When Jocko Willink, one of the most decorated Navy Seals, was serving in the Seals, the general would ask all the Seal commanders if they need anything for their Unit.
One commander would say “we need a new tire for our truck.” Another would say “we need more cold weather gear” etc and down the line they’d go.
When it came to Jocko, he would almost always say, “No sir, nothing needed.”
Were there things he needed? Of course. There were plenty of things he could have used but still he said nothing needed, practicing extreme ownership.
However, because he almost always said “nothing needed” in the rare case when he actually needed something, the general would get it to him ASAP. Immediately. No questions asked.
Jocko din’t just take ownership. He took extreme ownership. The playing field is never flat. Life will throw all sorts of curveballs at you. You can plan for things as much as you want but you will get punched in the face and your entire plan gets thrown out the window.
Extreme ownership is essentially a form of silence. And silence is the greatest form of contempt. By practicing extreme ownership, you are showing the ultimate form of “contempt” to all the curveballs, and obstacles that are thrown your way. It doesn’t matter to you that they’re there. It doesn’t matter to you that the playing field isn’t flat.
You. Don’t. Care.
You will control the controllables and you will own the outcome no matter what.