In Jocko Willink’s book Leadership Strategies and Tactics: Field Manual he discusses “Extreme Ownership,” the concept of, as a leader, taking full responsibility for the failures of both yourself and those whom you instruct. In a failed team operation, as a leader, you are ultimately responsible for what caused the shortcoming. Not whatever event, person or unfortunate situation that conveniently offers an excuse.
On a personal level, many of us often shy away from inner confrontation. Even though we know deep down our ideas, habits, methods, and performance may be lackluster, we live with subpar performance rather than putting in the work to improve ourselves, those around us, and our situation. Embodying extreme ownership and admitting our failures provides a golden opportunity for learning and elevation.
When we are told, either by ourselves or others, that we failed or are not performing well enough, it triggers a palpable internal response. We may tense up, or feel the need to reciprocate the criticism, maybe even feel inclined to take violent action. This is part of our innate drive to stay safe and protected. If we bypass this primal desire and build up a resilience to facing the truth, becoming more comfortable being uncomfortable, we can make great strides as individuals.
As somebody who has been committed to this practice for almost three years I can say it is quite alleviating. Through experience I have discovered certain habits, routines, and lifestyle choices that work for me. After building that foundation, I now simply edit or refine my approach when I encounter obstacles that hinder my progress, whether they’re internal or external. There is an ebb and flow to this process: I stick with what methods work until I encounter a problem, find the solution, and continue making progress until the next problem arises. This is living proactively. Best ability is adaptabilty.
To reach your desired destinations, being behind the steering wheel in the vehicle that is your life is essential. We feel lost and powerless just watching from the passenger seat, and being at the mercy of whomever is driving you. Taking this proactive approach is how you arrive at your destination. It is your GPS and the navigation system is driven by your instincts. Of course you will never be able to traverse the road of life with the perfect navigation of a GPS; however, it’s certainly more direct than trying to use a paper map. Yea, you might get where you want with the map but it’s sure as hell going to be circuitous in comparison to the GPS.
Over a lifetime, when we look at the difference between using the map versus the GPS, we are left with a great disparity in the achievements and potential mastery between individuals. Taking responsibility for our journey requires courage and honest introspection, but we are rewarded by seeing more in ourselves.
Those who embody a More Than Different Lifestyle understand the privilege of relentlessly seeking to maximize their own potential, embracing sovereignty in their journey to the top. They use their GPS. If your are truly More Than Different you say “Fuck the map, give me the GPS, I’m getting to the top one way or another, but it’s gonna be under my control.”
Then you ask “You coming with me?”
Take pride in being the driver of your destiny.
Commanding your destiny empowers you to change the world in myriad ways, some of which you can’t see or imagine—only from the driver's seat will you find out.
Take the wheel.
Take out your GPS
Trust your Instincts.
Drive yourself to the top.
MTD Blog Writer