bathrooms would always be presentable and filled with another roll of TP.  Right?

It is generally understood that self-responsibility or self-accountability is the defining attribute to qualify as an adult. The word responsibility literally means “response-ability,” that is, possessing the ability to respond. It is the attribute of being responsible for oneself and having the capacity and the willingness to develop the mature behavior of living moment to moment.

This character trait of self-responsibility is synonymous with self-accountability. Accountability literally means “account-ability,” that is, owning the ability to account for your own life. To be self-accountable means to be answerable for the obligations and duties you have in your life by the very nature of being an “adult human being” existing in the web of life on planet Earth. Anyone who is self-accountable answers fundamentally to themselves in honoring a code of living, ethics and integrity that goes to the depth of who we are, on the highest, deepest and broadest of levels.

So… what are the critical building blocks that create a solid foundation to both enable and empower any one of us to demonstrate self-responsibility and self-accountability?

Please carefully consider the following:

  1. BE FULLY PRESENT – Only by showing up in this here-and-now moment can self-responsibility and self-accountability come on-line and be authentic.
  2. BE HONEST – Just tell the straight-up, nothing left out, truth in life. This is required for anyone to take responsibility and to be accountable for his or her own life.
  3. BE DISCIPLINED – This starts with how we think and speak. Exhibiting solid, stable and disciplined words and actions requires practice.  It is difficult to think before we speak!  REMEMBER: our thoughts lead to our words, our words lead to our actions, our actions lead to our habits, our habits lead to our character, and ultimately our character leads to our DREAMS.  It all starts with feeding and disciplining our thought-life.  Feed yourself good things!
  4. BE OPEN – Maturing toward adulthood means fully valuing the fact that “we do not know everything!”  Not knowing and staying wide open translates into being available to all inputs, creativity, possibilities, innovation and perspectives on life.  All of these are core attributes toward developing self-responsibility and self-accountability.
  5. BE SELFLESS – No one ever “does the right thing in the moment” if they are selfish.  Becoming a mature, grown-up adult requires us to shed the “me-me-me” primitive ego’s attachment to itself and considering “what works for everyone.” It thinks about the team and demands an outward viewpoint.
  6. BE GROWING – Perhaps the rarest character trait for human beings is a rock-solid commitment to learn and grow. To develop an intention to grow, commit to a time and place for this to occur, and to follow through with direct actions toward completion (the three components of a commitment) are the evidence of a maturing adult committed to this adventure we call “life.”  When accomplished on a regular basis; self-responsibility and self-accountability are self-evident and remarkably – contagious.

This is the beginning of positive influence – on being an adult.

For more on how to be actionable with accountability, openness, discipline, honesty, and growth, let us point you in the right direction! Make it a great February!

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