Are You All In?

It’s interesting to me how often we are totally wrong about what is possible for us. Us humans aren’t very good at predicting things, particularly when it comes to predicting what we’re capable of. A lot of that has to do with the assumptions we make about ourselves and the world.

And a lot of those assumptions are wrong.

That’s because success isn’t tied to experience and practice, as much as it’s tied to choice. That can be a bit uncomfortable to accept, but it’s often the truth.

Practice and repetition can help you to perform the neural pathways to coordinate a kick or punch in martial arts. Drills can help you to learn how to parry, evade, or block. Feints, counter attacks, and combinations can help to learn how to attack more effectively. But until you choose to hit, you probably won’t.

You can practice something over and over, and you can gain a lot of experience, but there’s something qualitatively different about choosing to be remarkable. When you decide that you are going to succeed, a shift happens in your mind. Instead of thinking about “how you might try to make it happen (maybe),” you move into a place of “this is going to happen, whatever it takes.”

You can try to write a great book, or you can choose to create a best-selling book.

You can try to be a great partner, or you can decide that that is what you’ll be.

You can practice balancing, or you can choose to not fall down.

You can make an effort to eat healthy, or you can make a choice that you will be healthy.

You can try to follow your passion, or you can decide that is the only path you will follow.

The interesting thing about making that shift to what is possible is that it would seem like deciding that something will happen would involve a lot of strain, controlling, and hard work. But the opposite is usually the case. When you’re trying to do something, it’s a lot harder because there’s a lack of confidence, belief, and complete commitment. You’ll usually seesaw back and forth from being energized and taking action to being frustrated and questioning your abilities.

And that wavering effort dilutes the power and force of your energy.

Being all-in, however, doesn’t include the energy drain of constant questioning and a waxing and waning commitment that takes a lot of energy to maintain.

Sure, sometimes doubts and fears will arise. But because you’ve given all of your heart, not half of it, you will have a much easier time overcoming those difficulties as they come. It’s easier to quell your doubts with your whole heart engaged, than when you’re internally divided.

Giving yourself over like this is probably one of the most challenging things you can do in your life. And it’s also one of the most important decisions you can make.

When you move in the direction of complete commitment to your path, you simultaneously move in the direction of radical honesty with yourself. And that means becoming honest with yourself about what you really do want. You say Yes to the real power that you have inside of you.

Ultimately, you say Yes to yourself.

After that, who knows what will happen. But I can bet that your life will probably never be the same.

photo courtesy of It’s Greg

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