When the shit hits the fan, we have a choice to make that largely intersects with the concept and the idea of personal responsibility. Every single one of us.
22 June 2018 by
When the shit hits the fan, we have a choice to make. Every single one of us.
We have a choice that largely intersects with the concept and the idea of personal responsibility, of the personal burden that we either pick up and carry or leave behind.
The burden is the weight of ownership. We can own that our success and our mistakes are ours.
We can own that we don’t have excuses to make, we don’t have excuses that hold water and we don’t have excuses that make our loss or our win any better or any worse. And that provides us with an opportunity to make progress, fix our rough patches and grow.
Or we can refuse to own it. Refuse to face our personal inadequacies. And refuse to grow.
Ownership is about rejecting the concept of an excuse. Outright. And lifting the weight yourself.
When you leave that weight behind and choose to not engage with your responsibility, you’re choosing to make an excuse.
- I stuffed up my company because YOU did something wrong.
- I won’t succeed because people don’t like the kind of content I want to make.
- I might as well quit because the odds are too high and I know Startup founders who already failed.
- I don’t have the time…
All of these excuses are kind of pathetic. Aren’t they? If you really stopped to think about it, they’re just attempts to avoid taking action, taking a leap and taking responsibility. They’re attempts to avoid the consequences of giving it a fair go.
So why do we do that? Why do we try and pass off the responsibility or refuse to pick it up ourselves?
We make excuses because we don’t understand the value of failure.
The reason we make excuses is simple. We are programmed from birth to avoid the appearance and the trappings of failure. We are taught that failure is bad.
We are taught how to win but we are never taught how to lose. We are vilified and mocked and derided if we aren’t always seen to be winning.
But the value of failure is in its iterative nature, and the way it helps us to achieve progress and expand our own view and shift closer to our goals.
In school, you have a failing grade. And that failing grade is a big red blotch on your transcript. Right? You have this one opportunity to pass or fail on a test and then people think you’re an idiot if you have to take it again.
But if you really think about the nature of learning, you’d understand that trial and error and failure itself are all valuable parts of the growth process.
Imagine the power you have to grow as a person if you stuff something up, step back, say it belongs to you, and then learn from it. What does that mean for your next project, if you do that? What does that mean for your startup, your film, your blog, your fund?
It means that you are accruing more chances of success. Because you’re establishing patterns of failure, recognition, ownership, redemption and recovery with every test of your personal strength of character and willpower and intelligence and ability.
I refuse to make any more excuses.
- The next time my content fails, or my views drop, or people don’t care about my content, guess who that’s on? It’s on me.
- If my new project doesn’t go anywhere and it fizzles out or I lose interest or it runs out of cash, guess who that’s on? It’s on me.
- If I fail to get my fitness to a better level this year and I don’t make progress on it, guess who that’s on? It’s on me.
- If I do not maintain a healthy relationship with people I care about, GUESS WHO THAT IS ON. It’s on me.
Because making excuses has never helped me out. And I don’t think it’s helped you out, either.
And yeah, there are major obstacles that some incredibly talented people have that make success harder.
Prejudice, poverty, homophobia, racism, sexism, chronic illness, mental health. But these aren’t excuses. They’re obstacles and difficulties that make the journey 10x harder. But we push through them. And if they’re obstacles that you don’t have, guess what? You have even more reason to take responsibility and not make excuses for yourself.
Recognising their difficulty and refusing to let it stop us is the ultimate sign of the responsibility that I’m talking about.