“Until one is 100 percent committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness” -W.B. Murray
When you begin to read autobiographies, interviews, and memoirs of some of the world’s most successful people, you realize how committed they were.
Phil Knight (founder of Nike) grew Nike from a small shoe store into a world-famous dynasty because he believed.
Ray Allen (hall of fame level basketball player) was 100 percent committed to his craft, practicing for thousands of hours over decades in sweaty, dusty gyms.
Tina Fey had immense competition to get on Saturday Night Live. Her commitment to reaching that goal never wavered — she was 100 percent committed.
Steve Martin spent nearly 15 years of repetitive, constant practice before he became the top comedian in the world.
These, and countless other stories of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs, performers, and leaders, all share that theme — they were 100 percent committed while others were merely “interested”. They didn’t quit when everyone else did.
Of course, commitment in itself is no guarantee to success. There are countless entrepreneurs, Olympians, singers, actors, writers, and entrepreneurs who are 100 percent committed to their craft, yet haven’t achieved their goals yet.
That’s OK. Although commitment doesn’t guarantee success, a lack of commitment guarantees no success. You can’t be successful if you’re not 100 percent committed to your craft first.
You can have whatever you want — if you do whatever it takes.
“People are always asking me about the secrets and tricks I use to get results. Sorry if this disappoints you: there are no secrets. There are no tricks. It’s simple: ask yourself where you are now, and where you want to be instead.” –Tim Grover, Michael Jordan’s personal trainer
100 Percent committed: Decide BEFORE You Start When You Will Quit
“Decide before the race, the conditions that will cause you to stop or drop out. You don’t want to be out there saying, ‘Well gee, my leg hurts, I’m a little dehydrated, I’m sleepy, I’m tired, it’s cold and windy And talk yourself into quitting. If you are making a decision based on how you feel at that moment, you are probably making a bad decision.” –Dick Collins, ultramarathon runner
As Stephen Covey wrote in his famous book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:
Begin with the end in mind. If you don’t predetermine the context in which you will ultimately quit (and keep in mind, champions and winners quit the wrong things all the time) — you’ll always quit long before you could’ve.
You are more capable than you know. The Navy SEALS have a rule they call “the 40% rule”. Basically, this rule means: when your mind is telling you you’re done, you’re really only 40 percent done. Your body can keep going far longer than you mind believes.
When you fully commit before you start — to writing a blog, starting a business, losing 40lbs — you are telling your body that you will not quit until you reach your goal.
I’ve tried “going back to the gym” like, 50 times in my life. Every time I’d go back, I’d start strong and feel motivated to succeed (maybe you can relate?).
But then things would get hard. I’d lose motivation. I’d feel tired and exhausted. And after about 2–3 weeks, the same would always happen — I’d quit because it was too hard.
In reality, my body was able to lift far more weights for far longer than I thought — I just hadn’t predetermined when I’d quit. I hadn’t fully committed.
The reason most people haven’t achieved their goals yet is because they keep quitting when they should’ve kept going.
If you don’t commit first, odds are you’ll quit at the first few signs of fatigue and frustration.
“When you build a habit, you don’t have to spend mental energy deciding what to do.” –David Kadavy
Imagine an alcoholic who knows she needs to stop drinking. She vows to not drink the entire day. But she tells herself that, as a reward, she can drink for 5 minutes at the end of the day.
The entire day, that little treat — the cheat meal, the sugary coffee, a little porn, a little drugs , whatever your little “treat” is— hangs over your head. That’s all you can think about. In a twisted way, the source of the problem actually becomes the source of motivation.
Giving yourself this little out makes the process of quitting 100x harder.
In the words of Tony Robbins:
“If you want lasting change, you have to give up this idea of just trying something, and be 100 percent committed to mastery. That means not just “dabbling,” but fully immersing yourself. Because your life is not controlled by what you do some of the time, but by what you do consistently.” If you want to truly change any behavior, you need to let go of this idea of “98%” and commit to 100%.
You need to stop dabbling and actually become 100 percent committed. You need to be consistent. Otherwise, you’ll always be wasting energy trying to motivate yourself.
Most people dabble. They promise they’ll be good, but they leave themselves an out. This little safety net is a powerful message to their mind that says, “I probably can’t do this task.”
This message becomes incredibly powerful in your subconscious. Author David Schwartz described it like this: “Disbelief is negative power. When the mind disbelieves or doubts, the mind attracts reasons to support the disbelief.”
On the other hand, he says, “Belief, strong belief, triggers the mind to figure out ways and means how to.”
Alcoholics Anonymous describes how many new alcoholics often “hide bottles” around their homes, saving away secret booze as they pretend to look sober. To the outside observer, there’s no more alcohol. But it’s a lie.
You are more powerful than you think. You don’t need hidden bottles and safety nets.
You’ll be OK. The process of evolving in a better version of yourself feels like you’re literally killing off parts of you.
The truth is, you are. But that’s OK — you’re killing off the old so the new can thrive.
“Success is measured by the size of your belief. Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success.” –David Schwartz
You Keep Going Only When You’re Holding Onto Something Important
“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were…But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.
Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going, because they were holding on to something.”
-Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings
Often, the reason many people fail time and time again to achieve their goals is because they have the wrong goals.
If they really thought about it, “getting a 6-pack” or “becoming a millionaire before 40” isn’t actually what they want. Yet they punish themselves as they go to the gym, work long hours, not really making any meaningful progress.
It’s 10x more difficult to achieve goals that, deep down, you know are the wrong goals.
You need something clear, simple, and meaningful to keep you going on those early mornings, long nights, and repetitive practice sessions.
I once had a friend in college who was studying electrical engineering, one of the hardest possible majors. Surprisingly, he kept letting everyone know — “I don’t like engineering. I’m not passionate about it. But it pays good, so that’s what I’m studying.”
He opted to choose money over what really mattered to him.
But the money is almost never a good-enough motivator. He eventually changed majors. It was the wrong goal, so he eventually ran out of all motivation to continue.
You can keep going when you have something real and meaningful to hold onto.
But you’ll always fail when you don’t have that real, true motivator to keep going when your journey becomes difficult. And trust me — your journey will become difficult.
“The key to becoming world-class in your endeavors is to build your performance around world-class routines.” –Darren Hardy, former editor of SUCCESS Magazine
I was so addicted to pornography that my therapist told me to go to a 12-step program for it.
I remember going to the first meeting in the back room of a crowded Denny’s. I hated it. I grudgingly half-assed my way through the first year, embarrassed and arrogant, never gaining any traction.
But I wanted to get married to my now wife, Kimi. I knew it was time to get serious. So I stopped fooling around and decided I would do whatever it took to kick my habit.
Committing was really hard. But now that I’ve had several years of sobriety, I can look back and see how insanely harder it was to stay in my bad behaviors.
I woke up every day hating myself. I couldn’t even look at my eyes in the mirror for more than a couple seconds without turning away in shame. I was always thinking ahead about how to get my fix. I couldn’t relate with people, because internally I was totally empty. That was my life, every day.
Committing was hard, yes.
But years of dabbling and never being willing to do whatever it took were infinitely harder.
It may seem unthinkable now to be 100 percent committed to whatever you aspire to do. But know this — your future self would probably look at your life right now and remember just how much harder it was back then.
Written by: Anthony Moore