This may seem like a strange title for “99 Words for Leaders to Live By” or for Living Life in general, but the truth is, it follows directly from the first three on my list: Integrity; Honesty; and Trust.”

From my perspective, one of the major problems in our world today is that people don’t own their lives — they find excuses for everything. Ergo, it’s okay to lie, cheat,  treat people badly, act like only they matter, find reasons that they are right and everyone else is wrong, be a jerk, step all over everyone in the course of making their life work for them…

Do I sound upset? I hope I do, because this IS a huge issue.

There is a scene in “Silver Linings Playbook,” where the lady protagonist is talking to the male protagonist about how she has given and given of herself until she is empty — and she is wondering why people can’t give of themselves. Why people keep taking without offering something back. Sometimes you do reach a point where you’re all given out and you would like nothing better than to have someone put their arm around your shoulders and say, “Thanks. I appreciate you.”

Are you one of the givers? Or one of the takers? Do you own what you do and say? Do you REALLY own what you do and say without offering excuses for everything that doesn’t fit who you think you are? Or more importantly, who you want to be?

Yes, we all fall away from our ideal at times. That’s what this blog is about, really — reminding ourselves. That’s what I’m doing for myself, too.

Here’s another cute quote, that  is very appropo : I have a tee shirt from “Life is Good” that says, “Be the person your dog thinks you are.”

Now THAT is something to live up to.

One way or another, pets are who they are — not much subterfuge there. You get out what’s been given and if you’ve given love, you get that and more back.

Ownership is about being love, being kind, being honest, being trustworthy, having integrity, really making an effort to be the person you think you are and want to be. Every day, many times a day, we do things, make decisions, say things that speak to our ownership of ourselves.

Who are you going to be today?

Who are you going to be tomorrow?

Own it!!!

Love, Joe Koob

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