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Greetings everyone!

I’m Joe Dwyer and I’m very pleased to have you on this journey on accountability. On this journey, we will first take a look at a character that most, if not all of us, are familiar with. It is the ground hog. The ground hog who, comes out of his home every February 2nd, sees his shadow and then depending on what he does we are told how many weeks of winter are left. Well in this calendar year 2013, the ground hog came under sharp criticism for we had many more weeks of winter then his actions would have told us.

However, the important thing is that he did see and recognize his shadow. That is where we going to take our story from that point only. It is our shadow that we are casting that we need to take a very close look at as well. Give the groundhog his due. He does see his shadow clearly. The question is, do we see ours? I’m not talking about the same shadow that the groundhog sees. I’m talking about our shadow of influence, which is sometimes even more prevalent then the one cast from the sun. This shadow of influence is our level of accountability and how it is being seen by others and us.

shadows-smallWhen our children were young, I was told a very profound thing. I was told that if I saw them doing something that really is annoying me, I need to take even a closer look at it because chances are they learned it from me. I found this to be very true and very sobering. It is absolutely the case that not only we as parents but, all of us cast a shadow that is seen by many. Certainly it should match our words and our actions but our action is what is seen loudest and clearest. This is lesson one on accountability – to take a very close look at our shadow.

I do have some good news. Obviously our shadow can be very positive in nature and it should be but, it also needs to be consistently positive. For those times when it is not, and I believe we can all attest, it is seen a lot more clearly than when it is positive.

At this point, I would like to step back and tell you that I am proud of one of my books that I wrote which really brings this subject matter to the surface. The book is called “The Dog Ate My Homework…or Did He?” a complete guide to accountability for personal and business life. After 25 years of business experience, I decided to write this book, which highlighted my lessons, some learned the hard way, on accountability all from a dog’s view. As has been the case in my other lessons, the dog’s view will carry us to a higher level of learning, awareness and certainly accountability will be the same.

I urge you to consider a dog that I remember from my youth. His name was Lucky and he was a very old and fragile Beagle who lived in my grandparent’s neighborhood. Being at my grandparent’s house, I would look forward to seeing Lucky. He was very fragile and old but upon seeing me, my fondest memory, was that he shook off his fragile nature and old age, wagged his tail and showed me nothing but an incredible act of love, kindness and joy to see me. His shadow was one that I remember very well. But the story within the story is that Lucky’s shadow was cast in a very positive way even though he was dealing with many difficulties himself.

I think we find this amongst many dogs that we encounter in our life but Lucky is really a memory for me that I want to share with you. It brings forth the point that we will all have difficulties in our life but it doesn’t mean that we shake off our level of accountability or excuse any actions. I too have learned some valuable lessons in this area and I urge you to consider them as well.

It matters not in many ways that we are in a difficult place. It still is a reason for us to keep our word, to keep our integrity and to keep our promises to sharing and being a good individual with all we meet. That is true accountability no matter what the circumstances are. So I urge you to take a few actions items with you in the following week.

First, like the groundhog, but even more so than predicting the weather, really take a good look at the shadow that you are casting. Are your actions matching your words? Take a look at them and evaluate them often. I hope that you will find your level of accountability with again keeping your word, being a vibrant light of positive actions to the world and holding your integrity at the highest level possible at all times is truly rewarding.

Secondly, take a very close look at a difficult situation that might take place in your life. It probably will happen in a very short time. We are all stricken with challenges of various natures and degrees. Then make sure you turn back to your shadow and make sure you are casting something that is positive in nature to the extent you can. This will really polish your level of accountability to a high level. It will also make you a much more peaceful and joyful person to be around.

Our challenge is before us and I think it comes down to really recognizing our shadow, more than the groundhog has to do once a year. We should be doing it every single day and give the groundhog some credit. He should be our motivation as well. He takes great notice of his shadow.

Thank you and have a good week. As always share any observations that you have. I welcome them and I look forward to them.


  • Notice any changes you would make when you recognize the shadows that you casted for the day.
  • Recognize a challenge and adjust to it accordingly. Notice your feelings during this process.