“Raise your right hand as high as you can. Now raise it a bit higher. We always hold some back. To create art and do something that no one has done before, you have to go all in.”
– Seth Godin
This was a small snippet of a great speech we heard at Leadercast 2015 and it really got me thinking. In an example that took 2 seconds and had no bearing on anything, our natural reaction is to hold back. Keep some in the tank. Give it less than our best in case something better comes along. This is a model we see all around us. Remember the football movie where the coach asks them to dig deep and they win the big game as time expires? How about the students who sit at their desk minutes before the test trying to get the last tidbits of knowledge packed into their brains? We are constantly being shown examples of people that hold back and most of the time it is portrayed as a good thing.
I would venture to say that the happy ending from that situation is missing out on its potential though. Anything in this life that’s worth doing is worth doing the right way. That right way includes, to borrow a phrase from Mark Batterson, going all in and all out. Especially in circumstances that we can influence the outcome, why would we give anything less than our best?
Perhaps the most tragic place that we see this played out is with our relationship with God. Many, many people (including me for a large portion of my life) would chase after God in some areas but hold onto others. Typically this involves some type of sin that makes us comfortable or feel like we are in control. For me, it was with my weight. I knew I was overweight, but I was comfortable in my bad eating habits. I went so far as to train for the Peachtree Road Race but I didn’t see any changes because I held onto my poor nutrition and didn’t feel the need to go after my health 100%. But God’s plan for our lives is perfect. Why would we sell ourselves short by holding back and not giving everything we have to Him? Given enough time, the results will be in our favor. Going all in may not be the easiest way or have the positive outcome we are looking for immediately, but in the long run doing life the right way, exerting our maximum effort every day, and fiercely fighting for our goals and dreams will create things that the world has never seen.
In what areas – relationships, careers, aspirations, finances, sports, leadership opportunities – are you holding back? I challenge you today to pick one and be sure that you give everything you have and work 100% to do all you can! I don’t believe that you will regret it.