Saturday, October 08, 2016

Own the Outcome (OTO)

Recently I find myself repeating one phrase almost every day in a variety of circumstances - "Own the Outcome".

By this, I mean that we owe it to ourselves not to leave important things to random chance.  Instead, we need to consider the outcomes we want and make deliberate steps toward them.  We need to assert our will and control over the situations we can influence so that we can have the right results.

I know that not every situation is under our control, but I also find that we can all have far more influence over the outcomes in our lives than we probably realize. Martial Arts training is, at its core, a foundation to establish and reinforce goal setting and goal achievement.  We start each new level (belt) with a set of techniques to master and by the end, to achieve our next belt, we show the teachers what we have learned.  We prove to ourselves again and again that we can set new goals and, through hard work, focus and dedication, achieve these goals time after time.  We demonstrate to ourselves that we are winners - that we are in control.  We Own the Outcome.

Outside of class it is no different.  Whether at work, at school or at home, we can always set and achieve goals.   We can own the outcome of the things which are important to us by taking an active approach to engaging each task according to our plans.  Plans change, and adjusting is part of owning the outcome.  We do not affix blame; instead we accept causality and adjust accordingly.  Accepting feedback is an important part of tracking progress, and we use this to keep control on each step of our journey.

Owning the Outcome includes owning bad outcomes, too.  We must accept responsibility for our actions including mistakes we inevitably make.  Owning the outcome means forgiving yourself so you can be free to continue to move forward; accepting responsibility but not dwelling in negativity.

As an instructor, we have many outcomes we own --- outcomes for ourselves as instructors; outcomes for each student in our care (hopefully aligned with their desired outcomes for their training) and overall outcomes for the school which we contribute to.  We are part of a broader fabric and community, not just as individuals but collectively.

Unexpected developments are a part of daily life, but accidents rarely happen.  Most of the time, if we are focused on owning the outcome, we can foresee potential problems early enough to take preventive measures and avoid them.  When we can't, we need to adjust and be flexible without losing sight of the outcomes we want.

Fear, despair and depression are often the result of a (perceived) loss of control - the hopelessness of being unable to create change in our situation.  Developing a habit and discipline of Owning the Outcome is a great way to stay positive and keep momentum.  Empowerment is KEY.

I apologize in advance for those of you that see me regularly - expect to keep hearing this phrase since it applies so often.



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