I Tattooed The Greatest Lesson I’ve Learned From Chasing My Dreams On My Arm

These five words will change your life

Gregory Russell Benedikt
6 min readMar 19, 2024

“Are you really about to do this?”

My inner voice was deafingly loud as we walked down a quiet street on the outskirts of Osaka, Japan. I had never envisioned myself as someone who would get a tattoo, yet here I was — about to get my first tattoo from a stranger who spoke a different language.

Under normal circumstances, this idea would be insane. But given the context behind the proposed tattoo, it made perfect sense.

I clung to the small comfort that I was with one of my best friends in the world. But if I’m being honest, the only thing keeping my beating heart from tearing out my chest was the fact that he’d volunteered to go first.

Five words

The five words that were tattooed on my arm that day have changed the course of my life. This was the intended outcome, as the whole reason I was getting a tattoo was due to a concept called a “commitment device.”

According to James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, a commitment device is any action we take in the present moment to lock in a future action. It helps ensure that we will take desired actions in the future, instead of giving in to…