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Offered by: Colorado Karate Club

“My math grade dropped to a ‘C’, but the teacher just didn’t explain anything” exclaims one kid to another. “That’s right,” continues the friend sitting nearby, “that teacher doesn’t do a good job.”

As I listened to the exchange, I thought about how many times I have heard similar stories of woe at every level: “I was late, but it was because of traffic.” “I missed the deadline, but it was because my coworker didn’t do his part.” “Times are tough, but it is the fault of the previous president, governor, mayor, boss, CEO, co-worker, etc.”

I guess that as a matter of self-preservation, we try to avoid being blamed when something doesn’t go well. But by doing this, we admit that we were never able to do any better. Something or someone out there was, and is, truly in charge of my success (or failure), and if I fail, it’s their fault!

On the other hand, in his book, “Extreme Ownership” (one of my recent favorites), former Navy Seal commander Jocko Willink states that you must “own everything in your world”. You must be truly and ultimately responsible for every success and failure. There is no one else to blame. One must take ownership of everything that impacts the mission and develop a plan to win. That is extreme ownership. (Now stop and read that again.)

Imagine if your employee, your child, your co-worker, and yes, even our politicians took extreme ownership of everything within their reach. What if you did too?

Try practicing extreme ownership in everything you do. For example, even our youngest beginner Karate students, know that there are 3 general rules at the Dojo:

  1. Be Prompt (Do things immediately and quickly),
  2. No Whining (No complaining, moaning, or mumbling at any time),
  3. No Excuses (Do your best, prepare well, execute, and take responsibility
    for the outcome).

We believe that instilling a no-excuses mentality (extreme ownership) in our students, makes them more solution-focused, and less likely to become a victim of the circumstances.

So the next time you are tempted to shift blame and say “it was not my fault,” “not my job,” or try to make an excuse for anything large or small. Stop yourself, and take ownership of it all. You will be surprised how empowering it feels to finally take charge of your future and your success.

Colorado Karate Club