Gian Paul Gonzalez – Go All In

This inspiring story about a father locking up his smartphone to spend time with his daughter will make you re-consider how you spend time with those you love.


The greatest change in the world happens small not big.

See often times we think big change has to start with these big mechanisms or big laws; they don’t. What does it mean to be committed? Let’s say you’re playing the game of poker and you push all your chips into the middle of the table. What does that signify? Justin Tuck was in the back of the room and I remember he raised his hand he said well that means you’re all in, you’re ready to win, you’re done going half way. I said okay, well what would happen if you were to push your chips in the middle of the table, everyone shows their cards and then you pull just your chips back and you tell everybody that you were just kidding. I remember he smiled and he said well if you’re playing poker at my house there’s a good chance you’re gonna get punched in the face. I said Justin, you’re right. If you would never do it in a game of poker, why do we do it with our lives? Why do we say we’re gonna be committed and when things get a little difficult, we step away from the table and say it’s not for me.

So I gave him a chip that night and I gave him a marker, like there wasn’t anything special about the chip, it wasn’t magic, it wasn’t blessed, but I said if you take that chip and you sign it, put it some place you see it, when you see it, not that it’ll ever make you perfect, but you simply ask yourself the question, am I really giving my best?

Some guys took the chip and they said they put it in their locker to see and touch before they played. They said it helped them play better, I guess. Other guys though, they took the chip and they said you know what I’m all in for football, but I haven’t been the husband or father that my family needs for me to be. I’m gonna take this and put it in the middle of my kitchen table at home.

But when you’re really committed, it’s about what you do when no one’s watching and it’s not just about looking good. Sometimes people ask me what my all in is and that’s about the time I take off this ring. See I put two words on the inside of my wedding ring. I made a promise that my one year old daughter, she’s gonna know who I am because I’m not going anywhere. Child psychology, they teach you that at 10 months old, kids can discern what you value most and they look to you serpid to make sure they can survive.

I purchased this thing, it’s a small plastic box. It has this little timer at the top and you set it and there’s no cancel switch. So you set it for a certain amount of time and whatever you put in the box it locks until the time runs out. I began to understand that I didn’t want my daughter to ever think piece of electronics is greater than her. I’m starting to put my phone in that box the first thing I do to let her know that that’s not more important than she is.

Now like I said, it’s made of plastic, so if I really want it I could break it, I don’t know what your all in is, only you do. See I don’t know if you all in starts at nine o’clock in the morning at your desk or maybe it’s this week when you go to make that extra visit or extra call maybe you’ll feel that chip in your pocket and even though it’s raining and it’s not the best conditions, you stay five minutes later.

Or maybe you’re all in honestly has nothing to do with any of that. Maybe your all in is as a father, mother, a brother, a sister, a son or daughter, or a parent. I don’t know what your all in looks like, only you do. Now sometimes people say, oh I’d love to be all in, I just don’t have enough time. I’ve found it’s not about making more time, it’s what we do with the time we have already. But it’s my hope that starting on this first day you’ll make it something that you live by as well.