Take Total Ownership for Your Actions
You are responsible for your own behavior. This is true for your habits, thoughts, actions, and decisions. You are responsible for your success, failures, and the quality of your lifestyle. When you step up and own everything, you are waiting for nothing to show up and make life better.
You are the captain of your vessel called “successful living” and by taking total ownership, you become a person of deep influence.
This is what happens to failures: When things go terribly wrong, you tend to look for someone to blame. You make excuses for your failure. You blame others for your procrastination. You wait for inspiration and complain when life delivers a bad blow to your health or finances. Knowing that you can’t stop external events is the key. It is how you choose to respond.
The moment you take ownership of your procrastinating ways, everything will change. You can change your own behavior, and you can teach others how this is done so they model what it takes to take total ownership of life.
The first step in Doing the Hard Things First must be taking total ownership of your life.
To push ahead and crush the challenges standing in your way, you must be willing to take full ownership over your life. This is not a burden but a great gift. When other people rely on you to help them, this responsibility turns into a much-needed service you have to offer the world.
This means analyzing everything you think, say, and do. The way you think (your beliefs) feeds into how you feel (your emotions) and triggers you to act (your behavior).
The behavior of putting off important tasks begins with the “I’ll do it later” fragmented thinking. And if I don’t do it, does it matter? I’m sure somebody else will.
But nobody else can. Or will. Or wants to. You have to stop your own house from burning down before the fire starts. If you can’t help yourself, nobody will come to the rescue.
You are the only one making a choice to procrastinate. You put things off in your mind first. Then, you build a wall of excuses as to why it can’t be done. Then you create limitations to defend the wall, and after that, you stay mired behind your defenses, hoping that nothing breaks through. But what you have done is create a prison for your mind, It isn’t the world you are defending yourself against, it’s yourself that you’re at war with.
Your mission is to take control of your castle. Guard it with your life. Take total ownership of what is yours.
Build Your Defenses
You create your own experience by taking full ownership of your life. To become a success, half the battle is getting over the defensive walls of excuses, blame and escape tactics you’ve built to defend your chronic habit.
I had to ask myself, “How much is enough? How many times do I want to disappoint myself, my family, and my coworkers? How much longer will I delay the actions that influence my growth?”
Now, are you prepared to do whatever it takes to break this habit?
It begins here.
I’m ready every morning because I ask myself one question at the start of the day:
“Am I willing to do anything to become procrastination free?”
Yes! Freedom is the ability to create change, and you have the power to create anything you want. The procrastination habit disempowers you in every way. It makes you weak, and it sets you up for failing hard. We must change this to a mindset designed for taking intentional action—and taking it now.
Taking total ownership over everything in your life moves you from the passenger’s side of your new Maserati to the driver’s seat. You are in control of the journey to take you from here to there. You get to decide what action steps to take and how to navigate your path regardless of the weather or road conditions. This is a journey built through progress, and taking it one mile at a time.
Make Your Definitive Decision
Now, you get to create this reality as you let go of the old habits and behaviors that are failing you.
Just as you take responsibility for your personal life, you also take responsibility for the work that only you can do.
You fail to take responsibility when you:
- Make excuses for why it can’t be done.
- Make less important tasks a priority.
- Blame others for why you fail to get ahead.
To succeed and break your habit of task avoidance, you must:
- stop making excuses and start asking yourself, “Why not?”
- deprioritize meaningless tasks and focus on the top priorities that deliver results you want
- give up the blaming habit and take total ownership, and
- stop judging and condemning, and embrace people for doing their best.
- Write down the names of five people you frequently complain about. Next to each name, write down three positive traits/qualities about them. In future, when you catch yourself complaining, recite these five traits connected with that person.
- Identify the one area in your life that you avoid taking responsibility for. Is it your relationships? Finances? Job? If it’s all of the above, identify the one area that needs the most attention.
- Finally, when you awaken every morning, recite your own mantra. Begin with, “This is my life, and I’m totally responsible for it. Now let this day begin.” The rest of the mantra is up to you. Use the mantra in this chapter until you have created your own.
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