I learned what making a commitment was all about at the age of ten when I saw the movie “Rocky” with my Dad. I just had to become a boxer! My Dad could see how deeply I wanted this and he set out to find an instructor. He found one in the next town over and it was as if he had come right out of a movie. He was a short Japanese guy named Kai Yip.

He was awesome and I was a quick study. Boxing seemed to come naturally to me. I loved practice and always looked forward to my time in the gym. My other coaches were great too. One of them named Old Joe even looked like Burgess Meredith! I had practiced hard and it was time for my first fight. I kicked my opponents butt in the first round, but then I got tired and let him use my face as a punching bag for the rest of the fight.

Beginners luck was over. Sitting bloodied and bruised my Dad asked me if I was sure I wanted to keep boxing. I was dejected, but still sure of my path. Then, my dad said something I’ll never forget, “Okay Tim. But if you choose to do this, choose to do it RIGHT!”

When you commit to Narrowing The Gap, there is one main rule: NO HALF-ASSIN’. This choice is not to be taken lightly and it requires a major commitment. Within this commitment, there are three actions you must take in order to make your vision a reality. Without them, your greatest vision will most likely remain a dream that you can’t get access to.

1. INVEST.

As a kid, it was more my of my dad’s investment, but you’ll get the point. We decided that I needed better equipment so we INVESTED in real boxing boots, a speed bag for the house, a heavy bag, and a mirror for shadow boxing. These things were not easy to purchase because we didn’t have a lot of extra cash laying around, and without Amazon, in a small town in Canada, it was hard to find them! We did all we could to invest in the commitment I’d made. 

Everyone will have varying levels that they can commit to their chosen path due to varying circumstances, but you must commit to the limits of your abilities! If you can’t afford the right equipment, borrow it or work for it. The act of investing will keep you honest because you’ll have some skin in the game. Your investment should hurt a bit. You don’t have to go crazy, but without a little pain the action is less effective.

2. SACRIFICE.

I hate the word sacrifice. As a guy who really lives for fun, this word is a killer. In order for me to become the boxer I knew I was capable of being, I was going to have to drag my little 75 pound body out of bed at 6:00 am to go running, hit the heavy bag, hit the speed bag, and shadow box… every day. 

It really did suck. I wasn’t a morning person then and I’m not now. This was a SACRIFICE. My friends got to hang out after school. Not me. My parents drove me to practice every day in the next city over and I would get home in time to eat dinner and go to bed. 

To achieve any real level of achievement you have to sacrifice. Your level of sacrifice is directly proportional to your level and speed of success. In the early stages, you can accomplish quite a bit with minimal sacrifice but there will come a time when your willingness to make big sacrifices is the difference between good and great. Sacrifice is the price of admission.

3. MAKE A SELF-COVENANT.

I take the word COVENANT very seriously and you should too. A covenant is agreement between two parties, so it probably seems weird to say, “self covenant.” Once you’ve made the choice to Narrow The Gap, it is really powerful to write a covenant on paper with yourself, then date it and sign it. 

The reason this action isn’t first on the list is because sometimes you will choose a path, invest and make some sacrifices, but realize that specific journey isn’t right for you. That’s okay! But, when you do invest and make sacrifices, and still want to move forward, it will really help to have that little document to read when the going gets tough… and it will.

Set aside some time to go somewhere quiet and write your self covenant. It may sound something like this, “I, Tim Dudley, make a covenant to do whatever is necessary to be a better father. I will work daily on listening and understanding my kids.  I will…” 

Yours can be short or long, but just the act of writing it will put you on a sure path. Have your covenant handy, read it often, and add to it as necessary. If you slip up, forgive yourself and do a little course correction. Guilt is useless and you really only need it for a second to put you back on the right path.

When you commit to Narrowing The Gap, these three actions are the foundation you must lay in order to be successful. There is no way around it, real commitment is required to see your ultimate potential and dreams fulfilled.

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