Want Success? Take “Extreme Ownership” Of This One Thing


By Benjamin Hardy

“Commitment is a statement of what ‘is’. You can know what you’re committed to by your results, not by what you say your commitments are. We are all committed. We are all producing results. The result is proof of a commitment.”

—by Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, and Kaley Klemp

Look at your life right now. Whatever you see, that’s what you’re committed to.

Whatever you currently weigh, that’s the weight you’re committed to. However much money you make, that’s how much money you’re committed to making.

Your commitment in life is reflected, 100%, by the results you’re currently getting. If you were committed to something else, you’d have different results.

If you want more success, you must FULLY OWN the results you get in your life. This includes the results you’re currently getting, and the results you want to get.

If you want a better life, then OWN IT! Commit to that better life. Your level of results will directly demonstrate your level of commitment to those results.

In this short article, I’m going to shift your mindset. I’m going to explain 5 principles for increasing your commitment to specific results you want.

  1. Commitment To Specific Results: Forces You To Be Transparent
  2. Commitment To Specific Results: Clarifies Your Identity
  3. Commitment To Specific Results: Requires You To Improve
  4. Commitment To Specific Results: Enhances Motivation
  5. Commitment To Specific Results: Increases Your Faith

Let’s begin:

Commitment To Specific Results: Forces You To Be Transparent

“All progress starts by telling the truth.”

—Dan Sullivan

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

―Brené Brown

How honest are you about what you REALLY want?

For most people: not very honest.

It takes radical honesty, courage, and vulnerability to express genuine desires. Instead of fully owning and declaring what we want, we push down our desires and accept something lesser.

What would happen if you FULLY OWNED what you truly want?

Here’s what would happen: You’d get what you truly want.

But what have you committed to instead? Well, you’ve committed to whatever it is you currently have.

All progress starts by telling the truth. If you want to move forward in your life, you must fully own what is your current reality.

You must own that everything in your life is what you’ve allowed into your life.

  • Your weight.
  • Finances.
  • Relationships.
  • Results.

Your results, not your intentions, are what you’re committed to.

The most powerful and honest thing you could do in your life is to be more honest about what you TRULY want. Start telling everyone what you really want.

That’s a huge step toward genuine commitment. Commitment is embodied in words, actions, and results.

  • How committed are you to the life you truly want?
  • How committed are you to showing up without needing to compare your results to anyone else?

If you committed to the results you know deep within yourself you could get, you’d shock everyone around you.

You’re so much more powerful than you’re currently showing up. We all are. We’ve all committed to a far lesser life and results than we need to.

Are you ready to be more honest and commit to better results?

Commitment To Specific Results: Clarifies Your Identity

“The analogy of the future self as another person may seem like a strange one, but it is rather powerful when it comes to understanding long-term decision-making.”

—Dr. Hal Hershfield

“Never mind searching for who you are. Search for the person you aspire to be.”

―Robert Brault

Your identity is the byproduct of your goals and future aspirations. The challenge for most people is that their goals are not entirely clear. Thus, their identity is muddled.

People over-attach to things that have occurred in their past. This is the essence of “trauma,” which produces a fixed mindset and black-and-white thinking about the world and the self.

The more confident you become, the more flexible you are about your identity.

The more confident you become, the faster you make decisions and then aggressively move toward those decisions.

You move forward without perfect knowledge, trusting yourself and your ability to figure it out along the way.

Confidence is the byproduct of commitment.

Confidence is what you get after you’ve committed to something. Thus, if you’ve committed to get healthy, then you’ve gotten healthy. Because commitment can only be measured in results, not intentions.

Commitment leads to confidence, because confidence is the byproduct of results. In sports, if you make a shot, your confidence increases. But you won’t make the shot if you’re not committed to that.

Commitment pushes past failure until it gets the result it wants. Once the result comes, confidence grows. With increased confidence comes clarity of vision and the proactive ability to set tangible goals.

