There’s an African proverb that I’ve begun to love as an adult: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I appreciate this saying because it stresses how much we need each other as humans while allowing space for growth.
I wanted to go fast all my life. As a child, I was always in a rush. I couldn’t wait to grow up, to be able to go where I wanted, wear makeup and short skirts when I wanted, and to be able to sleep late on days other than the weekend. Maybe it had to do with where I lived. I reside in Philly now, but I grew up in and actually still work in New Jersey. See, here everyone is in a rush. We talk fast, drive fast, and often listen slowly. It was most opportune to go fast until I knew better.
I got out of New Jersey and the Northeast for a little while and moved to Virginia to live with my sister. I don’t know if I would have moved otherwise, but I needed that time away. Life was slower in the South and I enjoyed it for the years that I lived there, but I still had a lot to learn about accomplishing goals as a team.
I was fortunate enough to interview and be hired for a career with a Fortune 500 company upon my return to New Jersey six years later. I’m actually still there. I’ve learned more in the time that I’ve spent with that company about teamwork than with any other. Even on a huge team, it’s been a blessing to develop relationships with teammates and clients alike based on common goals and interests.
Did you ever make a commitment to yourself and actually keep it? Well, I’m working on that every day and it’s pretty interesting because it’s caused me to step out of character. I started the year more committed to learning than ever. I’m an accounting student but I’m going to be on Earth forever so why should I ever plateau and stop learning, right? That’s the way I see it.
Along with that commitment came the need for accountability. I started talking to my family and friends about what I’m doing, which makes them ask me how it’s going. Since the year started, I’ve been sharing devotions with a few people and recently engaged in a plan where I’m reading the Bible in a year with another woman of God. I’m outside my comfort zone, but I appreciate how doing a task as large as reading the entire 66 books seems a bit less daunting when I have a partner with whom to discuss it.
Likewise, many people ask for an accountability partner when it comes to working out. It can be fun to set and power through goals as a team. I’ve only just started using a workout partner, but I can see the value in it when I consider this pair of verses:
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 (AMP)
“Two are better than one because they have a more satisfying return for their labor…” Ecclesiastes 4:9 (AMP)
My accountability partner encouraged me to set goals and it’s been fun to share with her my progress in my quest to feel my best and gain muscle in the process. I’m excited to monitor the changes my body goes through as I journey into fitness coaching and learning about how what I eat affects my body. But I am most thrilled to have been granted a support system. I did alright alone but now that I’ve realized my passion for fitness and helping others achieve their goals, it’s become obvious that for longevity, I need a partner and a strong team.
It can be difficult to seek a partner when you’re already doing something that’s out of the ordinary for you. But, do your best to swallow your pride and ask a few friends if they’d like to be a part of that big thing that you’re doing. Or be like me: when a friend announces some grand undertaking, ask what’s happening and how you can get involved because accountability isn’t just asking others for help, but helping others as well! When you jump in and participate in your friend’s mission, they’ll never forget that so don’t be stingy with the helping hands, eyes, and minds, ladies.
Until next time, Bosses,
Jeannelle “Jean” Lundy