Monday, August 02, 2010

How to Commit with Both Feet

Although I started wearing a nametag in 2000, it wasn’t until 2005 that I officially got the nametag tattooed on my chest.

Interestingly, that was also the same year my company started making money.

Huh. Weird.

I guess that’s what happens when you commit with both feet:

The world doesn’t just pay attention – it pays dividends.

And not just financially. Additionally, when you commit with both feet:

You no longer stand immobile.
You unlock the doors of creativity.
You arrest the interest of the world.
You put the strength of heart behind you.

When you commit with both feet:

You stop accepting excuses that used to work.
You connect with others who are similarly committed.
You liberate yourself from the tyranny of rational hesitation.
You watch providence move to orchestrate the perfect conditions to achieve your goals.

NOTICE: I said, “commit.”

Not fiddle with.
Not dabble in.
Not hope for.

Commit.

As in, “Baby, I’m gonna get your name tattooed on my ass.”

Here’s how to do it:
1. Being sure sure helps. In the bestselling book Eat, Pray, Love, author Elizabeth Gilbert writes, “Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face: You really need to be certain it’s what you want before you commit.”

But this isn’t about tattoos. Or having babies. If you’re about to commit with both feet, you better love the shoes you’re wearing. Because it’s a long, rocky journey with a lot of potholes and the occasional cowpie.

My suggestion is: Listen to your body. It will always speak to you – and it will never lie to you. As you ponder your decision to commit, forget about what you think. Your mind is a moron.

Instead, pay attention to how you feel, what you feel and where you feel. Otherwise you might end up listening to the wrong advice. Are you listening to biofeedback or ego feedback?

2. Choose your commitment device. If your commitment isn’t symbolized, memorialized and personified in a tangible way, you’re just winking in the dark. When you choose to make the leap, employ a commitment device that stays in front of your face. Daily.

This provides you with a self-accountable incentive to keep your covenant. Plus, it affords you the opportunity to share your commitment with the people around you.

Especially your boss, who’s been curiously wondering why, exactly, you have a severed goat’s head on a stick in your office. Whatever. The flies aren’t that bad anyway. Besides, clients love it. How will you communicate that you are fully committed?

3. Make turning back impossible. Everybody has their own version: The Moment of Truth. The Fateful Day. The Crossroads. The Pivotal Point. The Crucial Occurrence. The Hinge. The Irreversible Moment of Momentum. The Rubicon. The Zero Hour.

I call this “The Sticky Situation,” or the point of no turning back. And it’s essential to committing with both feet.

For me, it was getting the tattoo. What was yours?

And maybe you haven’t crossed that threshold yet. No problem. Instead, starting thinking about what it will look like (and feel like) when you make turning back impossible.

Yes, it’s a terrifying prospect. But your life will never be the same. Like Bill Cosby said, “Anyone can dabble, but once you've made that commitment, your blood has that particular thing in it, and it's very hard for people to stop you.” 
Are you willing to passionately pursue the point of no return?

4. A unity of effort is required. The word commitment comes from the Latin committere, which means, “to unite, connect, combine and bring together.” This makes sense, considering that committing with both feet requires every available resource you’ve got.

Whether you’re starting a family, starting a blog or starting a business, there’s one thing you can count on:

It will take all of you.

And if you’re not passionately pursuing vision-consistent action, you’re likely to wind up as (yet another) decaying slab of road kill on the highway of life. Dee-licious.

Remember: Commitment without action is trash talk. Are you flapping your gums or shuffling your feet?

5. Have your armor ready. Whatever you commit to, there will always people waiting – excitedly – for you to fail. Why? Because they feel disenfranchised by your success. And they can’t stomach the fact that you actually committed with both feet.

That’s why, with every victory you achieve, they grow increasingly insecure about their own lack of growth. Next time one of these losers tries to dump his Haterade cooler over your head, remember what Epictetus wrote in The Art of Living:

“Be not diverted from your duty by any idle reflections the silly world may make upon you, for their censures are not in your power and should not be at all your concerns.”

Remember: Never apologize for being assertive about your commitment. How will you handle those who hate you?

6. Surround your dream with support structures. Success never comes unassisted. That’s why I have a team – not just one, but a team – of fifteen mentors. Each of them serves a unique purpose, and each of them I’m forever indebted to.

My suggestion is: If you plan commit with both feet – be it to relationship, a business or a major life decision – don’t even consider take another step until you have support flowing from many fountains.

From friends to family to faith to mastermind groups to online message boards where you can safely and anonymously tell complete strangers how you really feel, I guarantee you’ll need every tool in your arsenal.

Because when you think about quitting (which you probably will) and when you get knocked on your ass (which you definitely will), you will need shoulders to cry on.

The tricky part is, you never know how strong – or how weak – your support structure is until your world crumbles into a million bloody pieces. Don’t wait to find out. Who’s got your back?

IN THE END: The reason commitment is such a daunting leap is because there’s nothing more terrifying than getting exactly what you want.

Look:

I know you’re allergic to change.
I know you’re afraid of getting hurt.
I know you’re scared of new responsibility.
I know you’re fearful of foregoing your freedom.
I know you’re worried about losing your identity.
I know you’re still aching from being burned before.

But you know you’re tired of being one foot in.

It’s time to strap on your best stilettos and step out into the world.

The fruit will be worth it.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you ready to commit with both feet?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "62 Pieces of Advice Busy Executives Need to Know, but Don’t Have Time to Learn on Their Own," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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