As I mentioned in the previous post, rather than taking the glory for saving his men, Jocko Willink took responsibility for the situation arising in the first place, as he believes in ‘extreme ownership’, and has a book titled the same. He takes responsibility for everything that happens in his life, blaming no one else. If you take responsibility for everything, then you have the power to change what is happening to you. If I mentally blame others for what happens to me, then it makes me powerless to do anything about it. So even if in reality a situation in my life was caused by something someone else did, if I take ownership of the responsibility for dealing with the aftermath and preventing such events from happening again, then I am empowered by that situation and my resourcefulness increases.
While talking about Extreme Ownership with Brian Rose of London Real, Jocko refers to the technique mentioned in the last post, distancing himself from his own thoughts, entering the eye of the storm, becoming the observer of himself and those around. This video is set to play at the point at which he talks about this and what he has to say about it lasts for about a minute. It sounds exactly like the space within that I refer to as Big Sue. He’s trained himself to enter that same space to get clarity to deal with the situation in front of him. It’s very interesting that US Navy SEALs are taught to do this too. It is a life skill that enables you to take ownership and execute change, not merely an ethereal experience with no practical use. Dan Peña is fond of dismissing meditation with the phrase ‘Zen doesn’t pay the bills’. No it doesn’t Dan, but getting into that space sure helps you to take control of your circumstances and even US Navy SEALs get into that space to make life and death decisions. Meditation is not the only way to get there, but it is perhaps the easiest for most people.
If I take ownership of the responsibility for dealing with the aftermath of a bad situation in my life caused by someone else, and take steps to prevent such events from happening again, then I am empowered by that bad situation and my resourcefulness increases – Sue Moseley
Dan Peña is also a man inclined to take ownership of everything that happens. I believe that beneath the crusty, obnoxious, rude, belligerent, disrespectful persona and 1980’s dress sense, there beats the heart of a big old softie who really cares. He would call me a moron, or worse for saying that I’m sure. If you can get past the foul language (I do this by pretending he has Tourette’s and can’t help himself), and temporarily ignore the violation of your own values (values like treating people with kindness) there is a lot of wisdom to be found. Pan out the gold, and chuck away the dirt.
Coming next: Going with the flow