Five years ago, I read a book called The 4-Hour Workweek and made a life-changing decision: to become an entrepreneur.
I decided to start my journey by building a successful blog about optimal living. It felt like a good “stepping stone” — it would move me in the right direction without overwhelming me. But immediately, I was faced with three challenges:
- I had never built a blog.
- I didn’t know how to it.
- I didn’t know anyone who knew how to do it.
Before long, self-doubt started spreading through my consciousness like wildfire. Part of me wanted to freak out, go have a beer (or five) and try to forget about this crazy idea… But luckily, I had a secret weapon: a rare psychological principle I call The All-In Method (AIM).
In this article, I’m going to teach you how to use this mental model to generate extraordinary courage and unshakable tenacity so you can radically increase your odds of success in any project.
This Method Is Your Secret Weapon to Succeed at Anything
Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
– Dale Carnegie
We live in a society with the shortest attention span in human history, and most people have forgotten the power of radical focus.
In other words, most of us tend to commit to something… until it gets too hard or something more exciting comes along. They say they want a particular result, but they’re all talk. Within a few weeks, they get distracted or discouraged, and they have nothing to show for it.
The All-In Method is the opposite. It states that:
If you really want something, you must go all in. You must push all your chips in the middle. Have the balls to go for it, and the character to follow through.
If you don’t, you’ll keep being wishy-washy, falling off track in times of difficulty, and being dissatisfied by your life.
But when you do go all in, something magical happens.
Forces dormant within you will awaken.
You’ll come alive in a whole new way.
And the Universe will bend.
Hack your doubts
This sounds great in theory, but how do we do that in practice?
Here’s the trick: you have to go all in… strategically. Because, let’s be honest, it’s hard to fully commit to a project when:
- You’re not sure it’s going to work.
- You’re not sure you’re going to be good at it.
- You don’t know if it’s actually your path.
But the only way to find out is to try it. So what do we do?
Let’s go back to my original story for a minute…
Since I’d never built a successful blog before, I didn’t know if I would enjoy it or be any good at it. And while I was excited about it, I had no way of knowing if this was actually the right path for me. So committing to it felt terrifying.
But in order to have a chance at success, I HAD to commit. (Can you see the paradox here?). So here’s what I did: I “strategically committed.” I decided to go all in for a 6-month period, at which point I would evaluate how this experiment was going.
Take your dreams out for a test drive
In practical terms, I committed to going all in from June 1st to December 1st, 2011 (the same date I’d graduate from my MBA and leave Australia to return to Canada). This gave me a 6-month window to play full out, test things out, and see if I had what it took to pull it off. GAME-TIME BABY!
For that amount of time, I would give it my absolute best and bulletproof my mind against insecurities, doubts and weak thinking.
Over the next six months, I honored my commitment by working on the blog every night after my MBA classes for 3-4 hours and staying in on Friday nights while everyone was out partying.
Because I was so focused, I felt on fire and it wasn’t long before the results started coming.
Two days before the end of the six months, I had an article go viral for the first time and things started blowing up.
On my plane ride back to Canada, it was time to evaluate the experiment by asking myself three questions:
- Is this project working?
- Am I enjoying it?
- Is it leading me in the right direction?
Since the answer to all three was a resounding “YES!”, I decided to recommit for a full year and see where it would take me.
Soon after, the blog became a profitable business, I got to speak at Stanford and UCLA, and I started living the life I had envisioned while reading The 4-Hour Workweek.
And you want to know the truth? None of this would have happened if I hadn’t started with the 6-month, rock-solid “strategic commitment.”
It’s your turn to go all in
So now, let’s turn it over to you:
What’s a project you’ve been thinking about or working on… but that you haven’t fully committed to yet?
Is it a business project?
A relationship with a certain someone?
Is it a body transformation?
Or a spiritual journey?
Whatever it is, if you don’t commit, you’ll keep coming up short and disappointing yourself. So here’s my invitation to you:
Commit to going strategically all in by answering these four questions:
- How long are you willing to commit for?
- What work do you need to put in?
- What support do you need?
- What bad habits do you need to cut out?
Make a choice. Commit to it. And then go for it.
You’ll be astounded by how much fun life can be when you really get after it, and how rapidly success can come your way.
As T Herv Ecker said, “If you’re only willing to do what’s easy, life will be hard. But if you’re willing to do what’s hard, life will be easy.”
Here’s to doing what’s hard — and reaping the benefits for a lifetime.