August 10, 2009

Giving Your All

This weekend, a combination of important conversations; a powerful, inspiring blog by Laura Munson; a hauntingly beautiful movie (I've Loved You For So Long); a funny episode of Top Chef Masters (children critiquing master chefs) all resulted in my waking up this morning to the following questions.

Where, when and how do I hold back?

What does it take to give it my all?

Whether at work, play, with family, friends or colleagues, we all hold something back. Some communication, expression of love, admiration or appreciation, a note of acknowledgment. We hold back on giving a moment of our time, we wait until the "right" moment that somehow never comes.

We hold back on taking actions we know we want or need to take. We play it safe, give up some fun for fear of getting hurt.

Usually it's too subtle to notice until something or someone happens in sharp contrast. We wake for a moment, make some adjustments, and go back to sleep.

No big deal. Really, it's fine. You could live your whole life this way and never notice.

But, in the world of Peak Performance and Breakthrough Results, fine isn't good enough.

Breakthroughs require risks. Big risks. Holding back keeps you, your people, your company from achieving in all the hard and soft areas EVERYONE wants to impact. Leadership, partnership, teamwork, sales, marketing, relationships, revenue, satisfaction, engagement, productivity, effectiveness and efficiency, critical KPI's. Want the results? Take the risk.

Giving your all is about being out there on the skinny branches. It requires setting goals that send shivers down your spine (not just us girls) and makes you wonder if you're up to the task. Giving your all is about worrying whether the risk is too great and realising enormous gains beyond expectations when you jump.

Giving your all means occasional failures. Then getting back into the game after a good learning moment. A wise woman said "pain is inevitable, suffering is optional."

Giving your all mean holding NOTHING back. It means putting your mind, body, heart and soul into something. Without safety net or wires, but sometimes with a helping hand or two.

Try it for a day. If you're brave, try a week. Make it a habit to give your all to this moment, then move to the next, the next and so on.

Leave nothing for the wolves.

Not sure what I mean? Go watch 7-year olds play. Then find your own game and follow their lead.

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