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Character Builder: ACCOUNTABLE

Definition: "To consider the consequences of your actions, and to recognize that you are held liable for your choices." How?

1. Eliminate excuses.
2. Turn complaining into problem-solving.
3. Remember that your choices reveal your commitments.
4. Make a daily checklist - and use it.
5. Limit your choices -by placing boundaries that preserve your energy for what's important.


1. “The ancient Romans had a tradition: whenever one of their engineers constructed an arch, as the capstone was hoisted into place, the engineer assumed accountability for his work in the most profound way possible: he stood under the arch!” – C. Michael Armstrong, business leader
2. “What kind of people are we, if we don’t have the character to own up to our own short comings and responsibilities? To have and enjoy certain liberties requires us to hold each other and ourselves accountable for our actions.” – Gary Ryan Blair, motivational speaker
3. “Accountability breeds response-ability.” – Stephen R. Covey, author and motivational speaker

Be a Starfish Thrower

According to author Loren Eisley, he decided to take an early morning walk along the ocean. As he walked along the shore, he noticed that a recent storm had stranded thousands of starfish on the beach. Looking further ahead, he was blessed with a huge rainbow; and near its base was a little boy looking at something in the sand. The boy soon flung something into the ocean, beyond the breaking surf.

Eisley approached the boy and asked him what he was doing. The boy answered, “I am throwing starfish back into the sea, because if I don’t, they are going to die.”

Eisley reasoned, “But there are thousands of starfish. Will you really make any difference when you can’t possibly throw them all back in?”

The boy looked up at him briefly, then bent to pick up another starfish and gently fling it back into the ocean. “It’s going to make a big difference to that one!” he replied.

Embarrassed, Eisley walked away feeling uncomfortable with the boy’s innocence in contrast to his reasoned indifference. Unable to shake off the encounter, Eisley returned to the boy, picked up a starfish and flung it far out into the waters. “I understand,” he told the boy. “Call me a starfish thrower too.” Eisley knew that if he didn’t come back to help, he would have regretted his choice. So he and the boy chose to make a difference, spending several hours throwing starfish back into the ocean.

Are you a starfish thrower? Perhaps you feel like one of the starfish, stranded on the beach by a storm? Make a choice to make a difference, then pray for God to guide you during each job search session.


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