Susie Moore had been writing a book for two years. Thoughts of her book consumed her during every waking hour—when cooking, commuting to work, out with friends, on vacation— but she was making little progress. Until she heard about the 100% rule about being committed.
It took her only two months to finish her book after that. Her mantra became, “Write or die!” The power of being committed made decision-making easier for Susie and she accomplished her goal in record time.
So, today I want to tell you why the secret to success is making a 100% commitment to everything you do.
Being Committed 100% Is Easier Than a 99% Commitment
In every aspect of life, if something is worth doing, it’s worth giving 100% of your effort to it. Because a 99% commitment isn’t going to cut it.
Having any leeway at all in your convictions is inevitably going to lead to frustration, failure, and disappointment.
Why is it that 100% commitment is the key to success, while even a 99% commitment is a recipe for failure? Is there really that drastic a difference between a person who is 100% committed and someone who is 99% committed?
The answer is yes. There’s a huge difference.
You see, there is no gray area when it comes to commitment. Either you are fully committed or you are not.
When a person is 100% committed, they are unwavering. They aren’t going to let anything get in between them and their commitment.
But a person who is only 99% committed leaves open a window—however small—for their convictions to falter. And, given enough time, the convictions of someone who isn’t 100% committed almost always DO falter.
That’s why I always say 99% is a bitch, but 100% is a breeze. Because it’s so much easier to aim for a 100% track record than it is to aim for 99% and manage to hit your goal.
To understand the huge difference between fully committing to something and committing even a fraction less than 100%, imagine if surgeons were only 99.9% committed to performing the right surgery.
This would mean that over 500 incorrect surgeries would be performed each week!
Or imagine if your heart was only committed to beating 99.9% of the time. That would mean it would fail 32,000 times a year!
As you can see, there’s no room to give when it comes to commitment. Either something is worth 100% of your effort, or it’s not worth your effort at all. There is no in-between if you want to guarantee your success.
Sid Simon, one of my mentors, is a great example of this. In order to maintain his healthy eating habits, he decided that he would only eat ice cream on the day of the month when the moon was full.
He is 100% committed to this conviction, and everyone who knows him well is totally aware of this.
When more than 100 of his friends and family gathered to celebrate his 75th birthday, we knew he probably wasn’t going to eat the cake and ice cream that was being served—because it wasn’t a full moon that day.
We tried to get him to make an exception to his rule just that once.
We brought a huge cardboard cutout of a full moon covered with aluminum foil, and a few of the women even dressed up as moon goddesses.
Then, we gave him a very easy way out of his commitment, but he still refused to eat any ice cream that day.
There was no way he was going to break the commitment he had made to himself. He knew that once he made one exception, it would be easier to make another one.
That’s how he operates in all areas of his life, and it’s why he has been able to achieve so much success over the years.
How to Follow the “No Exceptions” Rule
Following the “no exceptions” rule is the only way to ensure that you are really 100% committed to something.
For example, if you are 100% committed to taking a 20-minute walk every day without exception, you will do whatever it takes to make sure it happens.
If an unexpected appointment prevents you from taking your walk at your regular time, you will adjust your schedule so you can walk at a different time, even if it’s up and down in the stairwell of your hotel.
If you are 100% committed to completing a big project by a specific deadline, you will do whatever it takes.
This includes staying up late and canceling social engagements to make it happen.
Not only does your “whatever it takes” attitude ensure you actually hit your goals, it demonstrates your level of commitment and determination to others.
And that will result in greater trust and respect, and more opportunities flowing your way.
But if you allow for one exception, and tell yourself, “It’s okay if I skip my workout today, just this once,” or “It won’t matter if I miss this one deadline,” it won’t be long before you find yourself skipping another workout, or missing another deadline, until your 100% commitment has devolved to barely any conviction at all.
Relationships Thrive on a 100/100 Agreement
This is true for relationships as well. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to give 100% in their relationships.
Many people view a relationship as a 50/50 agreement. You do 50% of the work and I’ll do 50% of the work. You give 50% of your effort and I’ll give 50% of mine.
However, successful relationships are not a 50/50 agreement at all—they’re a 100%/100% agreement.
Both you and your partner should be giving 100% of your effort every single day. Working to make them happy and keep the relationship strong should receive 100% of your attention, and they should be prepared to do the same for you.
If you do this, there will never be any resentment or concern that one of you isn’t doing your part in the relationship. Because you’ll both be giving it your all each and every day.
And think about this. How would you like to be married to someone who is only 99% committed to monogamy? You’d always be wondering when is that 1% going to show up.
Best of all, if you are both 100% committed, you’ll both be happier for it.
It’s an amazing feeling to know that someone else is 100% committed to you and to know that you are 100% committed to them. It’s the key to all successful relationships.
What’s Your Most Important Goal?
Now, here’s your homework to complete. Take a moment to think about something important in your life that you want to accomplish, but that you aren’t 100% committed to.
Then make the decision right now—today—to fully commit yourself to that goal and do whatever it takes to achieve it.
To help you stay on track with being committed to your goal, download my free 12-Month Success Planner. And remember, nothing will change for the better until you do.
As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Jack speaks around the world on this subject. Check out his newest book The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home. Follow Jack at www.jackcanfield.com and sign up for his free resources today!
Image courtesy of Judit Peter.