When you set clear and tangible goals, your identity then becomes clarified as well.

There is nothing more powerful than a clear identity. When your identity is clear, then your actions and behaviors are aligned.

Without a clear identity, you get tossed around by all of the distractions in the world. You get tossed around by other people’s agendas. You don’t hold yourself to a high standard. You don’t have a clear filter of the world.

Your goals ARE your filter.

Your goals determine your identity.

  • How clear is your filter?
  • How powerful is your identity?

Dan Sullivan has said, “The bigger your future, the better your present.” The reason this statement is true is that, the bigger your goals, the more powerful is your identity.

Other people may not see your identity, yet. But if you remain committed to your goals, your identity will eventually emerge as the “real you,” which everyone else can clearly see.

If you’re not committed to anything, then you are nobody.

A strong and powerful identity requires commitment to something.

Commitment is rare, and thus, so is a genuine and powerful identity.

Commitment To Specific Results: Requires You To Improve

“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.”

—Pearson’s Law

“Track every action that relates to the area of your life you want to improve. All winners are trackers.”

—Darren Hardy

When you become committed to specific results, you begin tracking your performance. You own the fact that your results reflect your commitment.

Therefore, when you commit to something higher, your track yourself religiously.

You get to know every little detail about what is currently happening. For instance, if you’re serious about increasing your financial success, you must track every penny and dollar.

You’ve got to become aware of your spending habits. You’ve got to be aware of how much you’re currently making.

If you want to make more, you must COMMIT to making more. If you’re committed, truly committed, then you’ll make more.

Committing to specific results allows you to fully own your current results. Owning current results requires knowing and tracking them.

As you track, you become more aware and motivated.

You’ll want to see those results go up.

You’ll get hungrier.

You’ll get more aggressive.

You’ll make more POWER MOVES. A power move is a decision or action that aggressively advances you toward your ultimate aim.

POWER MOVES are a leap of faith. They are your “future self” imposing his or her will on your current situation.

  • What are you currently tracking?
  • How serious is your awareness?
  • What improvements have you made in the past 90 days?

Commitment To Specific Results: Enhances Motivation

“We see in order to move; we move in order to see.”

―William Gibson

“Every affirmation of identity echoes earlier moments of clarity.”

―Mary Catherine Bateson

The fact of the matter is this: You cannot be motivated without a goal.

Motivation only exists as the emotional and behavioral fuel to obtain an outcome. For example, you’re motivated to eat when you’re hungry. When you’re not hungry, you’re not driven to eat.

According to the Expectancy Theory of Motivation, motivation comes from three sources:

  1. A desired goal or outcome
  2. Your knowledge of HOW to get that desired outcome
  3. Your confidence that you can do whatever is required

Put simply: Motivation requires a goal.

The clearer the goal: The deeper motivation.

If you want something, but don’t know HOW to get it, then you’ll lack motivation. As you learn more about it, and become more competent, you’ll become more motivated.

Hence, competency creates confidence, and confidence further enhances motivation.

Therefore, if you think you want something, but aren’t actually moving toward it, then you aren’t committed enough to learn.

If you’re committed, you will learn. You’ll become knowledgeable. You’ll fail your way to competency. You’ll fail your way to confidence.

You’ll learn learn learn and become an expert at whatever it is you want.

You’ll OWN IT.

Every step forward toward your goal will increase your confidence, and thus, increase your motivation.

As you get more confident, your goal will become clearer. You’ll also be more willing to actively pursue that goal, no matter how big.

You will be willing to openly, honestly, and vulnerably say: “This is what I want. This is what I’m going for. This is what I’m committed to.”

Such a bold action will undoubtedly increase your motivation, especially as you take action steps toward that goal and reality.

Every action step you take forward solidifies your identity. In psychology, “self-signaling” is the idea that our actions and behaviors DEMONSTRATE to ourselves who we are.

