Authors B.J. Gallagher and Steve Ventura wrote a great book about achieving success through personal accountability titled “Who Are “They” Anyway?” I like their list showing how each individual in the company can benefit by adopting a “personal accountability attitude”: Something magical happens when we accept personal responsibility for our behavior and our results. Not being upfront or completely honest to yourself or your teammates is unacceptable. It breaks the most important team bond—trust.

On any given day, we can be as shy and withdrawn as Charlie Brown, as pushy as Lucy, as introspective as Linus, as raucous as Peppermint Patty, as zealous as Schroeder, as sunny as Sally, or as self-absorbed as Snoopy. Yet, no matter our mood, each and every day, we all strive to be leaders in our fields, to our family, or of our own goals. Reflecting on what the Peanuts gang can teach us, we can unlock inspiration for each day of our lives.

  • You have more control over your destiny
  • You become an active contributor rather than a passive observer
  • Others look to you for leadership
  • You gain the reputation as a problem solver
  • You enhance your career opportunities
  • You enjoy the satisfaction that comes from getting things done…the power of positive doing
  • You experience less anger, frustration and helplessness—all leading to better physical health
  • You realize a positive spillover effect into your personal life at home
  • Where you end up is entirely up to you.
  • Even though change might be scary, it is definitely required.

The first step to making a quantum leap is making a decision. Many times, the freedom of having so many choices stops us from choosing one. We often find ourselves on the fence of indecision, thinking, “What should I do? What do others think I should do?” We start evaluating our abilities, becoming discouraged about the possibilities before we even commit to a certain goal, or outcome. a clear, specific definition of your intended direction is critical. If the destination is not known, how will we know if we are off course? A goal cannot be reached without clarity of vision.

It was clarity of purpose that helped me succeed — but my path was not a straight one. Everyone has setbacks. Then I did something that changed my life. I went to a series of seminars in an environment that caused change. The speakers and stories made me feel as though it was “my time.” Shortly after that, I prevailed, and my dreams became a reality. Nothing had changed except the clarity of my vision about where I was going. I became committed to making the change happen now. With that decision, obstacles started to move out of my way.

ZIG ZIGLAR was one of the presenters in that related many ideas that caused me to think. It is safe to say that if each of us took  the approach to life where we decided to change, advance and improve, we would accomplish much more. After every mistake, we need to understand that we can look back and learn so that we can move forward with confidence  and avoid making the same mistake again.  Here are three tips from Zig Ziglar about how best to handle a mistake:

  1. See the mistake as a step on the road to a solution. Do not let mistakes depress or discourage you. We must realize that depression and discouragement are negatives that limit the future.
  2. Admit the mistake. I’ll admit that takes courage, but recognition of errors is a sign of maturity. Not to recognize them is to deny them. The reality is that “denial” is more than just a river in Egypt—it’s something that will limit your future.
  3. Know that it is only when you ignore the mistake that it is negative. When we confront mistakes, we are taking full advantage of it as the “positive” they are.

   For example, the student with no hope of passing will not study. Why bother?  This is a limiting attitude and one where success may not be achieved.

Now here is the good news: Hope is a choice. A decision may be made to be a hope-filled person. Make a decision to share hope with others. In the process of doing so, watch what happens. One’s personal hope quotient is bound to rise.

Author John C. Maxwell says, “if there is hope in the future, there is power in the present”. Hope is the great activator! Decide to make things happen, and as we encourage others to make things happen in their lives, rely on hope. Use discipline to see the “hopeful” side of any incident. Include expressions of hope in your self-talk. Share words of hope with the people who surround you. Am I offering you a “head in the sand” approach to life? Am I saying that you should walk around with a smile on your face and a song in your heart, oblivious to daily reality? Of course not. However, we have a choice. Hope is a choice. We can look at any unfortunate or bothersome situation and say it is hopeless, or we can look for the hope in that situation. The choice is always ours. Take a moment today and think about the last 24 hours. Was hope shared, either by words or action? Or did you choose the opposite approach?


The positive, disciplined, attitudes developed through Isshin-ryu Karate relate to each of the ideas related by B.J. Gallagher and Steve Ventura, Zig Ziglar and John C. Maxwell. Desire to be successful in each endeavor. Decide to be positive and proactive. Use challenges and setbacks to become the motivators of life. Hope for happiness and success but know each of us must take action – not just sit by waiting.





Posted in Dojo Newsletter.