I subscribe to John Maxwell’s newsletter linked below and really enjoy it.  These two articles hit me pretty hard in a couple of contexts. 

I believe that 100% impeccable responsibility is the foundation of personal and business success.  I own it, I said I’d do it and you can trust me to do it.  This is the starting line.  This is what catapults us through life, I think.

Secondly, I believe that education is a is the key to growth, change, enlightenment, heck – progress.  I believe it’s the answer to the problems in the Middle East.  As the Internet, cell phones and information leak into those closed societies – dramatic change is tearing through that part of the world – and the populous is not putting up with oppression anymore.  I believe that lifelong personal education through books, classes, magazines, newspapers, webinars and online access is a key to personal and life growth and improvement.  This quote pretty much nails it:

"In times of profound change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists."   ~ Eric Hoffer

Here’s the paradox:  even as I attempt to accept impeccable responsibility for my own life – I find myself dependent on others for personal growth.  Here’s how:  first, many of you know that I enjoy running and do so during the noon hour.  But, I’m terrible at running alone!  I run with groups of people who show up – and expect me to show up!  I do the same with biking.  I bike with a group and am in many ways dependent on the group!  It takes a ton of discipline for me to force myself out to run or bike alone.  I’m dependent on the group. 

Secondly, the same holds true for i3 Business Solutions and Heartland Technology Groups (HTG).  I didn’t realize it nor understand what was happening – but the last four years have had a similar effect on i3 Business Solutions.  HTG5 meets four times per year.  We set quarterly goals and must announce our progress on the goals.  HTG5 has become a peer accountability group that’s pushed i3 forward.  For all of my reading, education and understanding of business and technology – it’s the peer process and review that’s pushed i3 Business Solutions forward the most.  And the education that my Partner, Kathy, and I receive while sitting, listening, observing and sharing with our peers is priceless.

So, back to these two articles by John Maxwell.  The first article states that pain can be an impetus to change.  Choose to face areas of your life where you’re experiencing pain, then choose to learn and grow – and perhaps find a peer group to pull you through the change process. 

The second article affirms my dependency on others!  I remember Rulon Gardner winning that Olympic Gold in an obscure sport called Greco Roman Wresting!  I mean to me that’s the definition of personal responsibility.  And although I surf into The Biggest Loser occasionally, I didn’t realize that he’s on the show.  But here’s a guy that one would think displayed and displays perfect discipline.  I mean, to rise to the top of the world in a sport and win a Gold Medal?  Rulon chose to find a peer group to pull him through this time in his life.  John Maxwell closes the article, “Only after he enlisted people to help him did Gardner begin to win the battle ...”

Please enjoy these two short stories and life lessons from John Maxwell's Leadership Wired Newsletter:

The Pain of Change   and  From Gold Medal Winner to Biggest Loser -  by John Maxwell

Then, let’s choose 100% impeccable responsibility and let’s choose when to enlist the help of any peer group to pull us forward in our personal growth.

Michael Ritsema
i3 Business Solutions, LLC

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Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.