Oxford Living Dictionaries (English)

When we are accountable, we have someone looking over our shoulder. Sometimes it’s an overbearing teacher or a caring parent, but other times a simple philosophy is is all we feel nudging us. This sort of accountability becomes indispensable for people as they leave the guiding structures of adolescence and seek to become their own person.

For me, much accountability in my professional life comes from books and podcasts. Isaac Morehouse’s shows have been of immense value to me in affirming that I’m not crazy for opting out of college and helping me to apply a Christian work ethic to the modern workplace. In a similar vein, the books of Grace Llewellyn, John Holt, and John Taylor Gatto have deeply shaped my vision of lifelong learning and encouraged me when the world seemed most dismal. I find myself returning to these works over and over, not because they belong to some sacred category, but because their authors have unearthed some of the deep truths of life—truths powerful enough to hold me to my plans, dreams, and ideals.

So finds some books that fulfill this function in your life. Keep them on your desk. Highlight the hell out of them! Print out (or watercolor) the most important quotes and hang them on your wall. Humans are forgetful creatures, and we need all the reminding we can get.

<figcaption>The girlfriend watercolored my favorite John Taylor Gatto quote, which now lives on my desk</figcaption></figure>