Accountable Opportunist – 2010 – TM Speech

Are you your worst enemy?

“Why is this happening to me?”  When will this stop?  Who is causing this situation?

Have you ever asking yourself these questions?

These are victim questions.  I ask myself these questions when I feel like I have no control and I am powerless to change my situation.  I make excuses, procrastinate and blame others.  It is easier than taking the blame onto myself.

What if I ask the question “What changes have affected me and how have I adapted?”.  A question like this will turn me from a victim to an accountable opportunist.  What and How questions are opportunist questions.

This brings up the question “Am I accountable for my actions?”

In the 4th grade, I was caught, by my 4th grade teacher writing a nasty letter to a girl in class.  I proceeded to curse in the letter and sign everyone’s name to it.  I got called to the principal’s office and my parents were called.  I was told that I was committing the crime of forgery.  That is pretty scary for a 9 year old.

I was held accountable.

In the 7th grade, I was being a bully to a girl in one of my classes.  I am not sure why I was bullying her, but I grabbed her dress by the neck and ripped it.  It was a new dress.  I was called to the Dean’s office.  I got into trouble for being a bully and ruining someone else’s property.

I was held accountable.  

In the 8th grade, I got into an all out brawl and fist fight with a girl in gym class.  It was over a boy (big surprise) and nasty words between my best friend and her best friend.  I could have walked away but when she threw the sunglasses, I lost my temper and charged her.  There was a lot of hair pulling and punching   I was called to the Dean’s office and my parents were called.  I got three days in school suspension.  I finished my homework and read a lot of books.

I was held accountable.

So how do I go from a victim to an opportunist?

An opportunist knows they can only change themselves by taking action and asking the right questions.

Being accountable can change your life.

I went to college for 5 ½ years starting at 17 years old.  I lived away from home for the first time in my life.  I moved back in with my parents after a year.

I could not hold myself accountable in the dorms. 

I finally graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting with a 2.5 GPA.  I did not feel smart or capable.  All my friends got A’s and one was the Summa Cum Laude (with highest honor) of my graduating class.

I did not know how to hold myself accountable for my schoolwork.

However, I knew that my grades weren’t going to get me anywhere so I learned how to network and I joined two accounting organizations.  I was the Treasurer of the Student Account Association and belonged to the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).  My first three jobs were given to me by people I had met networking in the IMA.

I held myself accountable and found a way to succeed in getting work.

At 32, I was married with a 5 year old and a full time job.  I decided to go back to school and get my Master’s degree in Accounting and Financial Management.  I had something to prove…to myself.  In 2 ½ years through online classes I graduated with my Master’s degree with a 3.7 GPA.

I held myself accountable and was proud of it.

I received more education and proved I am smart and capable.  I have a great job as an accountant and I am good at what I do.  I have gained confidence and pride.

In 2008, 2 things happened.

  1. I realized I had a passion for drawing and painting
  2. I joined Toastmasters.

I began to take painting classes to get more education and to learn new techniques in painting.  I have since graduated from those classes with a certificate and maybe some college credits if I want to use them.  It is the thing I love the most.

In Toastmasters, I began writing speeches and I have become a professional talker.  Those who know me probably thought I was a professional talker, but now I am even better.  I knew I loved to talk but I found out that I love to write and organize my thoughts.

A long time ago I had a goal.  One of my fellow members and great friend did a speech on goal setting.  The one thing that stuck with me was setting a deadline to finish my goal.  I always wanted to write and publish a children’s book.  With my illustrating and writing capabilities (and help from my son’s SAT Vocabulary words), I have written, illustrated and published an educational fun book called Vocabhallow.  It was self published through Xlibris Corporation on October 18, 2010.

I held myself accountable.

I had a goal.

I am a published author and illustrator.

Now it is time to be accountable for my future.

I pay my bills and support my two sons.  I am accountable to them until they are ready to go out on their own.  For my older one, he will need to be accountable for himself in a few years.  I have some time with the younger one since they are 12 1/2 years apart.

I put out applications to teach painting parties in 2014.  I was accepted by one of them and I was thrilled.  I was only doing about one party a month so I applied again and now I work for two different painting party businesses and I supplement my income and work on my passion.

After my son was born in 2011, I got very heavy and ate my emotions.  In October of 2014, I decided I wanted to be able to look at myself in the mirror and keep up with my baby.  It is April 2015 and I have lost almost 20 lbs and a lot of inches, gained a lot of muscle and in less than two weeks will be running a Spartan Race (8-10 miles on a mountain, 25-27 obstacles).

I have become an opportunist instead of a victim.  I want my children to see what is possible.  I want them to be accountable for their actions and their futures.  I want them to know they can do anything they put their mind to as I have.

Are you an opportunist or a victim?


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