Go all in.
By now, the online course I’m creating is three months in the making. When it’s launched in August, it will have taken me about four months to complete. Plus the 13 years leading up to now that allowed me to bring together these teachings and learnings—and let’s not forget puppets—in this way. With just over a month to go, I am only now feeling the riskiness of what I’ve chosen to do.
At numerous points in my life, I have set out to accomplish something with no map and no rational justifications for my pursuit. The thing I’m reaching for is often financially precarious, at times physically dangerous, and I rarely end up exactly where I think I’m going to. What’s more, in an attempt to make sure I don’t bail in a moment of fear, I set myself up so that I have no choice but to go all in.
Going all in will look different depending on who you are and the life that you’re living. And while action is important, committing to your creative work begins as an internal process. It requires you to go all in mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It demands that you take yourself and your work seriously even if no one else will. And it asks you to prioritize your creative practice as an essential component of your wellbeing.
This is not an easy or comfortable process. The reason risk is scary is because failure is possible. Which is how you know if you’re taking a risk or just doing something that feels edgy. Going all in stretches your ability to be afraid and do it anyways. It also expands your capacity to notice the limits you’ve unconsciously created around what you think is possible for yourself creatively, financially, and otherwise.
Noting what you’re checking for to see if you can go all in on what matters to you is one way to make your subjective motivations more objectively observable. From there, you can decide if your checkpoints are serving you or if they’re preventing you from taking the risks you want to take. So if you’re struggling to give your creative work your all, you can change your beliefs or you can also change where you’re looking for affirmation.
One of my favourite checkpoints is death. When trying to decide if I need to go all in on something, I imagine how I’ll feel in the last moments of my life. Of all the things I fear, regret for not having lived a full life is at the top of my list. So I ask myself if I’ll regret not pursuing the thing that’s calling me. If the answer is in any way even close to a yes, I go after it with zeal. Because even if I fail, I won’t have to wonder what if.
So, what are you checking for to see if you can go all in on your goals?