Having just returned home following a 2-week holiday, I am in a contemplative mood. I spent a lot of that time thinking about what I want from life and what I need to do to achieve my objectives. I’ve already taken some significant steps this year, not least starting this blog, though I still have so much more to do. However, a continual stumbling block is procrastination.
I guess I’m not alone in procrastinating far more than I should do. This always leaves me frustrated as my to-do list is long enough to consume every waking minute for the next 1-2 years (and that may be counter-productive – more of this in a future post…) and ticking off each individual entry would be very satisfying. So why do I waste far too much time scrolling through social media, browsing non-productive websites, watching TV, lazing etc? It’s easy to find excuses: I’m too tired; I need to unwind for half an hour or so; I’ll do it later when I’m more energised; etc etc. But, ultimately, this is all about getting motivated; taking that first step; taking ownership.
Which brings me to the article I’ve copied below. I originally read this on a blog called Dumb Little Man ( https://www.dumblittleman.com/ ) and it struck a chord. I used to read this every day before starting work as I found it got me in the right frame of mind to address the issues and the challenges of the day ahead. I fell out of that habit for a while but I need to re-establish it. I hope you can find something of use here.
Thanks again for taking the time to read this – I really do appreciate it.
Until next time.
Taking Ownership: Are You Taking Full Responsibility For Your Life?
One thing I’ve always been very keen on is talking about taking ownership of things. I don’t mean physical things. I mean ownership of what you’re doing and who you’re being. It’s about being responsible for yourself and your life.
As someone who’s been both an employee and an employer, I know that the team members that are valuable to the company are the ones who take full and total responsibility for what’s happening around them. The ones who whine and point their fingers at everyone else are — let’s face it — hard work.
We’ve all experienced it.
We go into a shop or restaurant and the person who’s supposed to be serving us couldn’t give a hoot about what we want or making sure we leave the place as happy and satisfied customers. They make us fully aware that we’re an irritation and that we’re asking too much.
Then you go to a different shop and the person assisting you there makes all the difference. You’ll go back there because of the service and because you feel valued. The person who served you took complete ownership & responsibility for ensuring that you have a wonderful experience. He took it upon himself to give you a great experience.
I could, quite happily, go on for hours about this subject and I hope it’s something I drummed into my kids. This is how I see it:
Whatever you’re doing, you take FULL and COMPLETE responsibility for making sure that whatever is supposed to happen does happen, in a way that leaves everyone involved feeling great.
It doesn’t matter if your boss is an idiot or your colleagues are lazy and have a bad attitude. The only thing that matters is that YOU give it your all and that YOU make sure that you’ve done everything in your power to generate that outcome.
In other words, take full ownership of what’s happening around you and take complete responsibility for the outcomes. Not blame, but responsibility. They’re two completely different things.
What do I mean by taking responsibility?
Now, it’s really easy to look at this from the perspective of the job we’re in.
If you look around, you’ll see that almost every problem that you encounter in the workplace is potentially caused by your failure and your co-worker’s failure to not take ownership. This can manifest in many different ways, such as:
* Having a bad attitude
* Not wanting to be there
*Someone who doesn’t care
*Having a goal that isn’t in alignment with the company
*Someone who likes to bitch and moan
*Someone who is only on the lookout for themselves
There are lots of ways these things can show. In certain instances, they can come out very subtle.
Now, take a look at your life. Are you taking full, 100% responsibility for your life?
Be honest and consider these things:
*Which areas look exactly as you want them to?
*Do you live how you want to live?
*Which areas of your life inspire and motivate you?
*Which areas downright suck?
*Do you go to bed at night completely satisfied with your day?
*Do you show up exactly how you want to show up for everyone in your life?
*Are you the person you want to be?
*Do you do the things you want to do?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of those things or if there are areas which stink or suck, then you’re not taking ownership of your life. And there are a lot more questions I could ask, so don’t go thinking that because I haven’t asked a specific question, you’re off the hook.
You’re not and you’re not being fully responsible. It’s as simple as that.
This is not a blame game
This isn’t blaming and I’m not suggesting that anyone is ever going to be perfect. This is about constantly moving towards your true purpose in life. It’s about trying to get in alignment with who you really are.
Do you see the difference?
Blame is bad and just wrong. It stops you dead in your tracks.
Taking responsibility means you know where you’re going and if you’re not there yet, you just have to keep moving forward.
Let’s go back to employees who take ownership for a minute. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, you know who among your colleagues is great to work with and who isn’t. In other words, you know who takes responsibility for their job and who doesn’t.
Take that analogy and think about it in terms of your life.
If that person who takes responsibility makes such a difference to their workmates and their customers, what kind of a difference do you think it will make if you apply the same level of responsibility to yourself and your life?
How would your life be different if you took full, complete, 100% responsibility for it?
What kind of difference would it make to the people around you? What would you do differently?
Who would you make sure you showed up as? Would you experience your life differently? Would it feel different?
What if your real job in life, the one that you absolutely MUST take complete responsibility for and ownership of, was to show up as who you really are? To just be 100% fully you?
The universe put you here for a reason. If you want to reflect that reason, you’d better be fully responsible for showing up EXACTLY as the universe designed you.
What do you need to do to take ownership of your life?