I believe in commitment
80% is never enough and I don’t think giving something 99% is either. For me its the people that give total commitment that win the day.
If you have ever seen an Olympic race of any kind, you’re well aware of how tiny the difference is between the gold medal and last place. I used to think that the difference between first and last in the Olympics was so minute because some people could just work a little harder and get a little faster. I once believed that the difference between average and great was the difference between 99% and 100%.
I was wrong.
The difference between 99% and 100% is never actually that . most people who don’t commit 100% to a task do not end up with 99%. They commit only 80% or worse, which is a far cry from the discipline that they need in order to be successful. Suddenly, it is always “1% time” to break their commitment.
When you commit to 100% for anything, you make it non-negotiable to your subconscious mind. You are ensuring that whatever task you are trying to maintain goes from a “should” to a “must”. Doing anything differently is not an option because it wouldn’t be you. When you commit 100% to something, you define yourself with it.
When you commit to 99% for anything, there is always room for negotiating. You may believe in the benefits, but you realize that “eating a single cake isn’t going to kill me.” Sure, it might not kill you, but sticking to your practice will not last long.
Burning the Boats
Many ancient Greek armies landed on foreign soil during military campaigns and used a 100% approach to their fighting style. Rather than committing to fight hard, but retreat back to their ships if needed, the Greek commanders used to burn the boats.
Without any escape or route home, the men had to win or die. It was that simple. No matter what you are doing in life, burning the boats is still applicable. Mentally, you must ensure there is no way out. Dedicate yourself completely to the task. It is what you do. It is you.
Why is It Easier
In some ways, 100% is easier because it ensures there are no exceptions. If it is non-negotiable, there is no excuse good enough to avoid something. With 99%, there is always a small space for short term gratification to overcome your long term goals.
There Are No 99% Leaders
The 100% commitment mentality is also an incredible tool for leaders as well. Numerous data-driven studies performed by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner in “The Leadership Challenge” show that credibility is the foundation of leadership. In other words, do you walk the talk? Do you commit to the principles you espouse?
You can talk as much as you want, but until you display an unyielding discipline in the pursuit of success, nobody is going to follow you. This doesn’t just apply to CEOs and politicians – this applies to all of us.
Without a 100% commitment for yourself, you give others a terrible example. Not only is your commitment not important to you, but it indicates that it isn’t that important in general.
People reading this blog are leaders in some way and being a role model will help improve the world. If you aren’t going to commit 100% for yourself to be successful, commit for other people who are counting on you to guide them.
Accountability to other people is one of the best methods to go from 99% to 100%. If you are starting something new, discuss it with your family, discuss it with your friends, produce some relationships and tell a stranger, blog about it, or shout it from the rooftops.
The best place to create accountability is where you are tempted to break your commitment the most. Going to dinner with a friend? Tell them about your diet before you order. You’ll look like a fool if you don’t stick to your guns, which will help you do it! Want to achieve in business, tell your friends and family about your 100% commitment to success.
While psychologists might consider willpower to be a finite resource, that doesn’t mean it is not a muscle like any other. Just like working out in the gym, if you try a huge weight at the beginning, you are going to fail. Working towards small goals and growing your willpower muscle will allow you to be 100% committed to more practices.
Be Proud of Your Commitment
Having pride will actually make it far easier to commit 100% to something. A good friend tried to quit drinking alcohol, but considered his choice “lame,” which he told to friends when asked why he didn’t drink. When changing his mentality and considering his choice “awesome”, it was much easier. Having pride in your commitment can improve you psychological capability to stick to the habit.
No Exceptions Discipline
Nobody is going to be perfect, but taking a 100% commitment approach will be far more effective for reaching your goals. Not only will you find it easier to stick to, but you will show the path for many others. There are psychological and physiological advantages to burning the boats – flame on!
Successful people adhere to the “no-exceptions rule” when it comes to daily disciplines. Once you make a 100% commitment to something, there are no exceptions. It’s a done deal. Nonnegotiable. Case closed I believe.
Nigel Green deVere Group