When we fail at a task or goal, we’re often quick to blame all the external circumstances for why we didn’t achieve what we wanted.
It was too expensive, we didn’t have the support or experience, we don’t need to change that much. There are hundreds of excuses and reasons for not seeing something through. This is usually all mulled over during the trough of despair.
In truth, the only reason anyone fails anything, is because they didn’t want it badly enough. This might be a harsh and uncomfortable truth, but it is the truth. You fail at things because you didn’t want it badly enough.
In short, you weren’t committed enough.
I can hear people yelling at me now, through the paper “that’s bullshit. Mike doesn’t know my circumstances. I couldn’t do it.” Whatever you need to tell yourself man.
Every time I have failed at anything, it’s because I didn’t want it badly enough. If someone else beat my time, scored more, ran faster. It’s because they wanted it more than me.
If someone has more money, a bigger house, travelled more. It’s because they wanted it more than me. It’s as simple as that.
Commitment means wanting something longer and with more effort than anyone else. It means working for something longer than the universe is willing to withhold it from you.
This is not to say that you need to be competitive or compare yourself to others. In fact I’d argue that it’s a massive waste of time to compare yourself to others at all. Their success doesn’t withdraw your chances of being successful. Someone who is wealthy doesn’t care if you’re wealthy or not.
Seeing someone else succeed doesn’t remove chances that you’ll succeed. If anything, it increases the chances.
I personally, am quite competitive. But never jealous or envious. In sport or games, yeah, I want to win. I want to win big and win all the time. I love to win. But if I lose I know the only person I can blame, is myself. I just didn’t want it as badly as everyone else playing.
Maybe I didn’t want it badly enough to train harder every week, or train more times a week. I could have spent more time learning the rules or studying strategies.
Recently a friend of mine asked me about publishing my first book, From Single To Scale. He was so adamant that I couldn’t have written a book before him that he assumed I had it ghost written.
The numerous typos, spelling errors and poor grammar will attest to the fact that I did write it myself. No self respecting ghost writer would publish my first book in the state it was in.
When I asked him why he was upset, he responded “because I’ve been working on a book for years. It’s unfair that you’ve got one out before me. You’re not even a writer!”
Rather than get angry at him (which I was) I explained to him that I didn’t consider myself a writer. But I knew the benefits that having a book would bring me. I wanted those benefits so I was willing to commit to the process in order to reap those benefits.
“It’s easy for you though Mike, you don’t have kids and you run your own business. You can take your time to write. You don’t have other obligations.”
Notice that his justification has changed. At first it was unfair because I hired a ghost writer (which turned out not to be true). Now it’s because my circumstances are easier than his.
Training for a Muay Thai fight, skydiving, travelling around the world, running a business, writing a book. These are all activities that require commitment. Commitment is deciding that you want the results and benefits more than the excuse.
I retorted to my friend, though he was testing my patience at this point, exactly how I did it. How I wrote a book before him and why my timetable has nothing and everything to do with it.
I’ve already outlined the process earlier in this book. I committed to giving myself 2 hours a day to write. I found 2 hours. I woke up earlier. Went to bed later. I gave up watching TV for a while. No more video games and mindless browsing on Reddit.
This was apparently something that only I could do. He didn’t have those opportunities. The option wasn’t available to him. Only I was lucky enough to wake up early and find 2 hours a day for 60 days. It just wasn’t possible to him.
This is a man in the same species that has travelled into space. Run marathons close to (or even under) 2 hours.
At the age of 5 Dustin Carter lost all 4 of his limbs to a blood infection. He’s a wrestler. He’s a wrestler with a 41-2 record at his high school.
He can train, do pull-ups, win wrestling matches, lift weights, drink his vitamin water. The only thing he can’t do according to his trainer, is cut his own steak.
Defeat is a mindset that you accept. Just as you accept that you’ve “won” something, you also accept defeat. It’s entirely within your mind whether you win, or lose.
Here’s the deal though. Winning is just a measure of perseverance and time. That’s all. Defeat is when YOU choose to call it quits.
Sure we could say that your competition, un-supportive family and friends, random people and internet trolls want you to quit.
It’s interesting my friend’s perception on running my own business. As if the money just flows into my bank account. Like people with jobs are the only ones who have to earn a crust.
My businesses requires 24 hour a day attention. I can’t just take a few hours off here and there without there being repercussions. My mortgage company doesn’t say to me “well, if you’re running your own business don’t worry about the bills. Those are only for people with jobs.” I still have to earn money and spend time working.
Again, I knew that the long term benefits of writing a book, outweighed the short term benefit of sleeping in.
Commitment isn’t a magic thing that some people have and others don’t. It’s something that you decide to give. You decide for how long and how much. But it will be returned to you. Remember the 2nd law of Universe Fuel.
Universe Fuel is created with momentum and will return more than is put in.
The more you commit, the longer you commit and the more you give, the more is returned to you in time.
You have to decide if you’re committed to the longer term results, more than the short term benefits.