The Vital Behavior of Success


The Vital Behavior of Success

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When I was in the United States Army, I was accustomed to conducting, what is known as the “After Action Review (AAR)”, immediately after concluding a military exercise or operation.  It’s a system of evaluating what was done right and wrong and how to fix things that were done incorrectly during the exercise.  

The primary take away of most AARs is to identify vital behaviors that lead to success.  Today, I conduct a mental AAR in every aspect of my life.  I attempt to discern and deconstruct success in my life and in the lives of others.  When I think about success, I’ve discovered that most successful people have several vital behaviors in common.  One of those behaviors is that successful people take ownership of their lives and careers.  They own their mistakes and they accept responsibility for their lives.

Losers have excuses, in fact, I’ve found that people who are losing in life are expert excuse makers.  There’s a myriad of reasons why success eludes them and most of the time, it involves someone else or variables that are out of their control.  Excuses wear me out and the older I get, the less time I have for people with excuses.

I value accountability and I respect people that take ownership of their lives.  They succeed, despite their circumstances.  They worry less about what they cannot control and more about what’s within their sphere of influence.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t lead an excuse free life.  I’ve just learned that I succeed more when I take ownership of my life and achieve with the resources I possess.

I watched my dad succeed with little resources.  I witnessed my mom overcome obstacles and win at life.  I’ve had a front row seat watching my parents struggle and succeed when others may have retreated into a pit of excuses to explain away failure and loss.  My parents failed a lot, but they simply kept grinding and never allowed excuses to ruin our family.  Instead, they took ownership and achieved success.

I own my life.  Every facet of my life is due to my actions leveraged with the blessings of my Lord.  For better or worse, this is my life, and I’m going to own it until I take my last breath.  I won’t allow excuses to drive my life, will you?  Are you owning your life?  Think about your most recent failure.  Why did you fail?  Is there anything you can do better next time?  Take ownership of your life and live it to the best of your ability.  Don’t blame others, be quick to apologize, and quick to forgive.  Give God the glory in all aspects of your life and just own your baggage and move on.  It’s not easy, but a principle of success that will never let you down if you just make it a habit to take ownership of your life.  What parts of your life are you not owning, why not?

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