Since quitting my job and changing paths, the most common question that I get is “why did you do it?”
More often than not, these questions come from people who have been thinking of doing something similar but, haven’t taken action. If you’d like, you can read my response here but the remainder of this blog will be less about my experience and more about yours. With the words below, we’ll define what ownership means, why most people never even pursue it, why everyone (including you) should and how to do it. Disclaimer: this is not me telling you to quit your job.
While most people associated the word ownership with material possessions, the kind of ownership that we’re talking about her is about our lives. In simple terms, taking complete ownership of life means controlling what we can control and being fully accountable/responsible for those things (e.g. the choices we make and the actions we take). It means building solid character and living with integrity even when it’s inconvenient (among other things). The concept of ownership is simple to understand but challenging to practice. Most people avoid complete ownership because…
What’s Stopping You
It’s scary to assume full responsibility of anything, let alone our life. We’re conditioned to shift blame and make excuses when things don’t work out the way that we hoped. In other words, taking complete ownership comes with a weight that most of aren’t willing to carry. When we don’t have the option of excuses, uncomfortable consequences are hard to avoid. To make things more complicated, most of us feel overwhelmed with the truth that so much of life is outside of our control and this can make ownership efforts feel futile. Complete ownership is rare for these reasons and more but it couldn’t be more important for you to pursue and here’s why…
Why It’s Important
We all have a finite amount of time here on earth (when it runs out, it runs out) and for that reason, time is our most valuable asset. To add weight to that statement, none of us know how much time we have and that should make this next sentence stand out. Living an unauthentic life spent blaming people and circumstances for our dissatisfaction is the biggest waste of time (and life) that exists. In other words, we all get one shot at life and without complete ownership we fall short of being the person that we are meant to be – we chase paths that will never lead us toward our full potential and sometimes ones that lead us away from our very purpose. To be clear, ownership is important because it allows us to be the person that we are meant to be while also finding fulfillment and helping others through purpose.
How To Take Ownership
One more time, this blog is not me telling you to quit your job – I’m just suggesting that you consider these things. With that being said, here are some general principles to reflect on when it comes to taking ownership of life.
- get clear on the person that you want to become (think about what makes you feel most alive)
- understand what is in your control (effort and attitude) and what is not in your control (everything else)
- stop blaming people and circumstances (respond with intention rather than reacting to the world)
- don’t talk about problems without a focus on solutions (complaining is not part of ownership)
- be accountable for everything within your control (break the habit of making excuses and always be honest)
- surround yourself with people (and content) that brings out the best in you (what I strive for)
- choose hard things and do hard things (growth demands discomfort)
I could write forever on the topic of ownership but before I end this blog, let me just say that I by no means have mastered this art. In fact, I don’t know if complete ownership is even attainable for a sustained period of time. In the end, we’re all flawed human beings and part of being human is falling short. The important part about ownership is that when we fall short, we hold ourselves responsible and we get back on the right path.
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