Taking Personal Responsibility

Taking personal responsibility

By Steve Moore, instructor at Silver Lining Taekwon-Do

Here at Silver Lining Taekwon-do, we like to teach the importance of taking responsibility for our actions.  In the book "The Success Principles'', principle number one is to take 100% responsibility for your life.  We help our students learn this principle with the understanding that earning each belt is the direct result of a series of decisions that are either results oriented or excuse laden.

The very first decision in Taekwon-Do that exhibits taking responsibility is showing up for class. Just showing up for class isn’t enough though.  When you show up the hope is that you do so with the purpose of learning and improving  in each and every class.  Some martial arts schools give you your white belt on day one of your training.  At Silver Lining, you earn every belt, even the very first belt that begins your journey in Taekwon-do.  The reason being, we want to encourage new and seasoned students to take personal responsibility for their training and earn every belt they receive because everything worth achieving in life is earned, not given.

The journey to black belt is filled with obstacles and challenges we must overcome and much the same is true in life. There are physical challenges and sometimes mental ones, too. Have you ever noticed that the more difficult the task, the more excuses we make to give it up? Is it because we are inadequate and incapable? Of course not, but perhaps it is because we are impatient and don’t want to go through the sometimes-painful process of learning and perfecting what we do. Excuses always sound best to those who make them because they provide an easy way out but is that taking personal responsibility? Everything starts with your mindset and if you believe you can do something, you can. On the flip side, if you believe that you can’t, you probably won’t.

Taking responsibility means giving up ALL excuses. Jocko Willink, Navy Seal, founder of the Jocko Willink podcast, and author of “Discipline Equals Freedom”calls this extreme ownership. However, taking responsibility for each and every decision we make is not easy.  For some reason, making excuses is though.  Ever wonder why that is?  Why are we so quick to let ourselves off the hook for things?  If we don’t hold ourselves to a greater level of responsibility or extreme ownership, who will?  And if we can hold ourselves to greater accountability, who will benefit? You guessed it, WE ARE.  Everybody in your circle will also enjoy  and celebrate your success, but in the end, the true recipient of your decision making will be you.

How can we improve our extreme ownership or responsibility?  Here are a few ideas.

  1. At the end of each day, ask yourself if you made any excuses that stopped you from completing a task.
  2. Ask yourself and try to understand the cost of the consequence associated with not getting that task done.
  3. Own your mistakes, learn from them and try to not repeat them instead of making excuses.
  4. Never blame a situation or someone else for your shortcomings.
  5. Never complain about what doesn’t go your way. If it's to be it's up to you to make it happen

I understand none of this is easy and it's something that we need to practice every day so I urge you to get to work right now.

I want to challenge all of you to try your best to incorporate extreme ownership, or the idea of taking 100% responsibility for your lives.  I will definitely join you in this challenge and hope that these ideas will help you and your family have an even happier and more purposeful life.

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Taekwon-Do and Martial Arts for All Ages
Silver Lining Taekwondo |
3170 Deming Way, Middleton, WI 53562