When was the last time you went ALL IN? Think about it, has there ever been a time in your life when you had a goal, a vision, a burning desire so deep to accomplish something that absolutely nothing could stand in your way? No matter the magnitude or complexity of the obstacle, or the distraction, your focus, grit, determination, blood, sweat and tears was going to get it done? What did that feel like? What were the outcomes?
I am willing to bet that anyone reading this and sincerely asking themselves those questions most likely could give a two part answer:
A. They crushed it.
B. They got knocked down over and over again along the way, each time learning something new and great about themselves, their personal character, and their relentless ability to go after what they believed in, almost blindly at times.
Why? Because failing miserably time and time again only to pick yourself up, clean the dirt off of your shirt, and create a new path towards your journey is far better than even your best day doing the dull, drab, mediocre, half-hearted crap you convince yourself is otherwise important! Churchill once said that "Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." I'm not 100% sure that I would say that is my personal definition of success, but it sure describes what it means to be ALL IN.
But if being so committed can assure not only great results, but also countless lessons about yourself, and your personal character, and can attribute to some of the greatest accomplishments in history, why then, is it so hard for a great number of people to commit? Commit to a relationship? Commit to a lifestyle change? Commit to their jobs? Commit to a dream?
Vulnerability, and resiliency, thats why!
We live in a time when we as humans highly value our safe space, and think far too deeply about "taking a risk," for fear of being embarrassed or "coming up short." Additionally, we are a "softer" breed than our ancestors. We value our safe-space and not many of us know what its like to get kicked in the teeth anymore. Adversity creates greatness, those who experience the most resistance, experience the most growth. The best athletes (Field Sport, and in Fitness) that I have ever competed against, coached, or trained around were the ones who were the most resilient. The best co-workers I have ever been around are the ones who don't fear failure, but view it as opportunity. The most inspirational leaders whom I have ever learned from were tough, they led from the front, had thick skin, and although may have been down at times, you could bet your bottom dollar they were never "out."
Is it because they possess some sort of magic quality that only leaders and elite performers are born with? Or is it because they were willing to go "ALL IN" on what they wanted, what they believed in, and what they cared most about, without letting the fear of failure, cost, and embarrassment run their lives and their decision making.
Make no mistake, commitment has cost me thousands of dollars, agony of defeat, heartbreak, and insulting embarrassment in my lifetime. But it has taught me lessons and shaped my character in ways that is worth millions. Maybe this is the difference, what all of those people who laughed at my failures, celebrated my short-comings, and broke my heart didn't understand, is that my level of commitment, and willingness to go all in is undefeated in the long game. The only thing that beats commitment, is giving up. In my opinion, thats not even a worthy adversary, its a personal choice. It's something that we can control. If you can understand that, you can also understand that unfortunately, we don't get to have it both ways, one foot in the door and one foot out. Its and all or nothing game, that can only be played with the tools I've listed above. You are either committed, all-in, or you're not! Anything else is just convincing yourself otherwise.
So the next time you see someone losing 50 pounds, or getting that promotion, or hitting a new training PR, or starting their own small business, just remember...
Going ALL IN isn't for everybody, but everybody CAN do it. Don't let the "cost" get in your way.
Owner, OPEX Upper Main Line