2014 A Year of Commitment

When a year is winding down, it is naturally to reflect on what meaning one takes from the year. That is the process that I’ve been going through recently as a realize that we are about to put another year “in the books”. For me, 2014 has been a year without equal. It has been the year of breakthough. In these final days of the year, however, I’ve come to realize that for me and many of you what stands out most in 2014 is the consistent commitments that I made. Those commitments have changed everything.

Over the course of this year, I have written many blog posts and recorded many podcasts in an effort to add value to my audience. As I look back over the year, it is interesting to see which posts and podcasts most resonated with you.

When I look at them it doesn’t take long to discern an underlying theme: “Commitment”.

What is it about “commitment” that speaks to our most basic and visceral emotions?

I love the way that  Lebron James, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) most dominant player today, talks about commitment.

“Commitment is a big part of what I am and what I believe. How committed are you to winning? How committed are you to being a good friend? To being trustworthy? To being successful? How committed are you to being a good father, a good teammate, a good role model? There’s that moment every morning when you look in the mirror: Are you committed, or are you not?”

I love this quote because it speaks to the multi-dimensionality of commitment. Commitment must be balanced. As James says, yes there is a commitment to winning. But, there is simultaneously a commitment to being a good person. Yes, there is a commitment to success. But,  ultimately genuine success can only be measured in  relationships.

How to Fail Your Way to Success

In his first inaugural address, March 4, 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression President Franklin D. Roosevelt coined the famous quote “…the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Powerful words at a time of national crisis—reminding us that fear is often our worst enemy in our efforts to reach our goals. One of the most prevalent fears is a fear of failure. While everyone has some trepidation about something. But, according to Psychology Today this fear of failure is so great that is overwhelms their motivation to succeed—often sabotaging their own chances of success and passionate pursuits. But, I would like to propose a paradigm shift—one in which failure is welcome—maybe even celebrated as the surest path to success.

We all fail. That is a fact of life.

  • Hall of fame baseball player, Ted Williams, is regarded as on of the greatest hitters in baseball history. But, he failed to get a hit nearly two-thirds of the time.
  • In 1995, author J. K Rowling completed her first Harry Potter novel only to have it rejected by all 12 publishing houses to which is was sent.
  • American inventor, Thomas Edison, is renown for the litany of failures that he experienced on his journey to discovering the optimal filament for the light bulb.

Yes. Failure is real. But, success can be on the other side of failure—if you keep going and apply learning along the way.

In fact, I would like to propose ten steps that can shift your mindset about failure—allowing you to experience that paragon of success in your own life.

Success is not about being the smartest, the prettiest, or the luckiest.

Rather, success is a commitment to consistency and persistency. And, you must be successful in your thinking before you can be successful in your doing.