Success Starts Early - Camaraderie is Accountability

The alarm blares long before the sun rises, and despite being much too tired to get up he somehow crawls out of bed to meet a friend for an early morning run.  The free dessert at the restaurant looks amazing but she makes the choice to resist the urge to eat it because there's going to be a group meeting to discuss everyone's health decisions.  People make decisions all the time that make sense and are good for everyone, but that they wouldn't necessarily have made without someone else holding them accountable.  All of us should develop friendships with others who are chasing similar goals so that we have camaraderie, which gives us companions to help us stretch and grow. 

When is the last time you did something just because someone else expected it?  As kids we all do things that our parents or teachers ask or that we know they'd like.  Peer pressure gets blamed for a lot of bad things, but when it comes to keeping us accountable it can often have a major positive impact.  The military has embraced this concept, with the term esprit de corps (literally meaning "spirit of the body") defining the most critical part of morale: pride, brotherhood, and unity. 

Attending business meetings, I have frequently heard quips such as "teamwork makes the dream work" or "T.E.A.M. means Together Everyone Accomplishes More", and such statements are absolutely correct.  It's not simply about the quantity of individuals, however, but rather the benefit of having everyone pulling the same direction.  Your team would lose tug-of-war if you couldn't decide which direction to pull!  A friend and leader who spent time playing professional sports commented that he preferred the bond of his college team because it was uncommon to find a player who wasn't dedicated to the success of the group, whereas the pros were sometimes more interested in their next contract. 

Napoleon Hill, one of the great success writers of all time, described the concept of a mastermind group where individuals could come together with a common mindset for each member's benefit.  Whether you choose to seek out a formal or casual relationship, the benefits of having this sort of unified purpose will help keep you on track when you might not feel like doing what it takes to continue moving forward.  A friend who is counting on you is a hard person to let down! 


Find one person with a similar short-term goal as you - maybe it's to read a book in a week, to be able to do 50 push-ups at a time, or to make sure all the laundry gets put away every day.  Whatever you choose to do, commit to text each other at least once every day to let the other know how you have done.  A little bit of effort every day will get the job done, so keep the streak alive as long as it takes! 


Anthony Scrié wrote a book on this topic, The Power of 2, which has the stated purpose "to expand the wonderful wave of kindness that began on September 11, 2001".  A survivor of 9/11 who worked in Tower One of the World Trade Center, his is certainly a qualified voice on the importance of relating to others. 


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