One of the least salient aspects of most people’s lives is taking ownership of every decision and choice. We tend to make excuses for why we didn’t get to the finish or why we live the way we do. We settle for being a lesser version of ourselves because we don’t want the blame that owning our actions or words may entail.
ersonally, ownership is about accepting and being accountable for my actions and beliefs. My life is comprised of conscious choices that I must own to move forward. One way you can build emotional resilience is to own what’s happening to you instead of running away to seek comfort. The power of taking ownership for every action, decision, or goal brings you to a greater understanding of who you are and makes you align everything to your purpose or passion.
Ownership is about accountability, and in the fire service, we use accountability through our incidents to track and maintain safety and operational effectiveness. This accountability is at the incident command level; yet, the accountability, at the firefighter level, deals directly with life or death. Each person is accountable for his/her actions on a scene, where one wrong action could lead to death. This is not what most people have to go through daily, but it is the ultimate ownership situation. Our daily ownership decisions are important as well, although with mitigated adverse outcomes. In the fire service, there is an action called “bailout.” This is reserved as a last-ditch survival option, but never as a first option. In our daily lives, bailing out should never be the first option either. Our purpose drives our ownership of our skills, thoughts and actions. Win, lose, live or die, I choose my path.
Taking ownership is challenging and even though it can be heart-wrenching at times, it is always necessary. Running away from difficulties and seeking comfort in excuses pushes us backward and weakens us. Owning what is happening to us gives us strength and resilience to get through the bad times and follow our passions.