At a young age, it’s normal to have little responsibility or desire for it. Having your mom make you meals or your dad go to work and pay the bills can be nice. As children our responsibility is often centered around good grades as well as some chores. The problem with having no responsibility as you age is that nothing is yours. What I mean by that is that if you live in your parents home, the day they decide to sell the house and move that means the same for you. This may seem fine to some, it’s nice to be around your parents and even care for them as they age but one of our three psychological needs is autonomy – the ability to make decisions and own them. This demands responsibility and accountability for oneself. For those who would like a deeper explanation see Self-Determination theory here.
How this ownership of one’s decisions translates to one’s life is evident in the highest level organizations from business to the military. Jocko Willink (a former navy seal) lays it out in his book Extreme Ownership as he shares stories of their violent encounters in the city of Ramadi and the leadership and mindset necessary to win. I highly recommend this for any young man or woman looking to become more accountable and start taking control of their destiny.
On the topic of war heroes, yesterday my brother (who is also a combat veteran) and I practiced Jiu Jitsu with Tim Kennedy, a green beret who’s history of service is even more impressive than his record in the UFC. Tim is also a 3rd degree black belt under Royler Gracie so you could say training with him was a real experience. He also happens to be one of the friendliest and most humble people you will meet as is typical among the most dangerous people in the world. This is the type of person who is crafted by ownership in one of the most real senses, where decisions mean lives. It’s great that after my brother and Tim’s service in Iraq, Jiu Jitsu not only connected us all together but gives us all a good time. Nothing but appreciation to all the heroes out there on the front lines who own it day in and day out!