What are you committed to? Start acting the part and your identity toward that commitment will become solidified.

Your future self, in this regard, is an acquired taste.

You want it in your mind, but you don’t truly want it behaviorally and emotionally.

In order to get there, you must push your commitment forward, through your emotional resistance and fears. With each proactive choice toward your goals, you’ll BELIEVE more and more that you are, or can become, the person you truly want to be.

Each small step forward builds confidence in a specific identity.

Each small step forward demonstrates COMMITMENT toward a result.

  • How motivated are you toward your current goals?
  • How much confidence do you have?
  • How many steps have you taken toward your goals today?

Commitment To Specific Results: Increases Your Faith

“A definite purpose, backed by absolute faith, is a form of wisdom and wisdom in action produces positive results.”

―Napoleon Hill

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

―Helen Keller

It takes guts to commit to specific results.

  • Anyone can say:“I would like to do this…”
  • Or, “I think I want this…”
  • Or, “This would be cool…”

It’s an entirely different matter when you say, “I’m going to do this.”

It takes faith and courage to commit to specific results. But committing to specific results is how you produce “miracles” in your life.

According to Hal Elrod:

“A miracle is any meaningful outcome that is beyond the realm of what you believe is probable for you.”

“Miracles” are outcomes which are beyond your current level of ability or circumstances, wherein outside forces support you.

Consider this quote from William Hutchison Murray:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson put it this way:

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”

The true definition of “decision” is to cut-off alternative outcomes. It means you’re 100% committed to something highly specific.

100% commitment takes all questions out of the equation. You’re no longer wondering what will happen or occur. You’re committed! As Harvard business professor Clayton Christensen said:

“100% is easier than 98%.”

When you’re only 98% committed, it means you’re not committed at all. It means you’re still on the fence. It means you haven’t totally decided.

And when you’re undecided, you can’t intentionally and aggressively create miracles in your life.

You can’t act with boldness and faith.

Faith creates miracles.

Faith changes everything you’re doing. It allows for magic to happen in your life. Here’s what author Roald Dahl said about that:

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

It takes humility and courage to commit to specific and seemingly impossible results. But it’s how you increase and EXERCISE your faith.

You can’t get strong without exercising your body. You can’t increase your faith without powerfully moving toward specific goals.

Exercising your faith means boldly pursuing what you genuinely seek and desire. It means committing. It means praying for divine assistance. Faith is not passive, but insanely active.

You sit in your journal and strategize about what you’re trying to do. You meditate and pray for inspiration. You then act on your ideas.

You invest in your ideas. You be proactive, not reactive. You be active, not passive. You happen to the world, not let the world happen to you.

You’re moving.

You’re shaking.

You’re creating.

And miracles come. They come in increasing abundance. And with each miracle, your humility, faith, and confidence increase.

Your results increase dramatically. Thus, demonstrating your level of commitment.

Conclusion: What Are You Committed To?

Look at your results right now: That’s what you’re committed to.

If you want different results, then you’ll need to fully commit to THOSE results.

There are a lot of people out there who say you shouldn’t commit to specific results, but instead, should keep your options open or focus on “the process.”

Yes, you need to focus on the process. But that process is a byproduct of the goal, not the other way around.

If you have a goal to be a millionaire in 5 years or less, the process to get that goal will be different than if your goal is to be a bodybuilder in 5 years or less.

The goal determines the process.

The results you get along the way, which you should be relentlessly tracking, also influence and shape your process. If you’re not getting the results you want, you must CHANGE your process.

Commitment allows you to learn and change and grow into the results you seek.

What will you commit to?

Whatever it is you commit to, you’ll get it.

About Author: 

Benjamin P Hardy is the bestselling author of Willpower Doesn’t Work, which explains the profound impact your environment has on your behaviour, mindset, and success. He is an organizational psychologist, speaker, entrepreneur and a father to five kids.

(Article published in partnership with BenjaminHardy.com)