Or, on beginning to know the personal limits of effectiveness

I have come to know a valuable metric for calculating personal effectiveness over time: Accountability.

Viewed from the eyes of another person it can help form deeper relationships of love, friendship or business. And turned inward, the act of holding oneself accountable can lay a strong foundation for self-respect.

I was exposed tonight via the blog Boxes and Arrows to the Say/Do Ratio, made up of two lists: What has been agreed to do and what has been done. This juicy little secret forms the basis for our own accountability (and relevance) to others.

The invaluable numerator - the Say of Say/Do which our character is truly built on - is a choice. The list of things we say we will do is protected by a single filter - our ability to say no. To say no is to experiment with discipline, focus and commitment. If we can say a true “no” to an invite, a concept or a person, we have become inherently aware of the boundaries of what we are really doing here.

Saying no is not spreading an insult. The act of saying no does not need to be insensitive. You are only genuinely stating, “there is not enough time.”